RICHMOND, Va., Sept. 12 (UPI) -- A U.S. government decision to approve natural gas exports for non-Free Trade Agreement countries is "good news on many fronts," energy company Dominion said.
Dominion received consent to export gas from its liquefied natural gas facility on the Chesapeake Bay.
"It is good news on many fronts, including the thousands of jobs that will be created, the boost in government revenues that will result, and the support it provides to allied nations," Dominion Chief Executive Officer Thomas Farrell said in a statement.
The Department of Energy gave its conditional approval Wednesday.
"Subject to environmental review and final regulatory approval, the facility is conditionally authorized to export at a rate of up to 0.77 billion cubic feet of natural gas a day for a period of 20 years," a DOE statement said.
The department needs to determine if LNG exports to non-FTA countries are in the public interest before consenting to export licenses.
U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz expressed support for LNG when he took office in May. The nod for Dominion is the fourth such approval for LNG exports targeting countries that do not have a free trade agreement with the United States.
Critics of LNG exports say it could lead to higher domestic natural gas prices and force consumers to use cheaper coal. Supporters say it would give the United States a competitive edge on the global market.
There are 18 applications for LNG exports still under review.