Need To Improve Regulatory Review Process for Liquefied Natural Gas Imports

ID-78-17: Published: Jul 14, 1978. Publicly Released: Jul 14, 1978.

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The importation of liquefied natural gas is one method of dealing with the United States' dwindling domestic supply of natural gas. The government's uncertain approach toward liquefied natural gas imports has resulted in a time-consuming regulatory review process.

Intensive examination of a proposal to import liquefied natural gas from Indonesia to California showed that delays stem from inadequacies in the national policy on imports; legislative requirements; lack of established criteria and guidance; and jurisdictional gaps, overlaps, and disputes between both federal agencies and federal and state authorities.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Energy should, in cooperation with other federal agencies, revise the policy statement for imported natural gas to define clearly goals and objectives for imported liquefied natural gas and establish criteria as to what constitutes excessive national dependency. In acting on this, the Secretary should analyze the various alternative energy sources or natural gas substitutes. If liquefied natural gas imports are determined necessary to supplement U.S. gas supplies, the Secretary should reevaluate the existing regulatory process for liquefied natural gas import proposals. The Secretaries of State and Energy should consider the pros and cons of a concerted effort by liquefied natural gas importing nations to effectively coordinate matters of mutual concern such as pricing by exporting countries. Congress should require the Secretary of Energy to report within a given time period the role liquefied natural gas should play in satisfying U.S. energy needs. This should be supported by a systematic analysis of the various alternative energy sources or natural gas substitutes.

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