Six Senate Democrats representing coastal states introduced legislation Tuesday to repeal the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct), which gave FERC the authority to determine the need for and location of liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminals.

Prior to EPAct, decisions affecting LNG facilities had historically been decided by siting agencies in individual states, according to the sponsors of the legislation. The sponsors are Sens. Ron Wyden of Oregon, Chris Dodd of Connecticut, Maria Cantwell of Washington, Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, Ben Cardin of Maryland and Jeff Merkley of Oregon.

The senators have been openly opposed to LNG projects that have been approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) or are still pending before the agency, including the AES Sparrows Point proposed LNG important terminal in Baltimore County, MD; the Weaver’s Cove LNG facility proposed for Fall River, MA; NorthernStar Natural Gas Corp.’s Bradwood Landing LNG terminal proposed along the Columbia River in Oregon; and the Jordan Cove LNG terminal, also proposed for Oregon.

“Oregonians have said time and again that they don’t want some federal agency 3,000 miles away forcing LNG terminals on them. I’m not going to stop until Oregonians get to decide whether or not they need LNG terminals and, if they do, where to put them,” Wyden said.

“I am adamantly opposed to an LNG facility at Sparrows Point, and deeply disappointed by FERC’s response to it. I found FERC all too eager to rubber stamp the project despite the significant and very real concerns of Baltimore residents and the state of Maryland,” Mikulski said.

“FERC has totally disregarded the safety risks of locating a LNG facility in a densely populated urban area or what the substantial upgrades to security would entail,” Cardin added.

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