Need To Improve Regulatory Review Process for Liquefied Natural Gas Imports

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

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

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.

    Agency Affected:


Explore the full database of GAO's Open Recommendations »

Mar 20, 2018

Mar 14, 2018

Feb 28, 2018

Feb 16, 2018

Feb 6, 2018

Jan 30, 2018

Dec 7, 2017

Nov 14, 2017

Nov 1, 2017

Oct 26, 2017

Looking for more? Browse all our products here