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API's Louis Finkel speaks to reporters about LNG Exports

Press briefing – Senate Energy Bill: LNG Exports and Infrastructure
Louis Finkel, API executive vice president
Thursday, April 21, 2016 

Opening statement, as prepared for delivery:

Good afternoon, and thank you for joining our call.

Congress has taken a big step toward strengthening U.S. energy policy. For the first time since the American energy revolution took hold, the House and Senate have passed bipartisan, comprehensive energy legislation.

It’s time to modernize energy policy to match our new energy reality. The United States is now an energy superpower, leading the world in oil and natural gas production. We also lead the world in reducing carbon emissions, which have reached 20-year lows thanks to industry innovation and clean-burning natural gas. Record energy production means the United States is no longer dependent on oil from less stable parts of the world, and price spikes consumers once experienced due to overseas unrest have been replaced by savings. Americans have saved about $500 a year at the pump and an additional $1,200 in overall energy costs. 

With the right energy strategy, we can achieve additional economic benefits, including the creation of more well-paying jobs, environmental progress and national security advantages. 

By streamlining the natural gas export permit application process and ensuring natural gas pipelines are permitted more efficiently, this legislation is a step in the right direction. 

Exporting natural gas will create American jobs, grow our economy, strengthen the global energy market and bolster strategic alliances abroad – providing greater choice and helping U.S. allies break dependence on nations that use their energy resources as a political weapon. And independent reports show exporting U.S. LNG also will help reduce global greenhouse gas emissions.

A concerted effort to improve U.S. energy infrastructure is essential in order to realize our true energy potential and provide consumers and businesses with the energy they need. Self-imposed natural gas supply limitations due to pipeline constraints can be as costly as they are unnecessary. Especially in New England, where consumers paid about 53 percent more for electricity than the rest of the nation last year, despite an abundant supply of natural gas just a day’s drive away. According to an IHS study, the amount of energy sector infrastructure needed through the middle of the next decade could spur $1.15 trillion in private capital investment. 

Natural gas pipeline expansion and climate goals are not mutually exclusive. In fact, they go hand in hand. Increased use of clean-burning natural gas accounts for the majority of the reduction in emissions from power generation. 

The past decade demonstrates we can lead the world in oil and natural gas production, cut carbon emissions more than any other nation and create jobs – all through free market innovation. We call it the U.S. model, and it should be the basis for future energy policy both here in the U.S. and abroad. While countries attempt to comply with the Paris climate agreement, they should look more closely at replicating this U.S. model, which has proven that energy production and environmental protection can coexist.

We’ve transitioned from an era of energy scarcity to an era of energy abundance, and the new challenge is to keep moving forward, not backward. Now is the time to build our energy infrastructure, expand exports and lock in the economic and geopolitical opportunities that our energy revolution has created.

The provisions in the House and Senate bills, combined with the enactment of legislation last year to remove the crude export ban, put the country on a true path forward to realizing our full energy potential.

America has a bright energy future. We’re calling on Congress and the administration to build on the promise of this bipartisan legislation and seize the opportunity to put the interests of consumers first by putting aside politics over policy. We’re calling on Congress and the administration to embrace our proven U.S. model, which will result in lower costs for consumers, a cleaner environment, economic prosperity and enhanced energy security – not only at home, but around the world.

Thank you. I’d be happy to take your questions.