Congress is now in recess for the Thanksgiving holiday, with both chambers scheduled to reconvene early during the week of Nov. 28 to pass another stop-gap government funding bill and to address a few other matters. One item still on the agenda is the legislation that would set a new statutory deadline on the Department of Energy’s review of applications to export LNG to non-FTA nations.
The LNG legislation has—as you know—been included within both versions of the energy bill and is thus pending before a joint House-Senate energy conference committee. The LNG provisions have also been included in the House version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and are under consideration by the NDAA conference committee as well.
Here is an update on recent developments:
- Mon. Nov. 14, seven ambassadors from Central and Eastern Europe sent joint letters to congressional leaders, calling on them to “continue working towards the goal of enacting LNG legislation still in 2016.” The effort was spearheaded by the Embassy of Poland and the letters were signed by ambassadors from the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Slovak Republic. Links: Letter, Polish Embassy Release, Articles: Politico (subscription), Oil & Gas Journal, Natural Gas Intel (subscription), Kallanish, Energy Tomorrow.
- Tue. Nov. 15, three congressional LNG champions—Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyoming), Rep. Bill Johnson (R-Ohio), and Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Oklahoma)—spoke at the “Fly-In for LNG Certainty” event sponsored by LNG Allies and Our Energy Moment. Also speaking were: Ambassadors Rolandas Kriščiūnas (Lithuania) and Josip Joško Paro (Croatia); DCMs Maciej Pisarski (Poland), Peter Zeleňák (Slovakia), and Zsolt Hetesy (Hungary); and Randall Reese, General Manager of the Sabine-Neches Navigation District. The event was open to the press and several stories were subsequently filed: Oil & Gas Journal, E&E Daily (subscription), Kallanish Energy, S&P Global.
- Tues. Nov. 15 (and through the rest of last week) LNG project sponsors and others met with members of the House and Senate to encourage action on the LNG provisions. From all accounts, these meetings went very well. However, the final fate of the LNG legislation ultimately depends upon: (1) whether the energy or NDAA bills are completed before the 114th Congress adjourns sine die; and (2) if the LNG provisions are included within either/both bills.
- Friday, Nov. 18, Morning Consult (a media and technology company providing original reporting and email briefings to more than 200,000 government and industry leaders) published an LNG opinion piece. Like the letter from the seven ambassadors, the Op-Ed urged Congress to complete action on the LNG legislation this year. Click Here