Sunday, May 19, 2024
Sunday, May 19, 2024

Cassidy, Cruz Press Dept of Energy on Lack of Movement on LNG Export Extensions

Submitted by United States Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana

WASHINGTON (Apr. 15, 2024) – United States Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), member of the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and Ted Cruz (R-TX) pressed the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) on the lack of movement on Delfin LNG LLC’s application for an extension of their current approval to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) to a non-FTA country. The senators’ inquiry comes following the Biden administration’s pause on all pending non-FTA export permit applications at the behest of the radical climate lobby.

“As Deputy Secretary David Turk testified last month before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, DOE does not consider the current moratorium or pause on the issuance of new LNG export licenses to apply to extensions of existing projects. Delfin’s Floating LNG Project is the only LNG export project requiring an extension this year, as well as the only offshore Floating LNG (FLNG) project,” wrote the senators. 

“Delfin has a very strong case that it has met both criteria for an extension per DOE’s policy. Construction of the project has already begun, and there were extenuating circumstances beyond Delfin’s control that caused significant delays in the export date… Delfin’s project is also critical to the natural gas needs of our allies. Delfin has already secured long-term contracts with five LNG off-takers for a total revenue stream of $19 billion,” continued the senators.

Background

Immediately following the Biden administration’s announcement that they would be freezing pending applications for LNG export permitting, Cassidy led 25 of his Republican colleagues in condemning the decision. Our European allies, who have become increasingly reliant on the U.S. for LNG following Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, will now be forced to decide between depriving their citizens of energy or actively funding Putin.

He also introduced the LNG Security Act to reverse President Biden’s decision to stop new American LNG export approvals and require the DOE to approve LNG exports to all countries that have imported, currently import, or are capable of importing Russian or Iranian natural gas. Additionally, he introduced the Unlocking Domestic LNG Potential Act, which depoliticizes the export of American liquefied natural gas. It eliminates the requirement for the DOE to authorize its export and instead giving the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) sole authority over the approval process. 

In February, Cassidy penned an op-ed with U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) in the Houston Chronicle underscoring the devastating economic, environmental, and national security impacts of President Biden’s decision to freeze new LNG export projects. In January, Cassidy questioned DOE Deputy Secretary David Turk on the rumors surrounding this decision and emphasized the energy, economic, environmental, and national security importance of U.S. LNG exports.

Read the full letter below: 

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Dear Secretary Granholm,

We write to request your appropriate and timely consideration of Delfin LNG LLC’s (Delfin) application for an extension of their current approval to export LNG to a non-FTA country (Ref. Docket Nos. 13-129-LNG; 13-147-LNG.). The export authorization under the current Department of Energy (DOE) license is valid until June 1, 2024. According to DOE’s policy statement, “Policy Statement on Export Commencement Deadlines in Authorizations to Export Natural Gas to Non-Free Trade Agreement Countries,” Delfin LNG LLC must file for an extension within 90 days of June 1, 2024.

As Deputy Secretary David Turk testified last month before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, DOE does not consider the current moratorium or pause on the issuance of new LNG export licenses to apply to extensions of existing projects. Delfin’s Floating LNG Project is the only LNG export project requiring an extension this year, as well as the only offshore Floating LNG (FLNG) project.

Delfin has a very strong case that it has met both criteria for an extension per DOE’s policy. Construction of the project has already begun, and there were extenuating circumstances beyond Delfin’s control that caused significant delays in the export date, including MARAD’s failure to follow the deadlines in the Deepwater Port Act and new NEPA requirements in the Fiscal Responsibility Act. However, should DOE conclude that the start-of-construction criteria has not been met, Delfin requests a conditional extension that allows Delfin nine months to make Final Investment Decision on the project. This conditional extension should alleviate any remaining DOE concerns about the project proving real progress towards actual export capability thereby reducing and helping to eliminate “LNG export authorization overhang.”

Delfin’s project is also critical to the natural gas needs of our allies. Delfin has already secured long-term contracts with five LNG off-takers for a total revenue stream of $19 billion. Delfin’s single largest customer is Centrica LNG, whose parent company is the largest energy supplier in the United Kingdom. Over 15 years, Centrica LNG committed to purchase one million tonnes per annum of LNG.

By granting this extension and allowing proven and newly deployed technologies the time to fully mature, DOE will both foster innovative FLNG technology and prevent stranded assets. We look forward to your action on this request as soon as possible.

News, press releases, press conferences, and opinions from Louisiana United States Senators, Louisiana United States House of Representatives District 3, Louisiana Governor, Louisiana State Senators from Districts 22 and 23, and Louisiana State Representatives from Districts 43 and 49.

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