WASHINGTON, Sept. 11 (UPI) -- Despite a nod for southern U.S. LNG exports, the application backlog needs clearing to strengthen U.S. leverage, the American Petroleum Institute said.
API Upstream Director Erik Milito welcomed a decision from the U.S. Energy Department to allow for exports of liquefied natural gas from projects in Cameron Parish, La., and Marion County, Fla.
"But dozens of other permits still face lengthy delays," he said in a statement Wednesday. "We urge the administration to accelerate this process and work with leaders in Congress who have shown they are ready to strengthen America's position as an energy superpower."
Bills that have passed through the U.S. House of Representatives tied LNG exports to overseas leverage in the foreign policy and economic arenas, a sentiment backed by API.
The Cameron LNG project and the Carib Energy project in Florida were cleared for LNG exports to countries like those in the European Union that don't have a free-trade agreement with the United States.
Combined, the two facilities can export the equivalent of nearly 1.8 billion cubic feet natural gas per day from domestic reserves. The International Energy Agency expressed doubt over the claimed benefits of U.S. LNG. Critics in the United States argue exports would lead to more environmental problems associated with hydraulic fracturing.