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
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).