A picture of Representative Blake Farenthold
Blake F.
Republican TX 27

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  • Providing for Consideration of H.R. 351, Lng Permitting Certainty and Transparency Act

    by Representative Blake Farenthold

    Posted on 2015-01-27

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    FARENTHOLD. Mr. Speaker, it is important we get this rule done and move on to consideration of H.R. 351.

    I am from Corpus Christi, Texas. One of the first things that happened when I came to Congress is, I was visited by some folks from a company that was looking to put a LNG liquefaction plant in the district that I represent. In fact, we have got two pending in the district that I represent.

    But the first one, Cheniere Energy, a billion-plus dollar plant to liquefy natural gas and export it, has been waiting since I was elected to Congress, longer than I have been in Congress, over 4 years now, to get this plant approved and online to start selling energy.

    I want to address some of the questions that the gentleman from the other side has raised with respect to this.

    First and foremost, the technology is there. There is no point for Ukraine or any other country to build the facilities to receive this natural gas until there is a sure and steady supply of this natural gas. And it is a lot easier to get these facilities built in other countries where they don't have to go through the exhausting and sometimes, I would go so far to say, insane permitting process that we have to go through here in the United States.

    In fact, there is a company looking at putting in another LNG facility in Port Lavaca that is going to build the facility to liquefy the natural gas on a barge, pull it up, hook up to the pipeline, and liquefy it. This same barge technology can be used for re-gasification.

    You could literally pull a barge into a seaport in the Ukraine, hook up the ship, hook it up to a pipeline, and they could be receiving LNG in a very short order. So it is there for any country.

    And listen, there is this talk about how it could possibly run up energy prices and natural gas prices here in the United States. The liquefaction process consumes some of the natural gas. The numbers I hear vary from around 20 percent or so, and so it will always be cheaper to deliver the gas by pipeline here in the United States, so we will always have a competitive advantage with the natural gas that we produce.

    But we have got to have a market for that natural gas. Right now, pretty much the only natural gas we are seeing produced out of the Eagle Ford shale in Texas is produced with oil. You drill a well, you get both oil and gas.

    We have seen a huge dropoff in drilling for natural gas because the demand is so low and the supply is so high, to the point where we are drilling wells and we have discovered gas, and we shut that well then and don't produce it.

    We have got to strike while the iron is hot. We can help improve our balance of trade with the world. We can put people back to work, and it can all be done at no government expense. We have just got to get the regulators in Washington, D.C., out of our hair and let our country do this so we can improve the economy for everybody in America.

    [[Page H614]] We can have a much more secure economy. We can have people back to work. We can have a plentiful supply of energy for the foreseeable future.

    You have got Marcellus shale, you have got the Eagle Ford shale, you have got the Barnett shale, you have got Pennsylvania, you have got Texas, you have got North Dakota. There is plentiful natural gas. We need a market for it.

    By approving this rule and the underlying legislation, that will happen. Americans will go back to work, and America, as a whole, will prosper.

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