US LNG exports: policy update
Last week the US House of Representatives voted to approve legislation that would expedite the Department of Energy’s (DoE’s) process for approving applications to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) to countries with which the US does not have a free-trade agreement (FTA). This action is the culmination of an active month for US LNG export policy. On 29 May, DoE formally proposed a major change in its approach to evaluating applications to export LNG to non-FTA countries. In the Senate last week, the Energy and Natural Resources Committee held a hearing on LNG exports with a focus on DoE’s new proposal, and legislation was introduced that — like the House-passed bill — would place a tight deadline on DoE for final action on export applications.
This article examines these various actions and their relationship to each other, and seeks to explain and put into context the present state of LNG export policy.
Imports and exports of natural gas to and from the US are governed by section 3 of the Natural Gas Act (NGA). Under that statute, imports and exports must be allowed unless it is shown that the proposed importation or exportation of gas ‘will not be consistent with the public interest’…
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