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API official: Get LNG export licenses approved

WASHINGTON, Oct. 11 (UPI) -- An American Petroleum Institute official urged the U.S. government to speed up the pace of approving export facilities for liquefied natural gas.

"There is a global race to build this infrastructure and secure a competitive position in the international market," Erik Milito, director of the upstream sector for API, said in a statement Thursday.

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"These terminals would allow other nations to purchase a valuable American product, support U.S. exports and help reduce global emissions."

API produced a Web-based map highlighting planned and approved LNG export projects. Eight of 21 pending applications are for projects along the southern Texas coast.

The U.S. government needs to determine if LNG exports to countries that don't have a free-trade agreement with the United States are in the public interest before consenting to some of the export licenses under review. U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz expressed support for LNG exports when he took office in May.

Critics of LNG exports say they could lead to higher domestic natural gas prices and force consumers to use cheaper coal.

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