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Upton Subcommittee Advances Bill to Speed up U.S. LNG Exports

Upton: “This bill is a win-win for jobs and for the message it sends to the world.”

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Washington, DC, April 9, 2014 | Lynn Turner / Nick Culp (269-385-0039 / 202-225-3761) | comments
House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, applauded today’s Subcommittee on Energy and Power vote to approve legislation that would cut through the red tape blocking exports of U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) to our global allies. H.R. 6, the Domestic Prosperity and Global Freedom Act, grants immediate approval of complete export applications currently field with the U.S. Department of Energy and modifies the process moving forward to ensure exports to our allies are no longer subject to necessary delays.

“North America’s growing energy abundance offers a variety of opportunities to create jobs at home, enhance our standing in the world, and supplant the influence of Russia and Iran,” said Upton. “Exporting our surplus of natural gas can do all these things, but only to the extent that Washington will allow it to happen.”

Department of Energy analysis finds that America has enough natural gas to meet domestic needs affordably while also supporting economically beneficial export markets in LNG. According to the Department, the U.S. economy will experience “net economic benefits” from allowing increased LNG exports. In addition to the economic benefits and jobs resulting from building new export facilities, opening new markets for American natural gas would encourage further production of domestic energy, helping to create additional jobs and support America’s manufacturing renaissance.

The Washington Post recently praised increasing U.S. LNG exports as beneficial to both the U.S. economy and our allies: “The economic case for allowing natural gas exports is compelling on its own. Doing so would bring money into the country and uphold the vital principle that energy resources should flow freely around the globe, making the markets for the fuels the world economy needs as flexible and robust as possible. The more major suppliers there are following that principle, the less control predatory regimes such as Mr. Putin’s will have over the market.”

The legislation also modifies the standard of review for future export applications, shifting the benchmark from Free Trade Agreement (FTA) countries to World Trade Organization (WTO) members. Under current law, LNG export facilities shipping gas to countries that do not have free trade agreements with the United States require an additional level of approval by the Department of Energy, a process characterized by extensive delays. To date, this administration has only approved six export applications and 24 applications are still awaiting action.
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