Among many other changes, the Lower Energy Costs Act intends to streamline the environmental assessment process for all energy projects, including LNG terminals. It would also ban fracking moratoria.
Scalise said the Biden administration has been “very deliberate and purposeful” in slowing approval of key energy project permits.
“All of this has dramatically increased energy costs for families here in America. But it also harms our ability to undermine opponents around the world like Russia,” Scalise said.
Federal environmental impact assessments, which can take several years to complete, would be limited to two years by the law. Environmental impact assessments, a shorter federal assessment, would be limited to one year.
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Graves, the Baton Rouge Republican who sponsored that piece of legislation, said those caps are reasonable based on his experience with reviews of the National Environmental Policy Act. Graves headed the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority under former Governor Bobby Jindal.
“There were projects that were in the application process that would have provided more capacity for LNG exports if approved,” Graves said.
In a separate move, Kennedy and three other senators reintroduced a bill, the Natural Gas Export Expansion Act, to speed up approvals for LNG exports to countries with which the US does not have free trade agreements. The aim is to free up more exports for more European countries amid the Ukraine crisis.
In a statement, Kennedy said some companies are waiting up to a year for permits to trade LNG non-freely. This waiting period is typically 45 days for free trade permits.
“I introduced this bill to balance the faster timeline of countries that have free trade agreements with others that want to rely less on Russia,” Kennedy said. “And that’s good for Louisiana, because LNG exports sustain jobs in Louisiana, boost America’s energy independence, and reduce global emissions.”
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