Put Oklahoma Congressman Frank Lucas in the column of the latest elected officials to question the wisdom of the President’s recent freeze on permits to allow LNG to be shipped overseas.
He’s chairman of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee and used his power to join 19 committee members in mailing a letter to Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm in demanding some answers.
“The Committee is concerned that this pause with no scientific justification will ultimately result in a permanent ban of one of our country’s most valuable clean energy resources,” the Science Committee members wrote.
It was late January when the President halted permits for 17 major LNG projects in the ccountry. Rep. Lucas and the others say the pause is “political and unscientific.”
The Committee members called the current export ban political and unscientific, questioning the need for a pause in exports while new studies by the National Laboratories are completed. “The previous studies were completed without any pause in the permitting process, and it is unclear, beyond a political agenda, why one is needed now,” they wrote. “The Administration’s disregard of existing studies and its unfounded decision will have significant ramifications on the future of U.S. LNG.”
The letter also details the significant benefits of using American LNG, including geopolitical benefits and lower emissions as compared to Russian LNG. Russian LNG exported to Europe has a lifecycle emissions profile 41 percent higher than U.S. LNG exported to Europe. U.S. LNG also produces 50 percent fewer emissions on average when used for electricity generation in China, Germany, and India.
“These economic statistics and federally supported findings demonstrate that U.S. LNG is key to both global energy security and successful emissions reduction for the foreseeable future,” the members wrote.
The members requested a briefing from the Department of Energy to answer questions about the current ban on LNG exports and the Department’s plans to conduct their scientific analyses.
Read the full letter here.