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Focus on Regulation

Senate Energy Committee to Hold Major Hearing on Natural Gas

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) has scheduled a full committee hearing on February 12 entitled, “Opportunities and Challenges for Natural Gas.” The hearing will be held at 10:00 am in room 366 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building.

This hearing comes at a pivotal time for the U.S. natural gas industry. The U.S. Department of Energy is currently reviewing thousands of comments it received earlier this month after soliciting comments on the 15 liquefied natural gas (LNG) export applications currently pending before the Department.

Last week, the senior Republican on the Committee, Ranking Member Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), issued her “Energy 20/20: A Vision for America’s Energy Future.” Dubbed her energy “blueprint”, the document suggests continuing and increasing LNG exports. It states, in part, “Carefully observe and evaluate DOE processing of applications for exports of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), and, as necessary, update and clarify LNG export rules to provide certainty both to gas-dependent industries and to potential investors in export facilities, ensuring that the U.S. moves toward improved trade balance and energy security. At the very least, expedite the process for Lower 48 LNG exports to allies of the United States that face emergency or chronic shortages but with whom we do not have free trade agreements.”

The hearing, which will be webcast, includes witnesses that are both proponents and opponents of exporting domestic LNG and include the following: 

  • The Honorable John W Hickenlooper, Governor of Colorado
  • Mr. Andrew N. Liveris, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Dow Chemical Company
  • Mr. Ross Eisenberg, Vice President, Energy and Resources Policy, National Association of Manufacturers
  • Ms. Frances Beinecke, President, Natural Resources Defense Council
  • Dr. Kenneth B. Medlock, Senior Director, Center for Energy Studies, James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy, Rice University
  • Mr. Jack N. Gerard, President and Chief Executive Officer, American Petroleum Institute