Expanding markets for America’s abundant natural gas will create jobs, strengthen our economy, and position the U.S. as a leader in the global energy market, a diverse panel of local and state officials learned.
Led by Senate Energy Committee Chairwoman Mary Landrieu, Our Energy Moment members and local elected officials examined the important role expanded LNG exports will play in local and national economic development during a panel discussion at the Port of Lake Charles.
“Expanded markets for LNG represent an incredible opportunity for the U.S. to create jobs and spur economic growth,” said Chairwoman Landrieu. “Our plentiful natural gas reserves are a game-changer for our economic and energy security, and a clear economic win for Louisianians and all of America. We must seize the opportunity to grow this industry through responsible expanded exports and not let it slip through our grasp.”
It is estimated that LNG exports will generate as much as $86 billion in net benefits to the U.S. economy and help create up to 2.4 million American jobs by 2035 supported by natural gas. Louisiana is projected to receive up to $16.2 billion in economic benefits from LNG exports. Recently, Sempra Energy’s Cameron LNG export project in Hackberry, Louisiana, received final approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). FERC’s approval of Cameron LNG follows important regulatory milestones for other LNG projects, including the issuance of a final environmental impact statement (EIS) for Freeport LNG’s project and a draft EIS for Cheniere Energy’s Corpus Christi project.
In addition to Sen. Landrieu, participants in the panel included Cameron Parish Administrator Ryan Bourriaque and OEM members David Conner of the SWLA Economic Development Alliance, Jason French of Cheniere Energy, and Mark Nelson of Sempra Energy.
“Chairwoman Landrieu has a clear vision for the tremendous potential that expanded LNG exports hold for Louisiana’s economy and our nation as a whole, and we appreciate her leadership as we continue this important conversation about how we best work together to make the most of this historic opportunity before us today,” said Jason French, a spokesman for Our Energy Moment.
In June, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 6, the Domestic Prosperity and Global Freedom Act, which will expedite and streamline the Department of Energy’s (DOE) review process of applications to export LNG to non-Free Trade Agreement countries. Authored by Rep. Cory Gardner, the legislation requires the DOE to issue a decision within 30 days of the close of environmental review under the National Environmental Protection Act for completed applications.
In the Senate, Chairwoman Landrieu is a co-sponsor of the Natural Gas Export Promotion Act of 2014. Introduced by Senator Mark Udall, the legislation would require the DOE to make a decision on pending LNG export facilities within 45 days of the completion of an environmental review process.
Press Release, August 28, 2014; Image: Our Energy Moment