Representative James Lankford (R-OK), Chairman of the House Oversight Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy Policy, Health Care and Entitlements, on Wednesday conducted a hearing entitled, “Examining the Effects of Liquefied Natural Gas Exports on U.S. Foreign Policy.” The hearing focused on the role of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) exports in U.S. national security policy.
“As the top producer of natural gas in the world, the United States can and should have the opportunity to sell our abundant resources,” said Lankford. “Today’s hearing shed much needed light on the geopolitical benefits of energy trade with our allies.”
According to a recently released study by the National Economic Research Associates (NERA), American natural gas production from 2012 to 2040 is predicted to increase overall by 39%. The NERA report concluded that the U.S. increase in GDP for exporting LNG could range from $1.5 billion in 2018 to $36 billion in 2038 compared to a future without LNG exports.
“If the Administration had processed the permit applications to export LNG submitted in 2010 and 2011 in a timely manner, we could have confronted Putin’s bully tactics against Ukraine,” observed Lankford. “If that application had been immediately approved and the work had immediately started on the capital-intensive construction project, Eastern Europe could be well on its way to receiving American liquefied natural gas, rather than relying on their abusive neighbor for their energy needs.”
Currently, Ukraine’s high energy demands have forced Ukrainians to import more than 60% of its natural gas, all of which comes from an increasingly aggressive Russia. Several other Eastern European nations, including Hungary and Lithuania are in a similar position.
“Action on major energy projects can’t wait until the world is desperate for our abundant resources, “added Lankford. “As with the Keystone XL pipeline, we must anticipate what’s in the best interest of our country before it’s too late. Americans know all too well what it’s like to rely on unfriendly nations for energy needs. We can reverse that trend by leveraging the growth in North American natural gas production as part of a broad energy portfolio.
“I urge the Departments of Energy and State to follow the clear text of the law and move forward with energy export permits. We must continue to expedite the current permitting process for American export terminals. I also urge the Administration to look down the road, so future foreign policy crises can be addressed with energy solutions before they start.
“I hope the information we gained in today’s hearing testimony will help this Administration see the clear benefit of expediting permit procedures to export our LNG surpluses to nations like Ukraine. As we continue to improve infrastructure for utilizing our energy surpluses, let’s use American innovation to help others and boost our economy,” concluded Lankford.