Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE) has re-introduced legislation aimed at fostering meaningful expansion of the nation’s capacity to receive liquefied natural gas (LNG). The bill is “exactly similar” to the one that the House lawmaker introduced last May (see Daily GPI, May 21, 2004).
The measure (HR 359) would place jurisdiction for the siting of LNG import terminals with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, ending existing jurisdictional conflicts; make FERC the lead agency for carrying out environmental reviews of LNG projects; clarify the role of states in the siting, construction, expansion or operation of LNG import terminals; set a deadline of one year for review of LNG terminal applications; allow FERC to set a schedule for completion of all federal and state administrative proceedings related to an LNG project; and codify a FERC ruling exempting LNG terminals from the agency’s open-access requirements.
Terry is “pretty darn confident” that most of the proposed LNG bill will be “strongly considered” for inclusion in the House energy bill, said Jamie Karl, legislative director for Terry.
Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said last week that he is shooting to have a House vote on new energy legislation by Presidents’ Day. Both the Bush White House and House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) reportedly are pressing Barton for early action on a broad energy bill.
Co-sponsoring the legislation, the “Liquefied Natural Gas Act,” are Reps. Devin Nunes (R-CA), Charles Gonzales (D-TX), Phil English (R-PA), Joe Wilson (R-SC), Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD) and Steven LaTourette (R-OH).
“LNG needs to play a more important role in our energy mix. Our bill will allow for substantial input by all parties, but not unwarranted and open-ended delays,” Terry said.
FERC estimates that approximately 40 LNG terminals are in various stages of planning throughout North America, he noted. But “parochial opposition and industry concerns about FERC regulation have delayed or derailed many of these plans.”
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