November 02, 2012

Wyden: U.S. should reconsider rubber-stamping LNG exports as part of a 21st-Century energy policy

Washington, D.C. – In response to questions about the impact of trade negotiations on U.S. natural gas exports, U. S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) issued the following statement:

“The provision of the Natural Gas Act that grants automatic approval of natural gas exports to countries that share free trade agreements with the U.S. was adopted before newly-accessible shale gas became a strategic asset for the U.S. This policy needs reconsideration,” Wyden said.  “It could harm the nation’s ability to achieve energy independence, combat pollution and preserve the environment, and improve the economic competitiveness of American manufacturers. Any final agreement on a Trans-Pacific Partnership must not constrain the U.S. from reshaping its energy policy, which may include new treatment of natural gas exports.”

Senator Wyden’s primary concern is the expansion of the rubber-stamp export authority to more nations through the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which is currently under negotiation.

“I recognize that there are U.S. allies who are in need of our exports and can very likely be served by increased Alaskan shipments,” Wyden said. “But we should also take a look at all exports as we build a national energy strategy that fits today's energy landscape and enhances our domestic industry and national security.”

Senator Wyden believes this re-evaluation of US LNG export policy should not affect export contracts that are already in place.