Dept. of Energy Approves More Natural Gas Exports
BATON ROUGE (The Center Square) — The U.S. Department of Energy recently approved additional natural gas exports from facilities based in Texas and Louisiana.
The Energy Department issued orders allowing the Magnolia Liquefied Natural Gas Terminal in Lake Charles to export additional LNG to any country not prohibited by U.S. law or policy, The Associated Press reports.
The authorization issued on April 27 also included the Golden Pass LNG Terminal near Port Austin, Texas.
The Golden Pass facility is expected to be in operation in 2024, while the Magnolia plant will start in 2026. Combined, the two terminals are expected to produce more than 3 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day, according to the news wire.
U.S. Rep. Garret Graves, R-La., said the approval from the energy department will help address trade imbalances with foreign nations while simultaneously benefitting the U.S. and Louisiana, the nation’s top exporting state for natural gas.
“This decision will allow for more American natural gas to replace Russian gas in Europe,” Graves said. “It’s a ‘twofer’ — we can create more jobs, a win for Louisiana, and cut off funding for the Russian military, a loss for Putin. It makes no sense to supply the Ukrainian military on one hand yet continue to have our NATO allies giving Putin billions of dollars through Russian energy purchases.
“We strongly urge this administration to stop blocking energy production and pipelines in the United States and to approve new LNG export terminals.”
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, also applauded the new permits on April 27, describing the move as “a tremendous victory for Texans, American jobs, trade and our European allies who will now have greater access to our clean natural gas exports.”
The announcement comes as the U.S. is working on “exporting every molecule of liquefied natural gas that we can” to help European countries that rely on Russian fuel, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said last month, according to the AP.
The Energy Department reports U.S. LNG exports are at a new high of 12 billion cubic feet per day and moving toward 13 billion cubic feet by the end of 2022, with the bulk heading to Europe. The Biden administration has also released oil from the country’s strategic reserves and banned imports of Russian oil in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Granholm addressed the war’s impact on global energy supplies at an International Energy Agency meeting in Paris last month, when she alleged that clean energy is the real long-term solution to global energy security. The said increasing oil and gas supplies to counter Russia and moving toward renewable energy is “not a binary choice,” according to Politico.
“I think it’s a moment for us to ask at this point in our history, what is going to be our version of the Marshall Plan for clean and secure energy in 2022 and beyond?” Granholm said.
The new permits for the Texas and Louisiana facilities follow similar approvals for two other LNG terminals in those state last month.
The Golden Pass terminal is a $10 billion joint project owned by ExxonMobil Corporation and Qatar Petroleum International Limited, while the Magnolia facility in Lake Charles is owned by Glenfarne Group, LLC, the AP reports.