UH Law Energy Scholar Comments on U.S. Exports of Liquified Natural Gas
According to a Reply Comment (#168) submitted by Susan L. Sakmar, an Andrews Kurth Energy Scholar, Visiting Law Professor at the University of Houston School of Law and author of the forthcoming book on LNG, Energy for the 21st Century: Opportunities and Challenges for LNG, the public is divided as to whether or not these factors favor LNG exports. Three main positions emerged from a review of the initial submittedcomments: (1) LNG exporters and energy companies support unlimited LNG exports on the basis that the 2012 LNG Export Study found that under all scenarios considered, the United States will benefit economically from the international sale of LNG; (2) environmental groups such as the Sierra Club and some members of the general public oppose LNG exports since it will lead to more shale gas development and “fracking”; and (3) industrial users of natural gas, such as Alcoa, Dow Chemical, and the Industrial Energy Consumers of America (IECA) argue against allowing “unfettered” LNG exports which might lead to large price spikes or shocks.
After reviewing the totality of the arguments raised in the comments, and after noting that just one project (Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass Liquefaction project) has received DOE approval to export LNG to non-FTA countries while a number of other export projects have had their applications effectively on hold for years, Professor Sakmar offers the following recommendations to advance the export approval process while ensuring that the DOE fulfills its mandate to protect the “public’s interest”:
The Initial Comments and Reply Comments are available on the DOE’s website at http://fossil.energy.gov/programs/gasregulation/LNGStudy.html.