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GOP pushes again to ease LNG exports

House measure mirrors several bills already introduced in 114th Congress.

By
Daniel J. Graeber

WASHINGTON, Jan. 15 (UPI) -- A bill putting a time limit on applications for permits to build U.S. facilities to export liquefied natural gas removes bureaucratic hurdles, its sponsor said.

Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Ohio, introduced a measure that would put a 30-day deadline on the Department of Energy to issue a permit for LNG export facilities. If passed, the bill would bring certainty to federal processes and remove bureaucratic delays, he said. Johnson's measure mirrors a series of efforts by the Republican-led Congress to take advantage of what House leaders describe as an era of abundance.

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"With our vast LNG resources, we have a chance to help our global allies and ourselves, and this bipartisan bill will ensure we don't squander the opportunity before us," House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., said Wednesday.

NERA Economic Consulting produced a report under a commission from the Energy Department in 2012 assessing the economic impacts of more LNG exports. The report stated that potential exports of liquefied natural gas could have "net economic benefits" for the United States but not affect the country's overall employment picture.

Johnson, however, said the construction of new LNG export projects would create up to 45,000 new jobs by 2018.

A special permit is needed for LNG exports to countries that don't have a free-trade agreement with the United States.

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