Foreign Allies Urge Congress for LNG Exports in Letter

Posted on Nov 18, 2016 in Blog

In a letter to Congress, seven ambassadors from Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) to the United States urged lawmakers to expedite the project approval process for liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facilities so that their countries can begin to receive the long-anticipated energy source before the winter months.

The letter, which was signed by ambassadors from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, specifically pointed to the national security benefits of U.S. LNG exports referencing Europe’s current dependency on Russia. As the letter says:

“These exports result in greater liquidity to the global natural gas market and have the potential to provide diversity of sources, suppliers and routes thus to a greater energy security in our part of Europe, a region for long dominated by an external state-controlled gas supplier, ready to use energy as a political weapon.”

With the ability to transfer LNG from developed terminals in Lithuania and Poland, these countries in the CEE have been hopeful for Congress’ action to rectify the bureaucratic red tape that constricts the current permitting process. But without lawmakers help to establish new deadlines and processes for these applications, Europe may continue to remain in the grasp of Russia for at least another winter.

At the end of the summer, Congress established an energy conference committee to review energy legislation passed in the House and Senate. Thankfully, language for an expedited LNG application process was included, but without action from Capitol Hill this much-needed Energy Modernization Act will languish during lame duck.

LNG exports would not only benefit our foreign allies, but bring economic growth and job security to communities throughout the United States. It would underline America’s spot as a global energy leader with an all-of-the-above energy strategy that is competitive and forward-thinking. Congress must act during lame duck to ensure that the hard work and dedication put into developing a modern energy policy does not languish at the end of the year.