DOE Approval Good News, But We Can Do Better

By February 11, 2014Energy

This morning the Department of Energy (DOE) authorized another export terminal, Cameron LNG, LLC, to export domestically produced liquefied natural gas (LNG) to non-Free Trade Agreement (FTA) countries. Manufaturers applaud the DOE’s move, but the process is still taking far too long and continues to put the remaining 19 or so applications at a disadvantage.

We encourage the agency to continue to process these permits in an expeditious fashion. When it comes to energy exports, manufacturers support free trade and open markets; we believe the free market can and will work if given the chance. However, it can only work if the government does not erect regulatory barriers that result in winners and losers.

The law requires the Department of Energy to make an up-or-down national interest determination for each project on a case-by-case basis. Each project deserves the fairness of an up-or-down decision in a prompt fashion. In December 2013 the NAM released a report by James Bacchus the former World Trade Organization (WTO) Appellate Body Chairman. Bacchus concluded in this report that the implementations of U.S. rules in ways that unnecessarily impede exports of LNG likely violate WTO trade rules.

Bacchus went on to say, “The United States has always been a strong advocate of rules that forbid export restrictions and has been forceful in challenging export restrictions imposed by other countries,” said Bacchus. “In short, the tables may be turned on the United States directly in the WTO, but also through other countries walking away from core principles that have long been critical to U.S. success in the global economy.”

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