Legislative Activity

Congressional Committees Evaluate Expedited LNG Export Application Processing

Last week, congressional interest in exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG) reached a crescendo as three different congressional committees held hearings to evaluate the economic and geopolitical impact of expedited U.S. processing of liquefied natural gas (LNG) applications to countries that do not have a Free-Trade-Agreement with the United States. The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee each evaluated the issue generally, while the House Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing to review H.R.6, the “Domestic Prosperity and Global Freedom Act.” H.R. 6 was introduced by Rep. Cory Gardner (R-CO), and would force the Department of Energy to expeditiously approve pending applications to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) into countries that are members of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Similar legislation, S. 2083 (the “American Job Creation and Strategic Alliances LNG Act”) has been introduced in the Senate by Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO). While Congress does not appear poised to pass H.R. 6 or S. 2083 in the short-term, recent events in the Ukraine have focused congressional interest in the pace of the Department of Energy’s approval process for LNG export applications, and momentum for reform of the process is gaining momentum.

This Week’s Hearings

  • Thursday, April 3: The House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a hearing titled, “The Fiscal Year 2015 DOE Budget.”
  • Thursday, April 3: The House Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing titled, “Department of Interior, Spending and the President’s Fiscal Year 2015 Budget.”
  • Friday, April 4: The House Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing titled, “Oversight Hearing on Energy Independence: Domestic Opportunities to Reverse California’s Growing Dependence on Foreign Oil.”

Regulatory Activity

DOE Approves Jordan Cove LNG Export Application

On Monday, March 25, the Department of Energy conditionally approved the Jordan Cove Energy Project, L.P. to export up to the equivalent of 0.8 billion standard cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of LNG to countries that do not have a free-trade-agreement with the U.S. for up to 20 years. In a statement announcing conditional approval, the Department concluded that the project would not be inconsistent with the public interest after conducting an “exhaustive” review of over 200,000 public comments for and against the application, and evaluating economic, energy security, and environmental impacts of the proposed project Department. The Jordan Cove approval order is the 7th issued by DOE for non-FTA LNG export applications, and comes less than two months after conditional approval of the Cameron LNG, LLS project on February 14.