New Bill Would Give FERC Sole Say on LNG

By Published On: July 3, 2004

Federal legislation has been introduced that would give the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission exclusive jurisdiction over the siting of facilities that thaw and warm imported natural gas. HR 4412 by Representative Lee Terry (R-Nebraska) would not only give FERC sole authority over LNG that involves ?foreign commerce? but also require it to complete a permit review within one year of when a permit application is complete. ?We cannot sit by idly while the energy bill gathers dust in the Senate,? Terry said. ?Through this pro-jobs, pro-growth bill, we can provide another option to diversify our energy portfolio.? Terry?s district includes many farmers who need gas, and they don?t want coastal communities killing LNG projects, according to a source. The bill has yet to be heard, and a hearing this session is unlikely given that it is election season and because of the ongoing push to get a comprehensive energy bill passed. If a new version of an energy bill were to be negotiated, Terry would probably try to get his measure rolled into that package, the source said. Prospects are further diminished because Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee want to drill on federal land and see LNG as undermining those prospects while Democrats are trying to limit energy development. Separately, Representative Doug Ose (R-California) held a hearing last week to find out why there has been little progress on LNG projects given the state?s need for natural gas. Joe Desmond, California?s energy czar, told the committee the state market could support two LNG terminals. Ose is chair of the Government Reform Committee?s Subcommittee on Energy Policy, Natural Resources and Regulatory Affairs. He will step down at the end of the current session.

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