President Donald J. Trump announced yesterday during his speech in Midland, Texas that the US Department of Energy (DOE) is issuing a final policy statement that allows for LNG exports to non-free trade agreement (non-FTA) countries to be extended through the year 2050. This policy is a change from the current practice of granting 20-year export terms.
“This policy to utilise export terms through 2050 is the latest of several measures DOE, under President Trump, has taken to support US LNG exports and the benefits they bring both to the US and to our allies around the world,” said US Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette, who accompanied President Trump to Texas today. “Just this year, LNG exports from the US will reduce our trade deficit by over US$10 billion. Furthermore, LNG exports in the US are providing tens of thousands of jobs and have led to the investment of billions of dollars in infrastructure. This Administration is following through on our commitment to make US LNG – a long-term, reliable, cleaner-burning energy source – available to the world.”
DOE originally proposed the 2050 term extension in a proposed policy statement that was issued for public notice and comment on 11 February 2020. In this final policy statement, DOE is responding to the comments received and finalising the earlier proposal. The final policy statement allows existing non-FTA authorisation holders to apply to extend their export term through 2050 and also allows existing applicants to amend their pending non-FTA applications to request an export term through 2050.
“The growth of US LNG exports over the last few years has redefined the global energy landscape, with exports more than quadrupling during the Trump Administration,” said Under Secretary of Energy Mark W. Menezes. “These exports are creating thousands of jobs and enormous opportunity here at home, while increasing US LNG competitiveness in the global market. I am proud to be part of a Department that is making sure these benefits can continue for the American people for the long-term.”
“Especially in these times of uncertainty, this policy will provide further regulatory certainty for US exporters competing for market share around the world,” said Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy Steven Winberg. “Importing US LNG makes sense from an economic and environmental perspective for countries looking to have reliable, low-emissions energy supplies. With this policy, US exporters will be better positioned to meet long-term global demand.”
The US is the top global producer of natural gas and is currently in its fourth consecutive year as a net exporter of natural gas. To date, US LNG exports have reached 38 countries across five continents.
The final policy statement has been signed for issuance in the Federal Register.
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