Washington (July 25, 2018) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, released the following statement in response to the new rule issued by the Department of Energy to bypass components of the review process for Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) exports in order to speed up approvals. Currently, the Department of Energy requires a determination of whether an application to export domestically produced gas to a country that does not have a free-trade agreement with the United States is in the national interest. This change would result in some applications being automatically approved upon receipt, disregarding the question of national interest.
“The Trump administration is once again giving a handout to fossil fuels rather than a hand-up to American consumers,” said Senator Markey. “We need to be able to review proposals to export U.S. gas to foreign countries to make sure that the interests of consumers, businesses, manufacturers, and national security are protected. Instead, the Department of Energy is now only protecting the interests of the natural gas industry. LNG exports are already booming, and allowing more will only push domestic prices higher for American consumers and businesses. This rule would give more export applications an automatic green light, and consumers should be seeing red.”
U.S. liquefied natural gas exports quadrupled between 2016 and 2017, rising to 1.94 billion cubic feet per day. Last year also marked the first time since 1957 that the U.S. exported more natural gas than it imported, and the rate of liquefied natural gas exports has continued to rise in 2018. The Energy Department’s new rule would generally preemptively deem applications to export less than 140 million cubic feet of natural gas to be in the public interest.