Sen. Barrasso proposes bill to simplify natural gas exports

Feb 6, 2013

US Senator John Barrasso is sponsoring a bill meant to expedite the process of shipping liquefied natural gas, or LNG, abroad. Currently, the Secretary of Energy has to sign off on LNG exports to countries included in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, as well as Japan, and open a comment period for exports to nations not part of NATO. The bill would allow the secretary to skip the comment period if the secretaries of state and defense agree that exports to a specific, non-NATO country are in the national security interest of the US. Barrasso says if the bill passes it would be good for Wyoming:

“I’m always looking for ways to expand markets and opportunities for Wyoming products, and specifically for natural gas. So this is a bi-partisan bill and the idea is it’s going to make it easier to export our natural gas overseas.”

Natural gas production is booming in the US, but LNG trade is limited by the lack of export terminals. Currently, there are 11 existing terminals, seven approved terminals, and more than a dozen proposals for new facilities.

The American Public Gas Association sent Barrasso a letter saying domestic prices for natural gas will go up if the bill passes.