Another LNG Export Bill Introduced in Congress

Four Senate Republicans—John Hoeven (ND), John McCain (AZ), Lisa Murkowski (AK), and John Barrasso (WY) introduced S. 2592, the “North Atlantic Energy Security Act,” on Thurs., July 10, to “cut the red tape holding up energy production and infrastructure development, reduce flaring, and expedite LNG exports to America’s allies.” S. 2592 has three main elements. It would:

  • Streamline onshore natural gas production by “expediting” federal oil and gas leasing, “reforming” the energy permitting process, “setting clear rules” for the development of U.S. oil shale resources, establishing “common sense steps” to create an all-of-the-above American energy plan, and “updating the bidding process for oil and natural gas leases by allowing Internet-based auctions.”
  • Facilitate natural gas “gathering lines” by excluding federal decisions on them from in-depth environmental studies and establishing new deadlines for the issuance of associated “rights-of-way” permits.
  • Expedite LNG exports to NATO, Ukraine, and Japan by amending federal law to require the Secretary of Energy to expeditiously approve exports of natural gas (as is done currently for free trade countries) and requiring DOE to make a decision for other applications within 45 days after a company completes the pre-filing process with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

The four senators made the following comments:

Hoeven: “Achieving energy independence needs to be a priority for our economy, and also for our national security. We’re producing more than 30 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in our country, but use only 26 trillion. That means we can not only produce more energy than we use in the United States to create jobs, reduce flaring and decrease our dependence on Middle Eastern oil, but also produce enough energy to help our allies, including countries like Ukraine, avert conflicts over energy with hostile neighbors.”

McCain: “It is in America’s national security interest to leverage our nation’s energy boom to reduce the dependence of our allies on [a single energy supplier]. Speeding the export of LNG to Ukraine and Europe will help accomplish that goal.”

Murkowski: “The U.S. renaissance in oil and natural gas production has been a rare bright spot in our economy, but the vast majority of that production has occurred on state and private lands. This bill takes several important and long overdue steps to bolster our energy security, our economy, and our allies across the Atlantic.”

Barrasso: “Currently, the United States is flaring natural gas that other nation’s desperately want to buy. Our bill would fix this problem by expediting permits for natural gas pipelines and LNG export terminals. It’s a win-win for our environment, American workers, and the energy security of our allies and strategic partners.”

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