Washington: Five pro-energy US Senators have asked President Barack Obama to impress upon the energy department to quicken the approval of applications for export licenses for natural gas to key American allies and friends.
“As the turmoil in Ukraine continues, a number of our NATO allies in the region have expressed serious concerns about the vulnerability of their own natural gas supplies and the impacts of the current limited US export policy,” the five Senators said in a letter to Obama.
The letter dated on May 5 was signed by Senators Mark Begich, Mark Landrien, Mark Begich, Heidi Heitkamp, and Tom Udall.
“Our allies have emphasised that a strong market signal from the United States that it is a willing future supplier of LNG, even if those supplies are not immediately available, would have profound, positive and immediate strategic implications,” the Senators wrote.
The letter also pressed the US Department of Energy to place additional weight upon the national security merits of each pending permit, including the ongoing crisis in Eastern Europe, devote additional resources to the approval process to eliminate administrative bottlenecks, accelerate and prioritise the consideration of projects that have concrete capital commitments.
The Senators noted that there is broad bipartisan and bicameral consensus on the need to expedite and expand US liquefied natural gas exports. The letter builds on recent efforts in the US Senate and US House of Representatives to find a common-sense way forward.
Begich has introduced legislation to speed permitting for an all-Alaska natural gas pipeline and LNG project, as well as expanding US natural gas exports to allies overseas.