U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today urged the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to move ahead with its consideration of Dominion’s application for a license to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) from its Cove Point facility in Maryland.
In a letter to FERC Chair Cheryl LaFleur, Murkowski said any unnecessary delay would set a troublesome precedent for domestic energy production and the U.S. economy in light of the global race to meet growing demand for natural gas around the world.
“I have strongly supported approving greater volumes of natural gas exports to send a powerful signal to the world that the United States is ready to lead on energy issues,” Murkowski wrote to LaFleur. “At a time of heightened risk in the international system, I firmly believe opening up our markets to friends and allies is in the public interest. A prompt decision would be in the national interest.”
Cove Point was licensed as an LNG import facility in 1972. Dominion is seeking to convert the Maryland plant into an export facility. The Department of Energy (DOE) issued the project a conditional license in 2013. FERC recently published an environmental assessment that found the project would not have a significant effect on the environment. FERC is now conducting a 30-day public comment period on that environmental assessment, which closes June 16.
If FERC gives Dominion a green light, then Cove Point would await a final license from DOE. Only one LNG export project in the United States – Cheniere’s Sabine Pass – has received both DOE and FERC authorization.
Murkowski is the top Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. The letter is available on the committee’s website.