Lng Permitting Certainty and Transparency Actby Representative Gene Green
Posted on 2015-01-28
GREEN of Texas asked and was given permission to revise and
extend his remarks.)
Mr. GENE GREEN of Texas. Mr. Speaker, let me explain the problem we
have and the need for this bill today.
The bill is the exact same language that passed this House last Congress, and it came through our committee, the Energy and Commerce Committee.
Now, what this bill does is give the Department of Energy some deadlines to make a decision on our national interests--that is what it does--so we can do it. They have held those permits sometimes up to 2 years to make that determination.
If you have a free trade agreement with the United States, we can export natural gas to you. But they need to decide the national interests. I want the DOE to do that, but I also want to make a decision in very quick time.
We know who our friends are, we know who our adversaries are. We don't really want to send it to our adversaries, we want to send it to our friends. So that is DOE's job.
The reason we need this bill is that right now today, or yesterday, gas is $2.88 per million cubic feet. It was up about $4, which is still not great for a producer. But what we have been doing in south Texas is flaring natural gas. It is bad for the environment. It is bad for the people who produce it because they don't have a customer. And what we need to do is be able to export what we can't use.
In Texas we are very proud of Blue Bell ice cream. In fact, their advertising slogan is: ``We eat all we can and we sell the rest.'' I have a chemical industry, I have a utility industry that uses natural gas. They are using it. But we still have a lot of production. So why would we not use all we can in our country and sell the rest and make somebody else pay for those jobs that we have in our community? And that is the problem.
We know the price of oil is going down. But oil and natural gas sometimes come out of the same well. So that is why we need to make sure that we have the right, on a reasonable timeframe, to export natural gas to countries that we want to be friendly with. I would love to have a natural gas export right now to Ukraine. The infrastructure over there is not there. It could get there with some reversing pipelines.
H.R. 351 represents a bipartisan effort to legislate and warrant its approval.
[[Page H648]] We worked together on this bill, and it represents that hard work.
The bill is good for the economy, the climate, and the U.S. security interests. The United States has natural resources to become the largest exporter of LNG in the world. Our natural gas reserves can meet all our domestic natural gas needs and still have an excess capacity of 3 trillion cubic feet.
Before we discuss H.R. 351 it is important we clarify the LNG permitting process, just so there is no confusion. A project applicant must submit two separate applications: the first to the Department of Energy and the second to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, FERC.
In the Department of Energy, there are two complete separate processes. First, the project must submit an application to export. If the project sends LNG to a country with which the U.S. has a free trade agreement, the application is automatically approved.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman has expired.