Government Relations: Political Concerns Over U.S. Shift to LNG Exporter

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With new techniques to access shale gas in the United States resulting in dramatic increases in supply and as a consequence, lower prices for consumers, terminals originally constructed to import LNG are now attempting to convert to LNG export terminals. Multiple applications to approve LNG export facilities are pending before the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). This has caused some in Congress to complain that exporting LNG to foreign markets may result in negative economic and environmental consequences in the U.S.

On February 14, 2012, Congressman Ed Markey (D-MA), the Ranking Minority Member of the House Natural Resources Committee, introduced two bills to prohibit LNG exports. H.R. 4024, the North America Natural Gas Security and Consumer Protection Act, would prohibit FERC from approving any new domestic LNG export terminals until 2025. Congressman Markey also introduced H.R. 4025, the Keep American Natural Gas Here Act, which would require the Secretary of the Interior to ensure that all natural gas produced on federal lands be offered for sale only in the U.S. and prohibit natural gas pipelines that cross federal lands from shipping gas for export.

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