WASHINGTON, April 10 (UPI) -- A move to clear the backlog of permits for U.S LNG exports will protect its allies and stimulate the economy, the American Petroleum Institute said.
Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., introduced a measure that would clear permits pending at the Energy Department for exports of liquefied natural gas to countries that don't have a free-trade agreement with the United States.
API President Jack Gerard said the measure takes advantage of the momentum in the U.S. natural gas sector.
"The U.S. is the world’s top producer of natural gas, and allies around the globe are looking to America for leadership on energy issues," he said in a statement Wednesday. "Now is the time to tear down our own bureaucratic hurdles to trade, create thousands of new American jobs, and strengthen our position as an energy superpower."
Critics of additional LNG exports worry it would result in more hydraulic fracturing, the controversial drilling practice known also as fracking, and potentially lead to higher domestic energy prices.
LNG exports to non-FTA countries are weighed by the Energy Department against the public's interest.
"LNG exports can truly be both a foreign policy success story and an economic policy success story, and comes at a time we can use a heck of a lot more of both," Gardner said.