Cassidy introduces bill to boost U.S. natural gas exports

Barriers on exporters of natural gas would be lifted to help U.S. companies fill an anticipated 4-5 percent growth in annual global demand for natural gas in the years ahead under legislation introduced by U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) on Thursday.

The License Natural Gas (LNG) Now Act would strike decades-old restrictions on exporting and importing natural gas, guarantee Department of Energy (DoE) approval of export volume applications without delays and keep current DoE management and record-keeping processes in place.

“The previous administration created hurdles that stalled LNG (liquefied natural gas) projects that benefit the economy, environment and Louisiana workers.” Cassidy said. “This legislation adds certainty to the approval process and brings investment, and better-paying jobs, to Louisiana.”

The LNG Act would also keep in place the administration’s authority to restrict natural gas imports and exports to unfriendly nations, and it would require the secretary of energy to report to Congress on actions undertaken to boost natural gas exports.

Organizations that support Cassidy’s measure cite the need to lessen the time and expense of securing LNG project authorizations, as well as to grow opportunities for U.S. natural gas.

The United States, with the least expensive natural gas in the world, has enough recoverable natural gas to last an estimated 93 years, according to the Energy Information Administration.

“Opportunities for certainty in every aspect of natural gas policy are always beneficial for both producers and consumers and we look forward to working with policymakers to ensure a legislative and regulatory framework that works for industry, the consumer, and the public at large,” said Dena Wiggins, the president and CEO of the Natural Gas Supply Association.

The measure would also preserve the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission LNG export facility process.