As recently as a week ago, the energy bill that the U.S. Congress was considering was stalled and faced an uphill battle. But the Senate has sprung into action, and voted in favor of the energy bill which passed 85-12.
The energy package is the first major piece of energy legislation passed in almost a decade. At the same time, it is a rather modest piece of action, which largely avoids controversial issues such as oil and gas drilling or climate change. Related: Canada’s Oil Industry To See 62% Decline In Investment
Spearheaded by Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA), the “Energy Policy Modernization Act” seeks to improve cyber security, improve energy efficiency in buildings, reinforce the nation’s electricity grid, and offer job training programs. However, probably the most notable measure included in the package is language that would streamline the approval of LNG export terminals in the United States.
As it stands, the Department of Energy does not have time constraints when considering permits for LNG export terminals that would send natural gas to countries that do not have a free-trade agreement with the United States. Under the energy bill moving through the Senate is a provision that would place a 45-day limit on DOE, requiring them to make a determination. The language comes as a response to the backlog of proposed export terminals that have permits pending with the agency. Now the bill has passed the senate, LNG developers could move quicker on development. Related: ISIS Tries To Sow Chaos In Libya To Scare Oil Workers Away
The bill had been held up by the Flint water crisis, as several Democratic Senators wanted aid for Flint included in the bill. They placed a hold on the legislation, which stalled the bill for months. The energy bill looked dead as recently as last week, but the senators suddenly agreed to remove their hold, allowing the bill to proceed.
By Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com
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