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Proposed LNG Export Authorization Extension

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.

Comment period closed.
Related Documents & Comments Library
Indicate comment
1. expand/collapse 2/25/2020 10:23:32 AM Sen. Edward Markey, Sen. Jeffrey Merkley General / Other Comment Attached letter from Senators Markey and Merkley to Secretary of Energy Brouillette
  1. Senators Markey and Merkley Letter to Sect of Ene...
2. expand/collapse 3/4/2020 6:15:32 PM Delfin LNG LLC General / Other Comment Delfin LNG LLC (“Delfin”) is the recipient of a long-term, multi-contract authorization (“Authorization”) to export liquefied natural gas (“LNG”) by vessel from a proposed floating liquefaction project and deepwater port 30 miles offshore of Louisiana to non-free trade agreement nations. DOE/FE Order No. 4028. Delfin submits this comment in support of the proposal of the Department of Energy Office of Fossil Energy (“DOE/FE”) to extend such export authorizations through the year 2050. 85 Fed. Reg. 7672 (Feb. 11, 2020). Delfin agrees with DOE FE that the 2018 LNG Export Study confirms that there will be macroeconomic benefits accruing to the United States as a result of such exports through at least that date. Delfin also notes that the longer authorization period enables U.S. exporters to provide their customers with greater certainty of supply for the long term, making U.S. sources of supply of LNG more attractive and competitive in the world market. This also sets a predictable U.S. policy position that supports LNG exports over the expected life of most LNG projects, thereby allowing project development teams to move forward with greater confidence when making critical investment decisions. In turn, this policy change will ease the financing of such projects because the export period better aligns with the expected life of the export facilities, which in Delfin’s case is a floating liquefaction project and deepwater port. Delfin appreciates the opportunity to submit this comment, and it looks forward to exercising its voluntary-opt-in rights when the proposed policy becomes final.
3. expand/collapse 3/10/2020 8:53:11 PM Spoon, Cindy General / Other Comment I oppose LNG export facilities being constructed in Texas. The communities that live by these proposed facilities have made it clear that this is not something they want to live by. The completion of more LNG facilities will continue to propel the shale/gas market at a time when climate scientists are telling us continued fossil fuel development is detrimental to the health and safety of our species and almost all species living on earth.
4. expand/collapse 3/11/2020 1:55:08 PM Industrial Energy Consumers of America General / Other Comment IECA submits comments opposing extending LNG export approvals to 2050
  1. 03.11.20_Extending Natural Gas Export Authorizati...
5. 3/12/2020 12:33:06 PM Dominion Energy General / Other Comment
  1. DECP Comments on DOE Policy.pdf
6. expand/collapse 3/12/2020 1:08:19 PM Public Citizen, Inc. General / Other Comment Public Citizen opposes the Department of Energy’s proposal to authorize 30-year natural gas export authorizations to non-free trade agreement countries through the year 2050. Extending the current 20-year authorization period to 30 years irresponsibly locks the U.S. into allowing a significant increase in natural gas export volumes that could increase U.S. prices for consumers, threaten the competitiveness of domestic manufacturing, and exacerbate efforts to address climate change. About Public Citizen Public Citizen is one of America’s largest consumer advocacy organizations, with over 500,000 members and supporters across the U.S. Our Energy Program frequently intervenes on behalf of household consumers at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and we serve on two advisory committees to the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (the Market Risk Advisory Committee and the Energy and Environmental Markets Advisory Committee). Public Citizen Opposition to the Proposal In proposing to extend export authorizations to 30 year terms, the Department of Energy acknowledges that “it would result in an increase in the total approved volume of exports from each participating facility due to the longer export term.” [Federal Register, Vol. 85, No. 28, February 11, 2020, page 7679, www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2020-02-11/pdf/2020-02358.pdf ] Locking in this increased volume of natural gas exports places the U.S. economy and climate change at risk for the following reasons: • The campaign to justify expanded LNG exports prioritizes the financial interests of natural gas producers and LNG exporters at the expense of U.S. households and American value-added manufacturing. • Natural gas producers, frustrated by stubbornly low domestic prices, understand that the easiest path to increase prices—and their profits—is globalizing U.S. benchmarks, which ramping up LNG exports will accomplish. • LNG exports serving as a foundational economic policy sounds like a Qatari model of growth, latching U.S. GDP to volatilely-priced finite natural resources. What sets America apart is not our aptitude at exporting raw natural resources, but the value-added of our manufacturing and high tech innovation—the very sectors threatened by increased export volumes. • The ability of LNG exports to increase American influence for geopolitical ills, such as countering Russian natural gas supply to Europe, is limited. Such commodity diplomacy ignores the fact that LNG export destinations are determined not by the U.S. Secretary of State, but by whoever will pay the highest price. • Australia offers an important cautionary tale for the United States. Australia committed to unfettered LNG exports, launching the country to becoming the 2nd largest LNG exporter in the world. But it came at a cost: domestic gas prices have skyrocketed, forcing the country to pass a law to attempt to limit exports. In the meantime, four LNG import terminals for the east coast have been proposed to alleviate the supply and price emergency. • The trend of LNG exports shifting away from long-term, fixed price contracts and towards spot and short-term sales amplifies that LNG export destinations will be determined by whichever market is the most expensive, and is at odds with the proposal here to lock in 30 year export volumes. • America will remain one of the largest regions of projected natural gas demand growth. Increasing LNG exports while domestic demand is projected to increase is a recipe for higher domestic prices for households and manufacturers. • Increasing LNG exports will lead to higher domestic natural gas production, and, in light of the Trump Administration's proposal to repeal methane regulations over oil and gas production (and the absence of a national plan to control greenhouse gas emissions), will result in higher greenhouse gas emissions. • The European Union will propose new GHG standards for natural gas imports that will likely disqualify U.S. exports, since the U.S. does not regulate methane emissions. Attached is a copy of testimony by Tyson Slocum, Public Citizen’s Energy Program Director, before the U.S. Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee on September 13, 2018. This testimony provides more detail on the points made here.
