Congressman Ryan Votes to Expand Natural Gas Exports

Jun 26, 2014 Issues: Energy

Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Tim Ryan voted in support of H.R. 6, the Domestic Prosperity and Global Freedom Act, which will expedite and streamline the Department of Energy’s review process of applications to export Liquefied Natural Gas to non-Free Trade Agreement countries. Congressman Ryan, co-founder of the LNG Export Working Group, is the lead Democratic cosponsor of H.R. 6. Ryan supports LNG exports as a way to incentivize further investment in Ohio’s shale gas resources, increase natural gas use as an alternative to dirtier fossil fuels, and provide an alternative supply to our allies in Central Europe who are largely beholden to Russia.

As it stands now, the Department of Energy (DOE) will not make a decision on an application until a company has received their necessary environmental and construction permits from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). H.R. 6 ensures that applicants receive an answer from the Department of Energy within 30 days of receiving their FERC approval. Enactment of this bill will give these companies the certainty that, should they get through the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approval process and pass environmental reviews, they won’t have an additional arbitrary determination of “public interest” weighing over them and discouraging potential investors or customers. Should the approved facilities move forward with exporting Liquefied Natural Gas, the construction and operation of those facilities will directly create thousands of jobs, with many more supply chain and development jobs created in regions like the 13th Congressional District.

“I am pleased to have led the charge on the Democratic side, and that the Department of Energy followed by taking the initiative to streamline the application process. This legislation will complement their recent policy change to ensure that we can bring more export facilities online as soon as possible. Currently our nation is falling behind on the opportunity to sell our natural gas to some of the most critical overseas markets. This has enabled our international competitors to continue to reap profits – profits that we can and should be to earning right here in the United States. LNG production and exporting will bring economic growth and an influx of jobs to our nation and the state of Ohio. I am happy that the House passed this legislation and we are finally able to move forward with this process,” said Congressman Ryan.

It should be noted that H.R. 6 does not in any way change the FERC process or allow in any way for facilities to bypass an environmental impact study under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Allowing more American facilities to export LNG will incentivize further development and investment throughout the country, as well as facilitate increased utilization here through the subsequent increase in natural gas-related infrastructure, not to mention the billions of investment required to build the export terminals. The construction of more export facilities has the potential to create between 70,000 and 140,000 new American jobs.