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Sen. Cruz Introduces Bill to Champion America’s Energy Renaissance

Natural Gas Export Expansion Act will increase LNG exports, strengthen American energy security

June 26, 2017

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WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) today announced the Natural Gas Export Expansion Act, which will eliminate the current arduous process that discourages liquefied natural gas (LNG) trade and increase LNG exports by facilitating permits to non-Free Trade Agreement (FTA) countries. As the White House promotes this week as "Energy Week" to highlight the importance of natural gas exports, this legislation offers an effective vehicle to fortify our nation's energy security, harness our energy resources, reduce our energy dependence on unfriendly nations, and strengthen America's strategic and economic relationship with our overseas partners.

"The United States is reaping the rewards of the American energy renaissance as the world's top petroleum and natural gas producer, and Texas leads the nation in output," Sen. Cruz said. "While the new Administration has taken a number of positive steps to remove federal impediments to energy exploration, development, and trade, Congress must also do its part to continue advancing America's energy renaissance. Expedited LNG exports will strengthen our position against current and potential foes of America, and benefit our friends and allies around the world, while driving down energy costs at home. Right now, this is particularly important to families across Texas and the nation, as they budget for travel and gasoline costs for their summer vacations."

According to energy industry analysts, the U.S. will be a net natural gas exporter by next year, largely due to its exports of LNG. Earlier this month, in a milestone for America's energy security, the first LNG shipment from the U.S. arrived in Poland, reducing that country's reliance on imports from Russia.

The current review process for an application to export LNG to non-FTA countries can take years. For example, a Texas company that filed its initial application in October 2012 did not receive Department of Energy approval to export LNG to non-FTA countries until April 2017 - nearly five years later.

Specifically, the Natural Gas Export Expansion Act proposes the following:
• Amend the Natural Gas Act to expedite non-FTA export permits. By doing so, applications to export LNG to certain non-Free Trade Agreement countries are treated the same as free trade countries and "deemed to be consistent with the public interest."
• Retain current law for restricted nations. Any nation subject to sanctions or trade restrictions is specifically excluded, and the President or Congress can specifically exclude any nation from expedited approval.

Sen. Cruz has long advocated for the expansion of LNG exports, a key component to the American Energy Renaissance Act that he introduced in 2015.

Full text of Sen. Cruz's Natural Gas Export Expansion Act may be viewed here.

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