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INGAA supports maintaining the current U.S. legal and regulatory framework for LNG exports, which will contribute to the ongoing development of domestic energy resources, as well as stable natural gas prices. Markets, governed by existing law, should guide the expansion of U.S. natural gas exports.
Current law already provides for a thorough review of natural gas exports to determine if such exports are in the “national interest.” The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is the lead federal agency that evaluates the environmental and socioeconomic impacts of LNG projects, while the U.S. Department of Energy is responsible for granting the authority to export natural gas abroad. When DOE considers a request to export LNG, it must determine whether the proposed export is in the public interest.
While free trade agreements govern most of the existing North American trade, the Natural Gas Act requires a “national interest” determination for any exports not covered under a free trade agreement. Current law provides an additional layer of government review not in place for exports of many other energy products, including coal and refined petroleum products.
- Broad use of natural gas, including exports, contributes significantly to the U.S. economy and economic growth.
- Exporting natural gas creates and supports thousands of jobs both in the extraction of natural gas and in infrastructure to move and store the gas like pipelines and export terminals.
- The free market system, overseen by regulators, should govern the development of natural gas exports.
- The national interest review process in place under current law for natural gas exports to non-FTA countries appropriately balances the interests at stake in an export application.
- Natural gas exports have a positive impact on the U.S. trade deficit and balance of trade.
- Natural gas exports can help to stabilize prices for natural gas customers through continued development of the natural gas resource in the U.S.
- Shale gas development has resulted in significant new natural gas reserves that are easily expanded; enough natural gas to provide for projected increases in demand in the U.S. and exports.