US House Approves Small Scale LNG Export Law
The US House of Representatives, in a bipartisan vote of 260-146, passed legislation on September 6 providing for the prompt review and approval of applications to export or import LNG in amounts up to 140mn ft3/day.
Three Republicans and 143 Democrats voted against the bill, fearing it would lead to increased domestic natural gas prices.
The legislation, sponsored by Republican Congressman Bill Johnson of Ohio and his Democrat colleague, Henry Cuellar of Texas, will now move to the Senate, where it is expected to get a quick seal of approval. It is similar to a recent rule finalised by the US Department of Energy (DoE).
In a statement released after the vote, Johnson said countries in the Caribbean and in central and South America are increasingly looking to the US for their natural gas needs. But they don’t often need the quantities being offered by large-scale export facilities. His legislation, HR 4606, The Ensuring Small Scale LNG Certainty and Access Act, will help meet that demand by reducing regulatory wait times for small export quantities and at the same time strengthen US geopolitical ties, create jobs and fuel economic growth.
“It’s critically important that we take advantage of this opportunity we’ve been blessed with – there is no doubt that LNG exports are creating new, well-paying jobs and improving the quality of life for hard-working families in eastern and southeastern Ohio,” Johnson said: “This legislation would ensure that the DoE rule will become law and not subject to the whims of future presidential administrations and policies.”
“The US is currently the world’s largest producer of natural gas, with trillions of ft3 of recoverable natural gas beneath our feet,” Cuellar said. “This bipartisan legislation codifies the DoE’s recent efforts to encourage the exports of small volumes of natural gas, as countries continue to look to us to meet their natural gas needs.”