US Senator Edward J. Markey has introduced a bill opposing new liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports, following recent calls for quicker approvals following the crisis in Ukraine.
Following Russia’s move into Ukraine’s Crimea region, a number of US lawmakers, including House Speaker John Boehner and US Representative Pete Olson, have urged the US to speed up LNG approvals to help protect Europe from Russia’s control of natural gas shipments via pipelines.
Senator Markey’s legislation will require the Department of Energy (DOE) to consider a number of factors before approving additional natural gas exports to ensure that those exports are in the national interest.
The ‘American Natural Gas Security and Consumer Protection Act’, would require that the DOE weighs the impacts of proposed exports on consumers, the US economy and manufacturing sectors, national security, foreign policy, and other considerations.
Markey’s statement reads: “The situation in Ukraine is highly concerning, and we should be giving Ukrainians the support they need now to survive the rest of this winter and find a peaceful solution to this crisis.
“Using this crisis as an excuse to rapidly and massively expand exports of America’s natural gas won’t help Ukraine now.
“We should not give away the domestic economic and national security rewards of our natural gas boom, and then just hope that the market reduces the risk of international conflicts.”
Speed up LNG export approvals
Following Markey’s legislation, Representative Cory Gardner, a Colorado Republican, introduced legislation to speed up the approval process for LNG exports, thus highlighting the growing debate on this topic.
The ‘Domestic Prosperity and Global Freedom Act’ would facilitate the accelerated approval of LNG export applications that are currently under review by the DOE. Gardner said: “President Putin and the Russian regime are using their dominance of the European natural gas market to flex their muscles and expand their influence.
“European nations are clamoring for a resource that is abundant in Colorado, but current law restricts our ability to sell it to them. This bill allows America to meet the needs of our allies, while creating economic opportunity and good jobs here in Colorado.”
Edited from various sources by Callum O'Reilly
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