Boxer, Franken, Sanders, join legislation to protect consumers, businesses, national security in natural gas export permit approvals


WASHINGTON (February 26, 2015) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) today reintroduced legislation that would ensure that the Department of Energy fully considers a number of important factors before approving additional natural gas exports to ensure that those exports are in the national interest. The legislation comes as Senate Republicans are moving a bill to expedite permitting of natural gas export terminals by putting a shot clock on the Department of Energy’s review process.


Sen. Markey’s bill, the “American Natural Gas Security and Consumer Protection Act”, would require that DOE weighs the impacts of proposed exports on consumers, our economy and manufacturing sectors, our national security, our foreign policy, and other considerations. Senators Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) are original cosponsors of the legislation. Full text of the legislation can be found HERE.


“Instead of rushing to send our American natural gas to the highest bidder, we should first carefully determine whether it is in our best economic and national security interests to do so,” said Senator Markey. “Passing this legislation would ensure that we are fully considering the impacts that exports will have on American consumers, manufacturing and businesses, and our national security before sending our natural gas to foreign competitors.”


Current law favors allowing exports of natural gas unless it is determined that they are not in the national interest. Sen. Markey’s bill would turn this presumption in favor of consumers, our economy and our national security, given the large volumes of natural gas exports that have already been permitted.


The Department of Energy has already approved eight LNG export terminals that could send more than 12 billion cubic feet a day (bcf/d) of American natural gas overseas, in addition to the even larger volumes of natural gas exports that have already been approved via pipeline. The Department of Energy has found that exporting less than half the total volumes of natural gas that have already been approved for export could raise U.S. prices by up to 54 percent.


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