That’s how Alaskan Senator Lisa Murkowski summed up the last few days, in which the federal government approved two new liquified natural gas (LNG) export facilities. Yesterday, the Energy Department gave the green light to an LNG export project based in Astoria, Oregon, which hopes to come online sometime in 2017. That facility still needs approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) before it can start sending American gas abroad, but a different project on the other side of the country just received that very FERC approval on Wednesday. The proposed project in Freeport, Texas, is only the third such facility to get the final regulatory go-ahead. Reuters reports:
On Wednesday, the FERC approved construction of the Freeport LNG Development LP’s LNG project in Texas, the third project gaining full U.S. approval to ship the fuel to countries with which Washington does not have a free trade agreement.The first of those, Cheniere’s Sabine Pass plant in Louisiana, is expected to begin shipping LNG next year.
America is enjoying a natural gas glut, courtesy of shale, that the rest of the world is eager both to imitate and get a piece of. Our allies in Asia will be especially heartened by the Oregon approval, as that region of the world pays as much as three times America’s benchmark price for its natural gas. Ten years ago, the U.S. was working on building out LNG import terminals to regassify liquid gas imported from foreign shores. The shale revolution has completely remade the American energy landscape, and these new LNG export facilities reflect that.