CLNG President Bill Cooper tells me that he supports the official federal review process for LNG export permits. But he’s concerned about the ” de facto moratorium” on permit approvals.
The U.S. Department of Energy, the agency responsible for approving LNG export permits, has stalled the review process until a report on the economic impacts of exports is completed. That report was originally expected earlier this year, but has been postponed until after the election.
“It’s not that we want them to rush the projects. We just want to see the process restart again,” Cooper said. “It’s getting serious with the delays.”
Cooper says plans for the CLNG campaign started several months ago, before the recent DOE delays. He said he goal always has been to raise public awareness about the economic benefits of LNG exports and combat concerns about raising energy prices domestically.
“There was a fair amount of misinformation out there about what it would do to prices,” Cooper said.
He said there’s no tie to the presidential election. The website is CLNG’s only campaign plan for now.
The Center for Liquefied Natural Gas has started a campaign to support LNG exports, a contentious issue that pits U.S. natural gas producers against domestic manufacturers who depend on the fuel.
Weeks before Election Day, the trade association for LNG producers, shippers and terminal operators has launched a website to promote the sale of U.S. natural gas overseas as an economic boon that will create thousands of jobs in the country.
Political wrangling over the issue has grown this year. Lawmakers in natural gas-producing states have turned up the heat on the Obama Administration, which has delayed its decision on export permits until after the election.
The new CLNG site touts LNG as a safe and environmentally friendly fuel.
“A revolution in American energy has unlocked a vast supply of natural gas, more than enough to meet the needs of our country for generations to come,” said CLNG President Bill Cooper in a written statement. “We can continue to harness this important resource for our domestic needs while also selling some to our trading partners. This will grow our economy, revitalize our manufacturing sector, and create tens of thousands of American jobs.”
Cooper touted exports as a win for manufacturers, some of whom have opposed exports because of the potential impact on prices. Expanding the customer base for U.S. natural gas by selling it overseas will make it a more expensive commodity for domestic manufacturers, some have said.
But Cooper argues that exporting natural gas will lead to more production and grow demand for oil field equipment and infrastructure, supplied by U.S. manufacturers.
“Billions of dollars will be invested in manufactured goods like steel, turbines and pipeline equipment that are all made here in the United States,” he said.