Barrasso, Heinrich introduce bill to increase LNG exports

US Sens. John A. Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and Martin Heinrich (D-NM) introduced the 114th Congress’s first legislation aimed at increasing US exports of LNG. The measure would require the US Energy Secretary to determine whether a proposed LNG export project is in the national interest within 45 days of the project’s environmental review being published.

“Right now, LNG exports are being stalled by Washington red tape and permitting delays,” Barrasso said on Jan. 6 as he offered the measure. “Our bipartisan bill fixes this by creating clear deadlines that force Washington to make timely decisions on these critical energy permits.”

Heinrich added, “Natural gas has significant environmental benefits compared to other fossil fuels, and can reduce global carbon and toxic air pollution. If the US does not aggressively market LNG abroad, many of these countries may have no choice but to purchase energy from Russia or other nations that are not aligned with our own national interests.”

Both are members of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, where the bill, S. 33, was referred for further action. Its original cosponsors included Sens. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), John Hoeven (R-ND), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.).

During a Jan. 7 appearance at the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars, US Energy Sec. Ernest G. Moniz said DOE continues to move expeditiously in processing applications for a national interest determination from LNG projects which have completed their reviews under the National Environmental Policy Act.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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