NEW YORK A group of senators is urging the Department of Energy (DOE) to expedite the approval of liquefied natural gas (LNG) export licenses for non-FTA (free-trade agreement) countries.
"The fact is there is a global race for market share under way. American competitors have been at a disadvantage for the past year and a half because DOE has delayed action on pending applications," the group said in a July 9 letter to Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz.
The senators said the timeline the DOE has setreviewing 20 pending permit applications in six- to eight-week intervalswould take about two years.
"By then, the private financing and market opportunities making these projects attractive may have dissipated, and foreign customers will be forced to turn to other suppliers to secure their energy needs," they alleged.
LNG exports could spur economic and job growth by expanding the U.S. manufacturing base, according to the senators. They also represent an important strategic advantage for the United States, as gas exports can supply nations that had relied on oil from countries such as Iran, the senators said.
Opponents of LNG exports, however, contend low-cost natural gas should stay in the domestic market to grow the U.S. manufacturing sector (amm.com, May 23).