Natural-Gas Export Project Gets Green Light

JAKARTA, INDONESIA: A fishing boat sails past a ship tanker of liquefied natural gas (LNG) at a port in Jakarta, 12 December 2005. Indonesia's state oil and gas firm Pertamina has rescheduled next year's exports LNG to Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and other countries due to falling output, a company spokesman said. Pertamina will reschedule the delivery of 61 shipments, 52 from its plant in Bontang, East Kalimantan, and nine from Arun in Aceh in 2006, Pertamina spokesman M. Harun told AFP. 
National Journal
Amy Harder
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Amy Harder
Feb. 11, 2014, 6:45 a.m.

On the same day that Sen. Mary Landrieu took the gavel of the Sen­ate En­ergy and Nat­ur­al Re­sources Com­mit­tee, a nat­ur­al-gas ex­port pro­ject in Louisi­ana re­ceived the green light from the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion.

The two de­vel­op­ments, which oc­curred just hours apart on Tues­day, are big boosts for Landrieu as she seeks reelec­tion in Louisi­ana, a state that’s red­der now than it was the last time she ran six years ago.

At an event in Wash­ing­ton, Landrieu she said she was “thrilled” about the ap­prov­al. In a pre­pared state­ment, she de­scribed the an­nounce­ment as “long over­due, but a wel­come ad­di­tion to the ro­bust en­ergy in­dustry we are build­ing in Louisi­ana.”

The En­ergy De­part­ment’s ap­prov­al of the Louisi­ana pro­ject, owned by Cali­for­nia-based Sem­pra En­ergy, is the sixth nat­ur­al-gas ex­port ter­min­al that serves coun­tries that aren’t free-trade part­ners with the U.S. More than 20 ap­plic­a­tions are still pending.  

This an­nounce­ment comes a week after Re­pub­lic­ans on the House En­ergy and Com­merce Com­mit­tee urged the ad­min­is­tra­tion to speed up ap­prov­al of nat­ur­al-gas ex­ports, cit­ing eco­nom­ic and geo­pol­it­ic­al be­ne­fits.

The ap­prov­al could in­flame a de­bate that’s been brew­ing in Wash­ing­ton in re­cent years. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, a Michigan Demo­crat, has ex­pressed con­cern over the pace of ap­provals and has con­sidered put­ting a hold on con­firm­a­tion of a top En­ergy De­part­ment of­fi­cial be­cause of these con­cerns.

Dow Chem­ic­al, an in­ter­na­tion­al chem­ic­al man­u­fac­tur­ing com­pany whose headquar­ters are in Michigan, has been es­pe­cially vo­cal in op­pos­ing un­fettered ex­ports. Dow and oth­er com­pan­ies that use nat­ur­al gas as a feed­stock, such as alu­min­um-maker Al­coa, are con­cerned that ex­port­ing the fossil fuel could raise do­mest­ic prices, which have been near re­cord lows be­cause of the nat­ur­al-gas boom in the last sev­er­al years.

Sen­ate En­vir­on­ment and Pub­lic Works rank­ing mem­ber Dav­id Vit­ter, R-La., also praised the ad­min­is­tra­tion’s ap­prov­al on Tues­day, al­though he noted this isn’t the fi­nal sign-off. “This con­di­tion­al ap­prov­al means the Camer­on LNG pro­ject has taken an im­port­ant step in the right dir­ec­tion,” said Vit­ter in a state­ment. “I’ll con­tin­ue to push for fi­nal ap­prov­al to get this cut­ting-edge li­que­fied nat­ur­al gas pro­ject through the cum­ber­some fed­er­al reg­u­lat­ory pro­cess.” Vit­ter an­nounced last month he is run­ning for gov­ernor in Louisi­ana in 2015. 

Ben Geman contributed to this article.
What We're Following See More »
WOULD HAVE BEEN HIS SECOND STINT
Howard Dean Pulls out of DNC Race
48 minutes ago
THE LATEST

Howard Dean, the former Vermont governor and Democratic National Committee chair, announced he's pulling out of the running to regain the chairman's post. Dean "announced in a pre-recorded video to a conference of state Democratic chairs that he would step aside to allow for a new face to lead the party as it seeks to rebuild."

Source:
RUBENSTEIN FUNDING ELEVATOR REPAIR
Washington Monument Closed until 2019
2 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"Once again, businessman and philanthropist David M. Rubenstein has come through for the National Park Service. This time, he's pledged funding needed to modernize the Washington Monument's elevator-- but the monument will remain closed until 2019 while repairs and improvements are underway. Rubenstein's donation of between $2-3 million, announced Friday, will correct those ongoing elevator issues, which have shuttered the monument since August 17."

Source:
$618 BILLION IN FUNDING
By a Big Margin, House Passes Defense Bill
5 hours ago
THE DETAILS

The National Defense Authorization Act passed the House this morning by a 375-34 vote. The bill, which heads to the Senate next week for final consideration, would fund the military to the tune of $618.7 billion, "about $3.2 billion more than the president requested for fiscal 2017. ... The White House has issued a veto threat on both the House and Senate-passed versions of the bill, but has not yet said if it will sign the compromise bill released by the conference committee this week."

Source:
FILED BY JILL STEIN
Michigan Attorney General Sues to End Recount
6 hours ago
THE LATEST

Bill Schuette, Michigan's attorney general, has filed a lawsuit on behalf of the state to halt the recount of the state's voting results. The recount was elected by Green Party candidate Jill Stein. Schuette says the recount shouldn't occur because Stein cited no evidence of voter fraud or tabulation error.

Source:
SUCCEEDS UPTON
Walden to Chair Energy and Commerce Committee
7 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"Republicans have elected Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) the next chairman of the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee. Walden defeated Reps. John Shimkus (R-IL) and Joe Barton (R-TX), the former committee chairman, in the race for the gavel" to succeed Michgan's Fred Upton.

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login