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VIDEO: Senate companion bill to expedite LNG exports

LNG Industry,

Following the passage of bill H.R. 351 in the House of Representative, Senators Martin Heinrich and John Barrasso have introduced supporting legislation, S. 33, to improve the process for reviewing permits to export LNG.

Heinrich delivered an opening statement before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources during a hearing on S. 33, the LNG Permitting Certainty and Transparency Act.

LNG export applications

The bill will speed up the approval process for exports of LNG to countries that do not have free trade agreements with the US. Specifically, the bill requires the Secretary of Energy to make a decision on any LNG export application within 45 days after the environmental review document for the project is published.

Senator Heinrich explained that the bill would, among other things, create jobs in states such as New Mexico, which have abundant gas supplies.

New Mexico’s resources

"New Mexico ranks seventh in the nation in gas production. The main gas-producing region of New Mexico is the San Juan basin in the northwest around the City of Farmington. The good news is we have plenty of natural gas. However, the current surge in gas production has depressed prices to less than US$3 per million Btu and impacted the economies of domestic gas-producing regions,” Heinrich said.

"I fully support the measured and cautious approach being taken by Secretary Moniz and Assistant Secretary Smith at the Department of Energy. It makes sense for DOE to complete its review of an application for exports to non-FTA countries only after the NEPA review has been completed.

Boost the economy

"In addition, recent studies show that the industry can fully support modest levels of exports of LNG, with minimal impacts on consumers, while boosting the nation's economic output.

"I cosponsored this bill because I believe it will help stimulate job opportunities for my state's gas industry while fully preserving both FERC's environmental and safety reviews and DOE's determination of public interest, including the authority to approve or deny applications to export LNG to non-FTA countries."

Adapted from press release by Katie Woodward

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