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Letter of Opposition to H.R. 6, “The domestic prosperity and global freedom act”

September 15, 2014

The Honorable John A. Boehner
Speaker of the House
H-232 U.S. Capitol
Washington DC, 20515

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Democratic Leader
H-204 U.S. Capitol
Washington, DC 20515

RE:  Letter of Opposition to H.R. 6, “The domestic prosperity and global freedom act”

Dear Speaker Boehner and Leader Pelosi:

America’s Energy Advantage (AEA) is a trade association representing many of the world’s leading manufacturers and commodity producers, as well as the United States’ publicly-owned natural gas distribution companies. As a strong supporter of rules based trade that is consistent with the public interest, we are writing to voice our opposition to H.R. 6, legislation that will harm economic growth, job creation and American manufacturing. We appreciate your consideration of our views.  

The Majority Leader has announced that the House of Representatives will vote on a package of energy bills this week, including H.R. 6. You will recall that America’s Energy Advantage opposed H.R. 6 when it was first considered in June. AEA remains opposed to the legislation because it makes unnecessary and harmful changes to the Natural Gas Act. The legislation would undermine the Department of Energy’s (DOE) ability to protect American consumers, manufactures and the economy from price spikes and supply disruptions in the natural gas marketplace and will harm the public interest generally.  

As we have repeatedly stated, allowing the unlimited and unchecked export of LNG to nations that have yet to sign free trade agreements with the U.S. will undermine the efforts of trade negotiators to open closed markets to all American goods and services. Why should the United States send American natural gas to our overseas competitors – an incredibly valuable strategic commodity – without receiving any trade concession in return?  A far more sensible approach would be to leverage our trading partners’ desire for this resource to win greater market access to these often-closed economies.     

Equally concerning is that H.R. 6 establishes an arbitrary timeline for DOE to decide on LNG export applications. Such a deadline would not provide DOE with adequate time to review the complex economic issues at stake.  

In approaching the complex decision of how much American natural gas should be exported to our global competitors, especially those who have not yet negotiated reciprocal free trade agreements, the United States should consider the aggregate impact that large-scale natural gas exports will have on the U.S. domestic gas supply. Most importantly, these decisions must be made in accordance with the public interest and not until DOE finalizes the release of a new independent peer reviewed economic study. 

The benefits of America’s natural gas abundance to our domestic economy – robust job creation, manufacturing investment, affordable consumer prices and lower utility bills – are in the public interest of all Americans, and the export volume of this valuable national resource should be considered in that light. A strong American economy commands a position of strength in an increasingly dangerous and volatile world. We encourage all Members of the House of Representatives to oppose H.R. 6.

Thank you for your consideration of our views.

America’s Energy Advantage