Skip to content

Sens. Cruz, Capito, Cramer, Kennedy Fight to Expedite U.S. Natural Gas Exports

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, along with Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), and John Kennedy (R-La.), reintroduced the Natural Gas Export Expansion Act, which would expedite the federal approval process for exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG) and increase free trade, particularly as European countries are rapidly seeking new sources of clean, reliable energy. in addition to creating and supporting thousands of domestic jobs, this legislation would help to fortify our nation’s energy security, reduce emissions at home and abroad, and strengthen America’s strategic and economic relationship with our allies.

Sen. Cruz previously introduced the bill in 2021.

About the bill, Sen. Cruz said:

“Thanks to the United States’ innovation and use of clean natural gas, America leads the world in reducing carbon emissions. By exporting U.S. LNG, the United States creates thousands of jobs at home, reduces global emissions, and promotes energy independence from those who use it as a weapon to exert control over importing countries.”

Sen. Kennedy said:

“Louisiana is the nation’s number one exporter of liquefied natural gas, but we’re taking a beating at the hands of President Biden. LNG exports sustain Louisiana jobs, promote America’s energy independence and reduce global emissions. We should make it easier – not harder – to export American LNG, and that’s what this bill would do.”

Sen. Capito said:

“Since first introducing this legislation in 2021, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has only further highlighted the urgency for the U.S. to expedite the permitting process for the exportation of natural gas to our allies. This legislation would not only advance West Virginia’s energy sector and create many new jobs, but it would also ensure that our allies do not have to rely on rogue nations for their energy needs.”

Sen. Cramer said:

“I am a firm believer energy security is national security and exporting liquefied natural gas strengthens our geopolitical hand. Our bill would eliminate onerous regulations surrounding the American liquefied natural gas industry and encourage our producers to sell their premier product around the world. Effectively, it would help keep people safe, keep our workers employed in good paying jobs, lower global emissions, and get a much-needed product to market.”


Specifically, the Natural Gas Export Expansion Act:

  • Amends the Natural Gas Act to expedite non-free trade agreement (FTA) export permits. By doing so, applications to export LNG to certain countries are treated the same as free trade countries and receive the same accelerated approval process.
  • Retains 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.
  • Read the bill here.

Sen. Cruz has worked to ensure that the Biden administration authorized LNG export permits, holding administration nominees at the Department of Energy to pressure the Biden administration to authorize new permits in a timely manner.

  • In December 2022, Sen. Cruz held four Energy nominees until the Biden administration authorized two export licenses for Sempra Energy, which will allow for the first major West Coast/Pacific LNG export facility taking U.S. natural gas from Western states and Texas, transporting via pipeline to Mexico, and exporting the LNG by ship directly to Asia.
  • Sen. Cruz previously held Biden nominees until the Department of Energy approved several LNG export permits along the Gulf Coast, including Golden Pass LNG in Houston.

U.S. LNG exports reached all-time highs last year with the U.S. exporting to a record 38 countries.

Historically, the review process for an application to export LNG to non-FTA countries can take several 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. While the previous administration greatly reduced the processing time for non-FTA permits, Congress must provide greater certainty and help ensure that the review process is not arbitrarily again lengthened.

Importantly, the modern use of clean, abundant natural gas is the leading cause of the U.S. reducing its carbon emissions year after year since peaking in 2007. The U.S. has one of the lowest methane emissions levels from natural gas production. Since 1990 methane emissions have decreased nearly 25 percent – all while natural gas production more than doubled.



Related Issues

  1. Energy and Environment