  1. public-citizen-slocum-senate-testimony-lng-septem...
7. expand/collapse 3/12/2020 3:00:52 PM LNG Allies, The US LNG Association General / Other Comment LNG Allies, The US LNG Association, submits comments as contained in the attached documents.
  1. Comments of LNG Allies to DOE - Non-FTA Extension...
  2. LNG Allies Response to IECA - Non-FTA Extension t...
8. 3/12/2020 3:13:40 PM Golden Pass LNG Terminal LLC General / Other Comment
  1. FE12-156-LNG GPLNG Comments PPS 3-12-20.pdf
9. 3/12/2020 12:00:00 AM Cheniere Energy, Inc. General / Other Comment
  1. NFTA Extension Comments.pdf
10. expand/collapse 3/12/2020 3:59:29 PM American Petroleum Institute General / Other Comment Attached please find comments of the American Petroleum Institute.
  1. FINAL API Comments on DOE nFTA term extension PPS...
11. 3/12/2020 4:07:45 PM Senators Barrasso, Cassidy,, Hoeven, and Cramer General / Other Comment
  1. Senators Barrasso Cassidy Hoeven and Cramer Lette...
12. expand/collapse 3/12/2020 4:23:53 PM McCaffree, Jody General / Other Comment Please see attached comments.
  1. CFR_McCaffree_Comment to US DOE_March-12-2020.pdf
13. expand/collapse 3/12/2020 12:00:00 AM Natural Gas Supply Association, Center for Liquefied Natural Gas General / Other Comment See attached letter
  1. DOE-HQ-2020-0015-DRAFT-0004 CLNG-NGSA Comments t...
14. expand/collapse 3/10/2020 12:00:00 AM Pani, A. General / Other Comment No. Dangerous.
15. expand/collapse 3/5/2020 12:00:00 AM Schmitz, Morgan General / Other Comment See attached comment
  1. DOE-HQ-2020-0015-DRAFT-0003 Comment.pdf
16. expand/collapse 2/17/2020 12:00:00 AM Anonymous, Anonymous General / Other Comment I recommend we do not treat fossil fuel energy as a commodity since its use caused climate change and global warming. I further recommend we implement the new green deal immediately to try and save lives and the environment. Any energy extracted from public lands should be used only for the benefit of the public. I further recommend we look at nationalizing energy production.
17. expand/collapse 3/1/2020 12:00:00 AM Parmeter, Sarah-Hope General / Other Comment Despite campaigns claiming otherwise, natural gas is not "clean energy." Drilling and fracking for natural gas is doing horrible damage to our planet and does nothing to address the climate crisis (despite bogus comparisons with exaggerated estimates of coal use). We need to be investing in safe, renewable energy.
18. expand/collapse 3/9/2020 12:00:00 AM Sorkin, Suzanne General / Other Comment This is yet another handout to the fracked gas industry. We should be working to transition away from fossil fuels, NOT extend their capacities if we are to have any hope of controlling climate change. Please do not accept this proposed rule change for the sake of the generations after us.
19. expand/collapse 3/6/2020 12:00:00 AM Cox-McQueen, Lindsey General / Other Comment Greetings, we need to maintain NEPA as it is. We should not take an anything for money attitude regarding the environment as whatever affects the environment affects people and, yes, animals, health. The EPA needs to be reinforced and not undermined and dismantled for greed.
20. expand/collapse 2/12/2020 12:00:00 AM Capehart, Corey General / Other Comment For this proposed regulation, I cannot help but feel worried that the United States is continuing to expand fossil fuel commerce rather than ushering in an age of alternative energy sources. We are living at a time where the carrying capacity of the Earth is already approaching its limit, and the growing consumption patterns have no end in sight. What worries me specifically about this proposed regulation is that it is open-ended. There are no plans to curtail current fossil fuel consumption, but rather, a renewing of a license, what I can only see as an attempt to squeeze every last dollar from the industry before there is no industry left. I would also argue that the export of natural gas is worrying considering that the United States is already a leading consumer of natural gas: what's the purpose of exporting it? While off topic, for me, the answer to this is simple, and is found in an article done by the guardian titled "Fossil-fuel industry doubles donations to major parties in four years, report shows." My understanding here is that the industry is simply attempting to buy political power, although politics is another discussion entirely. Source: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/feb/12/fossil-fuel-industry-doubles-donations-to-major-parties-in-four-years-repo rt-shows
21. expand/collapse 3/11/2020 12:00:00 AM Connochie, Jean General / Other Comment See attached card mailed to the Department of Energy
  1. card March 2020.pdf
22. expand/collapse 3/6/2020 12:00:00 AM Gordon, Margaret General / Other Comment See attachment
  1. comment2_Redacted.pdf