LNG Export Approvals, Market Impacts

November 8, 2011

“Thank you all for coming today.  The subject of this hearing is to discuss liquefied natural gas, or LNG, and what role it might play in the future of the U.S. natural gas industry.


“We had a hearing in 2005 on the future of LNG.  And the hearing topic from 2005 and today sound similar; however, in 2005 we were thinking about anticipating need to import growing quantities of LNG.  Today, we’re thinking about what role LNG exports might play in our energy future.


“As I see it, there are two main objectives of our hearing today.  First, it’s important to understand the laws and regulations that govern LNG exports.  Those laws were put into place assuming the United States would be an importing country, not an exporting country.   Therefore, it probably makes sense to take a new look at them in light of the new market situation.


“Second, it is important to understand how exports might affect the domestic natural gas market.  The implications of increased gas exports for U.S. job creation and balance of payments could be very positive.


“At the same time, I note that U.S. energy security requires reliable and affordable energy prices, not just reliable supplies.  Therefore, understanding how exports might affect domestic prices is also critical.  Currently, U.S. natural gas prices are considerably lower than prices in most of the rest of the world.  How can we ensure that our export policy is consistent with our continued ability to reap the benefits of our newfound abundance of natural gas? 


“I thank the witnesses for coming to share their perspectives today, and let me defer to Sen. Murkowski for any opening statement she might have.”


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