New Report Emphasizes the Benefits of U.S. LNG for Foreign Markets

A recently published report from French think tank, Institut Francais des Relations Internationales (Ifri), reemphasizes the importance of American liquefied natural gas (LNG) in today’s competitive energy market calling it a game changer. Specifically, the author, Sylvie Cornot-Gandolphe, argues that even though low prices have caused projects to slow down, the flexibility of U.S. LNG still provides an advantage over foreign competitors. Throughout the study, Cornot-Gandolphe focuses on how U.S. LNG exports would benefit Europe saying it “provides Europe with a greater security of supply” especially in the midst of the Russian-Ukrainian crisis. And with the continued growth of U.S. LNG, the security of European gas supply also increases. As Cornot-Gandolphe stated: “[U.S. LNG] has considerable implications for the security of European gas supply and its competitiveness, whether the LNG comes onto the European market or not.” However, Cornot-Gandolphe does mention that if Europe is to truly take advantage of the incoming LNG, then Europe should begin constructing the “missing infrastructure” in order to ensure that each country has access to the clean fossil fuel. Cornot-Gandolphe also points out that U.S. LNG isn’t just good for Europe. In fact, until recently, U.S. LNG exports have been focused on Latin American, Middle Eastern, and Indian markets, which have provided the best netback to U.S. exporters. Now, with the expansion of the Panama Canal, U.S. LNG is reaching new emerging markets in the Far East. U.S. LNG is revolutionizing the world energy market, and even though exports are emerging into a landscape very different from that envisioned six years ago, U.S. LNG will continue to influence international trade for decades to come. But without the help from the United States Congress in the passing of the Energy Modernization Bill, U.S. LNG may not reach its full...

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The Fight Isn’t Over Yet

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...

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The Time to Act is Now

It was rise and grind for Congress this week as lawmakers returned to the nation’s capital after a seven week recess. And with only a short period of time before Congress vacates the city once again to resume the election season, members and their staff are working fast and furious to complete lengthy to-do lists. One such item is a piece of legislation that would modernize the nation’s energy policy for the first time in more than a decade, and, more importantly, help streamline approvals for liquefied natural gas (LNG) export applications. As we all know, the United States is booming with natural resources. Thanks to advanced technology and emerging markets, U.S. energy is demanded everywhere. Last year, Congress recognized the opportunity and agreed to lift the ban on crude oil exports. Now, Congress must continue to modernize our policies to match our energy landscape by enacting legislation that would spur an even larger opportunity for the U.S. – LNG exports. Currently, LNG export applications are being tied up in the approval process by the Department of Energy and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Over time this procedure has become so bogged down that some export applications have taken over 1,000 days to approve – wasting resources and opportunities for the U.S. Thankfully, over the summer the Senate and the House both passed separate energy bills that included language which would set a deadline for LNG export applications. Now Congress has formed a concession committee to combine the two bills in order to finally modernize our energy policy. The reality is that LNG exports aren’t just beneficial to markets abroad, it also provides countless opportunities for people back home. In a recent editorial, Harry C. Alford, president and CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce, explained how energy exports are beneficial to all communities. Specifically, Alford pointed to a study conducted by Rice University, which found that “exporting more than 12 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day would generate 35,200 jobs annually and generate as much as $20.5 billion in new revenue annually.” These new careers, as Alford mentions, are a great opportunity to “offer more African Americans better paying jobs” and provide a steadier source of income. During the short period of time that Congress is back in session, the conference committee members need to recognize the urgency of working together to finalize this energy modernization bill. LNG exports will be a boon for the nation’s economy by providing jobs and bringing in much-needed revenue. It also ensures a spot in the global market as one of the leading energy suppliers in a world of unstable energy sources. It’s time to take action and get a bill to President Obama’s desk before this opportunity passes us...

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