Last month, Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., introduced legislation that he said will remove barriers placed on U.S. exporters so they can quickly access the market and meet the global demand of natural gas. This legislation would revamp the current system put in place by the Department of Energy decades ago.

“The previous administration created hurdles that stalled LNG projects that benefit the economy, environment and Louisiana workers.” said Cassidy. “This legislation adds certainty to the approval process and brings investment and better-paying jobs to Louisiana.”

Under the License Natural Gas (LNG) Now Act, Cassidy said the U.S. would have the opportunity to meet the anticipated 4% to 5% annual LNG global demand growth. The administration would also retain the ability to limit natural gas importation and exportation levels during emergencies, disasters or exchanges with particular foreign nations.

The American Petroleum Institute, Center for Liquefied Natural Gas, G2 LNG, LNG Allies and Natural Gas Supply Association have all endorsed the legislation.

“The Center for Liquefied Natural Gas welcomes any measures of support or creation of opportunity for U.S. LNG. The U.S. LNG industry is in the midst of a critical opportunity that would cement the U.S. as a global energy superpower and certainty is key,” said Charlie Riedl, executive director of the Center for Liquefied Natural Gas.

“Opportunities for certainty in every aspect of natural gas policy are always beneficial for both producers and consumers and we look forward to working with policymakers to ensure a legislative and regulatory framework that works for industry, the consumer, and the public at large,” Dena Wiggins, president and CEO of the Natural Gas Supply Association said in a statement.

“While the United States has a strong and transparent regulatory process for the approval of LNG export terminals, there is no question that this process is expensive and time-consuming. Thus, LNG Allies supports measures that would lessen the time and expense of securing LNG project authorization,” LNG Allies said in a statement supporting the legislation.

According to Sen. Cassidy's office, the proposed legislation would:

  • Remove decades-old restrictions on the exportation and importation of natural gas that have stalled development of previous projects.
  • Guarantee acceptance of export volume applications to the Department of Energy for export and import of natural gas without delay.
  • Retain the administration’s ability to limit export or import of natural gas during national emergencies or disasters.
  • Retain the administration’s ability to restrict import or export of natural gas to nations unfriendly to the U.S.
  • Require the Secretary of Energy to submit a report to Congress on what actions could be taken by the U.S. to foster increased exportation of natural gas, and submit a report that identifies current regulations that inhibit the growth of the U.S natural gas market.
  • Keep the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission LNG Export facility process intact.

To read the full text of the legislation, click here.

David Krapf has been editor of WorkBoat, the nation’s leading trade magazine for the inland and coastal waterways industry, since 1999. He is responsible for overseeing the editorial direction of the publication. Krapf has been in the publishing industry since 1987, beginning as a reporter and editor with daily and weekly newspapers in the Houston area. He also was the editor of a transportation industry daily in New Orleans before joining WorkBoat as a contributing editor in 1992. He has been covering the transportation industry since 1989, and has a degree in business administration from the State University of New York at Oswego, and also studied journalism at the University of Houston.