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Sen. Cruz Introduces Bill to Ensure Access to Liquefied Natural Gas Transported by Rail

‘LNG by rail gives Americans -- particularly those who are limited with energy choices because of geography -- an affordable option to meet their energy needs’

March 25, 2021

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WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), John Kennedy (R-La.), and Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) today introduced legislation that would ensure Americans continue to have access to liquefied natural gas (LNG) transported by rail. The bill effectively codifies a June 2020 Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) rule allowing the bulk transportation of liquefied natural gas by rail. It prohibits the Secretary of Transportation from restricting the activities permitted in the PHMSA rule and prevents any new Department of Transportation (DOT) rules that more broadly prohibit LNG by rail.

Upon introduction, Sen. Cruz said:

"America leads the world in reducing carbon emissions. In fact, Dr. Faith Birol, head of the International Energy Agency, referred to the United States' recent emissions reductions as ‘the largest in the history of energy.' Much of this success is due to the United States' development and use of natural gas. The energy renaissance we are seeking in this country is producing enormous environmental benefits. LNG by rail gives Americans - particularly those who are limited with energy choices because of geography - an affordable option to meet their energy needs."

BACKGROUND

Domestic transportation of natural gas occurs mainly by pipeline, but certain parts of the U.S. that do not have sufficient pipeline capacity, such as areas in the Northeast, lose critical access to LNG.

Although pipeline developers are expanding the nation's pipeline network, proposed pipelines in some regions have encountered siting challenges. LNG by rail provides another means to supply markets where pipeline capacity is constrained.

Specifically, the bill:

  • Prevents the Secretary of Transportation from issuing any regulation that "restricts or contracts the scope of allowance" included in the June 2020 PHMSA rule;
  • Prevents the Secretary of Transportation from issuing any future regulation that prohibits the transportation LNG by rail.
  • Ensures that Secretary retains the power to issue an short-term emergency orders governing the transportation of LNG by rail.

Read the full text of the bill here.

 

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