The US House Oversight and Government Reform Committee held a hearing on the approval process for exporting LNG to non-free trade agreement countries on Tuesday. One approval has thus far been granted to export LNG to non-free trade agreement nations and several are currently pending. Proponents of LNG exports are anxious to get projects running before the global LNG market tightens as major LNG export projects come on stream in other parts of the world, particularly Australia.

Here are a few highlight from the hearing courtesy of the Center for Liquefied Natural Gas:

  • Rep. James Lankford, Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Energy Policy, Health Care, and Entitlements: “For decades energy has been used as a diplomatic tool against the U.S. Now with LNG, the U.S. has the potential to flip that and be in a position to use energy as a tool to the benefit of our nation’s strategic interests. … Uncertainty destabilizes a free-market economy. It is time to provide timelines, decision making criteria and show the fairness of the process to everyone involved.”
  • Charles Ebinger, Brookings Institute: “I still believe that the benefits of U.S. LNG exports are, on balance, a benefit to the United States; that the United States still has the responsibility and the incentive to be an advocate for free trade; and that the U.S. government should not intervene in what should be a market-driven process.”
  • Thomas Choi, Deloitte Market Point: “Global markets can determine the economically viable volume of LNG exports. … [G]lobal markets will likely limit the volume of economically viable U.S. LNG exports even in the absence of policy restrictions.”

The hearing can be viewed in its entirety here.