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    Greenwire: Moniz defends pace of export approvals

Summary

Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz yesterday rejected arguments from critics that the Energy Department is dragging its feet on approving liquefied natural gas export applications, saying a new, streamlined process is working well.

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Press Notes

Greenwire: Moniz defends pace of export approvals

Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz yesterday rejected arguments from critics that the Energy Department is dragging its feet on approving liquefied natural gas export applications, saying a new, streamlined process is working well.

"I've pointed out that I don't understand the merit of the argument, in the sense that we, in making our public interest determination, clearly have to look at the environmental impacts," Moniz said during an interview on "Platts Energy Week TV."

Moniz said DOE will "expeditiously" consider proposed LNG export projects to countries that do not have free-trade agreements with the United States under a new process the agency floated in May.

Under pressure from Capitol Hill to open the gates to exports, DOE said earlier this year that final public interest determinations for proposed exports would only be made after the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission conducts its lengthier and more intense environmental review under the National Environmental Policy Act (E&ENews PM, May 29).

Moniz noted that DOE approved Sempra's Cameron LNG export facility in Louisiana within six weeks after the developers received approval from FERC.

Not everyone agrees.

Stakeholders have said DOE's proposal to shift its approval following FERC reviews could delay the process and inject uncertainty into the markets.

The Industrial Energy Consumers of America (IECA) found that DOE would be giving projects momentum to potentially bypass public interest requirements, whereas the American Petroleum Institute found DOE's suggested regulatory framework would likely add months of delays to LNG export approvals (EnergyWire, July 23).