This bill — the Ensuring Small Scale LNG Certainty and Access Act — would grant applications for imports and exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) that don’t exceed 0.14 billion cubic feet per day without modification or delay. The approval of such an application would mean that an environmental impact statement or environmental assessment wouldn’t be required for the project to proceed. It would codify a Dept. of Energy rule that took effect on August 24, 2018 into law.
- Not enactedThe President has not signed this bill
- The senate has not voted
- The house has not voted
Committee on Energy and CommerceIntroducedMarch 18th, 2019
- house Committees
What is House Bill H.R. 1836?
Cost of House Bill H.R. 1836
In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) reintroduced this bill from the 115th Congress to expedite the approval of natural gas exports equal to or less than 51.1 billion cubic feet per year:
"With America’s vast natural gas reserves, JAXPORT in North Central Florida is in a position to be a valuable trading hub to meet global demand for Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) exports. At the end of 2018, demand for LNG has seen a sixty-percent increase from what it was in 2017. We must capitalize on the growth of this energy sector. Jacksonville is an ideal location to service the needs of the Caribbean, South America, and the rest of the world with abundant, clean-burning American natural gas. This will not only mean good paying jobs regionally but increased economic benefits for our state economy as well.”
Original cosponsor Rep. Michael Waltz (R-FL) adds that this bill is especially important now, in order to give South and Central American countries an alternative to Venezuelan oil (which helps prop up the Maduro regime). Rep. Waltz notes, "South and Central American countries have limited alternatives to Maduro’s socialist oil for energy resources. This bill makes American liquefied natural gas accessible and cost-effective to regional allies that no longer want to rely on Venezuelan oil.”
Sen. Bill Cassidy, the lead sponsor of this bill's Senate companion and Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy, adds:
“This bill unleashes American natural gas potential, creating well-paying jobs with good benefits for families in Louisiana. Increasing small-scale natural gas shipments creates American jobs, improves Caribbean energy security and lowers greenhouse gas emissions as nations transition to clean burning natural gas.”
Last Congress, Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH) introduced this bill to encourage exports of American-produced LNG:
“The U.S. is currently the world’s largest producer of natural gas, with trillions of cubic feet of recoverable natural gas beneath our feet. We should be doing all we can to take advantage of this abundant resource, and it is my hope that these bills will help further that goal. It’s critical that we take advantage of this opportunity that we’ve been blessed with -- there is no doubt that LNG exports are creating opportunities and improving the quality of life for hard-working families in Eastern and Southeastern Ohio.”
In the 115th Congress, some House Democrats opposed this bill in committee, writing in their report:
“Ultimately, [this] is a bill in search of a problem. It would prematurely and unnecessarily enshrine a Trump Administration pro-fossil fuel proposed rule into law. Approving another bill to expand natural gas exports would incent widespread fossil fuel extraction and higher domestic natural gas prices, with serious climate, public health, and economic consequences for American consumers and manufacturers.”
This bill has one House cosponsor, Rep. Michael Waltz (R-FL), in the 116th Congress. A Senate companion bill, sponsored by Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) with the support of four bipartisan cosponsors (including three Republicans and one Democrat), has also been reintroduced in the current Congress.
In the 115th Congress, this bill had the support of seven Republican House cosponsors and didn't receive a committee vote. The Senate companion bill, sponsored by Sen. Cassidy with two Republican Senate cosponsors' support, passed the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee by a 13-10 vote.
Of Note: In recent years, the U.S. economy has seen a boom in extraction of oil and natural gas from shale. According to data from our partners at USAFacts, a non-partisan civic data initiative, throughout the 1980s and ‘90s, the total value of oil and gas extraction in the U.S. typically averaged in the $40-50 billion range. However, this decade it has consistently been above $200 billion including a peak of $338 billion in 2014.
Rep. Yoho's office notes that the current permitting process for LNG export facilities is expensive, and small-scale projects are often not cost-effective under current conditions. Yoho's office contends that reducing the time and investment required for small-scale exports "will benefit U.S. production, manufacturing, and construction jobs while also reducing trade deficits with the importing country." Further, Rep. Yoho's office argues that increasing LNG exports — even on a small scale — will boost the economies of both the U.S. and the countries receiving U.S. natural gas.
- Sponsoring Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) Press Release (116th Congress)
- Senate Sponsor Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) Press Release (116th Congress)
- Sponsoring Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH) Press Release (115th Congress)
- CBO Cost Estimate (115th Congress)
- Energy In Depth
Summary by Eric Revell(Photo Credit: iStock.com / IgorSPb)