Policy for Extending Natural Gas Export Authorizations to Non-Free Trade Agreement Countries Through the Year 2050
On February 11, 2020, the Office of Fossil Energy (FE) of the Department of Energy (DOE) gave notice (Notice) of a proposed policy statement (Proposed Policy Statement or Proposal). DOE proposed extending the standard term for long-term authorizations to export natural gas from the lower-48 states—including domestically produced liquefied natural gas (LNG), compressed natural gas, and compressed gas liquid—to countries with which the United States does not have a free trade agreement (FTA) requiring national treatment for trade in natural gas, and with which trade is not prohibited by U.S. law or policy (non-FTA countries). DOE accepted comments from the public on the Proposal from February 11, 2020 through March 12, 2020. The comment period is now closed.
On July 29, 2020, DOE issued its response to comments and issued the Final Policy Statement. Notice of the Final Policy Statement has been posted to FE’s website in the form of the signed notice that was submitted to the Federal Register for publication. Templates for applications to amend existing authorizations by extending their terms to 2050 and for amendments to pending applications to request term extensions to 2050 under the new Final Policy Statement can be found here.
Under the Final Policy Statement, existing long-term non-FTA authorization holders may file an application requesting to amend their authorization to extend its export term through December 31, 2050 (inclusive of any make-up period), on a voluntary opt-in basis; existing applicants may amend their pending long-term non-FTA application to request an export term through December 31, 2050 (inclusive of any make-up period), on a voluntary opt-in basis; and future long-term non-FTA export authorizations, if granted, will have a standard export term lasting through December 31, 2050, unless a shorter term is requested by the applicant. DOE proposed this policy change under section 3(a) of the Natural Gas Act (NGA) and DOE’s implementing regulations.
DOE did not establish a new proceeding or docket in the Notice. Comments submitted in compliance with the instructions in the Notice were placed in the administrative record for all proceedings referenced in the Notice. Additionally, the submission of comments in response to the Notice did not make commenters parties to any of the affected dockets. Persons with an interest in the outcome of one or more of the affected dockets already have been given an opportunity to intervene in or protest those matters by complying with the procedures established in the notice of application issued in each respective docket and published in the Federal Register. Future opportunities for intervention or protest will be published in the Federal Register only for the applications to extend the term.