Marco Rubio Introduces Bill to Expedite Natural Gas Exports

Last week, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., introduced the “Expediting Natural Gas Exports to Allies Act.

The bill will “expand expedited export approval processes under the Natural Gas Act to projects intended to supply allies and key strategic partners like Ukraine and Taiwan, which are threatened by aggression from the Kremlin and the Chinese Communist Party.” The bill would include North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) members as well as Australia, Cyprus, Finland, Israel, Japan, Moldova, New Zealand, South Korea, Sweden, Taiwan and Ukraine.

“Under the Natural Gas Act, securing approval for export projects can take several years. However, there are currently mechanisms under the authority to expedite approval for Free Trade Agreement (FTA) countries, as exports to FTA partners are considered “consistent with public interest” by law,” Rubio’s office noted.

“Too many of our allies have allowed themselves to become dangerously dependent on Russian natural gas,” Rubio said. “Expediting the approval of U.S. natural gas exports to allies and strategic partners is a common-sense step to reduce our allies’ economic reliance on strategic adversaries while creating more jobs for Americans at home.”

U.S. Sens. Bill Cassidy, R-La., and Mike Rounds, R-SD, are co-sponsoring the bill.

“Exporting U.S. natural gas strengthens our allies, benefits our economy, and creates good-paying jobs right here in Louisiana,” Cassidy said. “Not to mention, American natural gas is cleaner burning and produced with less emissions than in Russia.”

“Our allies in Europe and around the world must not be dependent upon Russia to meet their energy needs,” Rounds said. “This legislation would expedite the approval of natural gas exports to our allies and strategic partners and protect them from Putin’s blackmail. Our nation’s abundant natural resources are a powerful tool on the world stage. I look forward to working with Senator Rubio to advance this legislation and other solutions intended to bolster job creation in the U.S. energy sector and advance our national security interests.”

The bill was sent to the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. So far, there is no companion bill over in the U.S. House.

Kevin Derby
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