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Proposed LNG Export Rules Be Extended to 120 Days

WASHINGTON, DC – June 17, 2014 – America’s Energy Advantage today requested an extension of the public comment period to 120 days for the Department’s proposed changes to its LNG export approval process that were announced recently.

“Given the rule’s scope, complexity and impact, our organization and its member companies respectfully request that the Department of Energy extend the comment period to 120 days, in order to ensure the process allows for ample time for all stakeholders to review and comment on the proposal’s implications on the domestic economy,” wrote America’s Energy Advantage.

The coalition also asked the Department to consider a number of macro developments and trends, including:

  • New EPA Carbon Rules: The EPA’s new greenhouse gas standards affecting 600 existing coal-fired power plants will cause massive and sustained increases in domestic natural gas demand. A recent analysis by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce projects that the new regulations would result in the use of natural gas soaring to 46 percent of total electricity generation by 2030 from about 27 percent now.
  • DOE Has Approved LNG Exports Well Beyond the “High-Export” Scenario: The Department of Energy has conditionally approved a volume of LNG exports that would make the U.S. the largest LNG exporting nation in the world, surpassing Qatar. The volume of LNG exports approved goes well beyond the “high-export” scenario evaluated in the 2012 NERA report, which itself predicted consumer price increases of as much as 54 percent. Price increases of this scale could translate into more than $60 billion a year in higher energy costs for American consumers and businesses.
  • Domestic Natural Gas Supplies Are at Their Lowest Levels in 11 Years: At 826 billion cubic feet, natural-gas supplies stand at their lowest level in 11 years, according to the Energy Information Administration. Some analysts are bracing for potential shortages next winter if producers cannot replace stockpiles fast enough. Parts of the U.S. experienced natural gas shortages in 2013 due to the unusually harsh winter, underscoring strong and continued domestic demand for this strategic resource.
  • U.S. Could Exhaust “Economically Recoverable” Natural Gas Supplies in 16 Years: According to a May 18th, 2014 article in The Financial Times, Garten Rothkopf, an international advisory firm projected that “the U.S. is set to exhaust its supply of ‘economically recoverable’ natural gas supplies by 2030...”

In addition to Secretary Moniz, the letter was also sent to Michael Froman, Ambassador, United States Trade Representative; Melanie Kenderdine, Director for Energy Policy & Systems Analysis, Department of Energy; Jonathan Levy, Deputy Chief of Staff, Department of Energy; Dan Utech, Deputy Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change; Steve Ricchetti, Counselor to the Vice President; Jeffrey Zients, Director, National Economic Council.

About America's Energy Advantage
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. Our organization is a strong supporter of rules-based free trade and believes that open markets create new opportunities for economic growth and higher standards of living for all Americans. AEA is dedicated to educating the American public about the growth in American manufacturing that has been made possible by our country's abundant and affordable supply of natural gas.