The Fight Isn’t Over Yet

Posted on Sep 16, 2016 in Blog

Over the past week, Congress’ energy conference committee has continued its debate on the two energy bills that would modernize our nation’s energy policy. This discussion is crucial for our nation’s energy future. Both bills contain wide-sweeping policy that touches on an array of important issues including renewable energy, the nation’s electrical grid, and other infrastructure needs, but more importantly, the pieces include language that is key to our energy security.

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is in high demand throughout the world, and with advancements of new technology, the U.S. has access to an abundance of it. However, bureaucratic red tape ties up export applications for years – to the detriment of American businesses and workers. Thankfully, as mentioned, both the House and Senate draft legislation, contain language that would expedite export applications by placing a fixed timeline on the Department of Energy (DOE) to approve the permits. Now lawmakers just need to finish pushing forward and work together towards a final agreement.

With the lifting of the crude oil exports ban last year, America must continue to maintain its energy lead or else face the realities of being too slow in the global market. As Mark Perry mentioned in an US News & World Report column, “we are only just beginning to understand the benefits afforded by America’s shale revolution and our emergence as the world’s largest natural gas producer.” But in order to continue this status, the U.S. needs to continue to strive towards energy dominance through exports.

In a stroke of good fortune, the NextDecade LLC’s Rio Grande LNG facility was recently authorized to export LNG to countries that hold a free trade agreement (FTA) with the U.S. Alfonso Puga, NextDecade Chief Commercial Officer, said “NextDecade is well-positioned to meet international demand, and FTA export authorization is an important milestone towards making a final investment decision in 2017.” Recognizing the international demand for this energy resource is a big step for the DOE, but in order to fully take advantage, applications need to be processed in a timely manner for both FTA and non-FTA exports.

Congress has an opportunity to make history before vacating Washington. The nation is in desperate need of an energy bill to modernize our policies in order to compete fairly in the global market. There is a robust appetite for LNG, and the U.S. can fulfill that – lawmakers just need to make moves before it’s too late.