The House Energy and Commerce Committee released a policy paper entitled “Prosperity at Home and Strengthened Allies Abroad – A Global Perspective on Natural Gas Exports.”
Over the past year, the committee has analyzed the effects of exporting U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) through a series of hearings and an international forum. This report is the culmination of these efforts, detailing the economic and geopolitical benefits of U.S. LNG exports and outlining the actions necessary to realize them.
The committee concludes that LNG exports offer the opportunity for the U.S. to improve the domestic economy while providing the country’s allies and trading partners an affordable and secure energy source. According to the report, “Our friends and allies around the globe desperately need a more stable, reliable, and affordable supply of natural gas, and American consumers and manufacturers need continued robust demand to bring additional resources into competitive production. The U.S. has the opportunity to be the world’s preferred supplier, and the case for mutually beneficial trade is very strong.”
This window of opportunity will not remain open indefinitely, therefore the committee is urging the Department of Energy to approve all remaining export licenses by the end of the year and is considering legislative action to modernize the process and remove barriers. The report concludes, “Given the scope of potential benefits from LNG exports, and the relatively narrow window to maximize the U.S. energy advantage, it is imperative that the regulatory process be expedited so that these benefits can be realized. The committee will continue to pursue forward-looking policies to help realize the nation’s newfound energy potential. The future is bright with the right policies in place.”
“A tremendous energy transformation is underway in this country and we now have opportunities that were unthinkable just a few short years ago. With the dramatic increase in American natural gas production, we now have the chance to become a natural gas exporting nation. Doing so would create jobs here at home and benefit American manufacturers and consumers while serving the interests of our global allies. The U.S. must embrace its new role as a leader in energy diplomacy and act now on LNG exports before it’s too late,” said House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI).
Press Release, February 5, 2014: Image: Sempra