August 21, 2018

Cassidy, Colleagues Seek Answers from FERC on Pending LNG Export Applications

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), John Barrasso (R-WY), John Kennedy (R-LA), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Cory Gardner (R-CO), James Inhofe (R-OK), James Risch (R-ID), and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) are urging the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to approve pending liquefied natural gas (LNG) export project applications in a timely manner, and seeking information regarding FERC’s approval process and the agency’s available resources.

The full text of the senators’ letter to FERC Chairman Kevin McIntyre is below.

Dear Mr. Chairman:

Thank you for your testimony before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee oversight hearing on June 12 along with the other FERC Commissioners. We appreciate your time and the useful information you provided to the Committee.

During the hearing you received several questions about the status and timing of LNG export project applications currently before the Commission. We were encouraged by your statements regarding the need for timely processing of pending LNG export applications. However, we would like clarification concerning FERC’s current efforts to address resource constraints.

In response to a question by Senator Gardner, you discussed the number of LNG applications pending before the agency. You characterized the number of applications as “larger, more complex, and more expensive” and you indicated that FERC is “actively looking for creative new ways to embrace and attack this increased workload” as well as for “internal processes that we can streamline.” You had a similar response to a question from Senator Murkowski, and you mentioned the ongoing search for improved efficiency in order to handle FERC’s increased workload.

We would appreciate you addressing a few questions to help us further understand FERC’s plans and resource needs:

1. What steps is FERC taking to make sure that there are sufficient workforce resources (staff and consultants) available to expeditiously complete review of pending LNG export project applications?

2. What steps is FERC taking to “streamline internal processes” with regard to LNG export project applications?

3. How does FERC—as the lead agency in the “One Federal Decision” (OFD) process for LNG export projects—plan to work with other state and federal agencies to ensure that their participation is timely and constructive and that their reviews are conducted concurrently? Are additional resources or legislative actions needed to facilitate this streamlining?

4. What criteria are used to determine the order in which LNG projects receive scheduling orders? (For example, are applications that are deemed more complete prioritized, or does FERC proceed in the order of applications received?)

5. How will FERC ensure that all applications move forward simultaneously, especially when considering some of the larger, time intensive applications currently under review by the Commission?

We are pleased that you and the other Commissioners share our dedication to making sure that the second wave of U.S. LNG export project applications moves forward in a timely manner. We look forward to continuing to work closely with the Commission to meet that objective.