Last month the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) released two studies on the environmental impacts of U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports. According to DOE, the studies are intended to inform DOE’s decision-making process for LNG export permit applications to countries that do not have free trade agreements (FTAs) with the United States. The environmental impacts of LNG exports—which include greenhouse gas emissions (GHG)—are included in the criteria that DOE uses to make its public interest determinations on projects to export LNG to non-FTA countries. The studies are open for public comment for 45 days, closing on July 21, 2014.
On May 29th, 2014, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) released a proposal that would change DOE’s decision-making process for liquefied natural gas (LNG) export permit applications to countries that do not have free-trade agreements with the United States. Under the proposed procedures, DOE would review LNG export projects based on the order in which applicants complete their respective environmental reviews. This represents a major change from current procedures where DOE reviews export applications based predominantly on the order in which they are received, which is typically before environmental reviews are completed.