State commissioners have joined the ranks of those touting the wonders of imported liquefied natural gas (LNG). The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), noting the importance of increasing natural gas supplies, passed a resolution at its summer meeting last Wednesday encouraging cooperation of state and federal agencies in the siting of LNG regasification terminals.

The NARUC resolution calls for “coordination among state agencies that oversee permitting for regasification, and between local, state and federal government agencies, in order to facilitate and streamline regasification terminal permitting.” Further, the group urges individual states to hold public hearings to educate consumers and stakeholders on the safety and benefits of LNG.

The group acknowledged concerns about the adequacy of domestic gas supplies, noting the U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates that the U.S. could face a gap in supply of natural gas of about 5 Tcf by 2020. It advised that new LNG terminals need to be expeditiously approved and put in service “to help bridge the potential supply gap.”

The NARUC resolution drew praise from the Natural Gas Supply Association. “By adopting a resolution today in support of expanding LNG supplies, the state commissioners are sending a signal that they’re committed to helping their consumers take full advantage of a global natural gas marketplace,” Skip Horvath, NGSA president, said. “LNG imports represent an increasingly viable way to help meet the nation’s future energy needs at more competitive prices.”

Notably, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan recently has led administration support for increased imports of LNG.

©Copyright 2003 Intelligence Press Inc. Allrights reserved. The preceding news report may not be republishedor redistributed, in whole or in part, in any form, without priorwritten consent of Intelligence Press, Inc.