The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has authorized the proposed Alaska LNG project (see Daily GPI, Nov. 19; July 21) to export to countries with which the United States has a free trade agreement (FTA).
FTA authorizations are presumed to be in the public interest and are routinely approved.
"This FTA license is good news for Alaska, but by law it had to be approved," said U.S. Sen Lisa Murkowski (R-AK). "The real test is the non-FTA license. I am watching the process carefully to ensure there are no unnecessary delays in approving exports to Japan and other non-FTA countries. I have said from the beginning that DOE should continue to consider Alaska gas exports on their own separate track -- as they always have."
The Alaska project backers and the state have argued that their pipeline and export project should not have to wait in the same queue at DOE as projects in the Lower 48 as the Alaska project is necessary to commercialize gas that otherwise would be stranded.