Today, the Senate passed S. 2012, The Energy Policy Modernization Act, by a vote of 85-12.
Among other issues, the bill brings greater regulatory certainty to the United States’ liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry by requiring that the Department of Energy (DOE) issue a permitting decision within 45 days of an export project’s completion of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review.
The bill will now move to Conference, where it will be merged with H.R. 8, The North American Energy Security and Infrastructure Act, which similarly received bipartisan support from the House of Representatives last year. Under the terms of H.R. 8, the DOE must reach a decision within 30 days of the conclusion of NEPA.
Commenting on the announcement, Center for Liquefied Natural Gas (CLNG) Executive Director Charlie Riedl said,
“After CLNG first initiated the call for legislation in the last Congress, today’s vote represents a watershed moment for the United States’ liquefied natural gas industry. The crucial point about this legislation, and indeed the bill that passed the House last year, is that it will provide the industry with confidence in the regulatory process. Project developers should know that they have a rock-solid timeframe to work with, and that certainty is crucial for these large, complex, capital-intensive investments in the U.S. economy. This legislation will help catalyze the fast-maturing domestic LNG industry.
As the leading industry voice on this issue, CLNG thanks allies and bipartisan leadership in the Senate, especially Senators Lisa Murkowski and Maria Cantwell, for their efforts. Today’s vote is a big step forward, and we hope LNG exports will continue to receive bipartisan support as it advances in the legislative process.”