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Senator launches bill to expedite Alaska LNG exports

LNG Industry,

In light of recent tensions in Ukraine, US Senator Mark Begich has introduced legislation to speed up the permitting process for an Alaskan natural gas pipeline and LNG project, as well as expanding US LNG exports to overseas allies.

‘The Freedom Through Energy Export Act’ would extend all the benefits of the 2004 Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline Act (ANGPA), excluding load guarantees, to an all-Alaska pipeline project with an LNG terminal.

Supplier vs. consumer

Begich explained: "Recent events in Ukraine show just how delicate the balance can be between supplier and consumer. Alaska has trillions of cubic feet of natural gas both onshore and off. With these massive reserves, we can create valuable jobs at home and help allies abroad."

The benefits of Begich's legislation would include empowering the Office of the Federal Coordinator to coordinate permits from 22 federal agencies on the US$ 40 - US$ 60 billion project.

LNG export permits

Begich's bill also would update current law which outlines two tracks for permits to export LNG: an expedited one for LNG exported to FTA countries, and a slower one for all others. The legislation would add NATO members as well as Japan to the expedited permit country list.

"LNG projects, like Alaska's, can help our allies abroad who are forced to purchase from unreliable neighbors like Russia. My bill will help us do just that by bringing Alaska natural gas to market and expanding our diplomacy through energy exports overseas. The less control President Putin has over world energy prices, the more freedom America's friends and allies will enjoy," Begich added.

Key features

Other features of the bill include:

  • Providing expedited timelines for environmental reviews and permit approval to an all-Alaska pipeline and LNG project.
  • Requiring the Secretary of Labor to make grants to the Alaska Workforce Investment Board to train Alaskans and construct a training facility for jobs created by the project.

Begich has also sponsored Senator Mark Udall's bill to expedite the LNG export permit process for all World Trade Organisation (WTO) member countries.

Adapted from press release by Katie Woodward

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