Although the LNG Allies coalition has not launched officially, a dozen E.U. embassies and several U.S. natural gas industry representatives met today at the offices of Cornerstone Government Affairs on Capitol Hill to receive an update on congressional action on the LNG export issue and to meet the LNG Allies advocacy and communications team.
Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH) addressed the group comprised of 18 officials from 12 embassies (including three ambassadors) and seven company and trade association representatives to discuss his bill H.R. 580, the Expedited LNG for America’s Allies Act.
Turner, who represents Ohio’s 10th Congressional District (Dayton and environs) is a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee and chair of the U.S. Delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. Turner was accompanied by his legislative director, Vince Erfe, and his chief of staff, Adam Howard.
Rep. Turner began by discussing the release last week of a policy paper written by the majority (Republican) staff of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. That paper entitled: Prosperity at Home and Strengthened Allies Abroad—A Global Perspective on Natural Gas Exports, concluded that America’s shale gas bonanza puts the United States in a enviable position, with sufficient natural gas resources to supply the domestic market and enter the international arena as well.
Turner said his bill was born from frustration over the slow pace of approvals by the Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy (DOE /FE) for applications to export LNG from the United States to nations with which we do not have a Free Trade Agreement (non-FTA nations) that includes the free trade in natural gas. Turner said that whether or not H.R. 580 is ever enacted into law, the mere fact that it is gaining strength in the House and Senate—through additional cosponsors, etc.—would serve to keep pressure on the Obama administration to speed up the rate at which the applications are approved.
Turner also said that formation of LNG Allies “was a very positive step because it helps to underscore the geopolitical as well as economic advantages” of expediting the delivery of American natural gas into the international marketplace.