Tim Kaine introduces bill to streamline American LNG imports

kaine new2Today, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine joined Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) and six other colleagues to introduce the LNG Permitting Certainty and Transparency Act. The bipartisanlegislation will speed up the approval process for exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to countries that do not have free trade agreements with the United States. It specifically requires the Secretary of Energy to make a decision on any LNG export application within 45 days after the environmental review document for the project is published.

“The U.S. natural gas revolution has strengthened our energy independence, bolstered our economic competitiveness, reduced our carbon emissions, and given us a foreign policy tool that can help reduce the world’s energy reliance on hostile regimes,” said Kaine. “This bill gives the U.S. Department of Energy a reasonable 45-day deadline, after it has received the final results of all studies, to determine whether to approve an LNG export proposal.  This will strengthen the ability of American companies to strike deals with overseas customers, while maintaining a thorough review process to ensure such projects are in our national interest.”

LNG exports will create jobs across the country, reduce our nation’s trade deficit, and strengthen the energy security of key U.S. allies who are eager to buy America’s natural gas,” said Barrasso. “Right now, LNG exports are being stalled by Washington red tape and permitting delays. Our bipartisan bill fixes this by creating clear deadlines that force Washington to make timely decisions on these critical energy permits. This is a win-win for our economy and America’s national security interests.”

In addition to Kaine and Barrasso, Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), John Hoeven (R-ND), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), and Michael Bennet (D-CO) are original cosponsors of the LNG Permitting Certainty and Transparency Act.

 

Background

Prior to approving applications to export natural gas to countries which do not have free trade agreements with the United States, the Secretary of Energy must make a public interest determination which includes a public comment period. This process is often plagued by long delays that undermine the ability of American businesses to compete for overseas markets.

The LNG Permitting Certainty and Transparency Act would:

  • Require the Secretary of Energy to issue a final decision on an application to export LNG to countries which do not have free trade agreements with the United States within 45 days from the time the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission or the U.S. Maritime Administration publishes the environmental review document for the project.

 

In addition, the bill would:

  • Provide an applicant with expedited judicial review (in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit or the circuit in which the export project will be located) if the Secretary fails to act within 45 days or if the project is subject to a legal challenge; and
  • Require LNG exporters to disclose the country or countries to which LNG has been delivered and require the Secretary to make this information available to the public.


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