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Politics

LNG Exports Continue to Expand on the First Coast

September 24, 2019 - 8:00am
Port of Jacksonville
Port of Jacksonville

Federal officials continue to showcase the potential of the First Coast on exporting Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG).

Last week, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., applauded the Federal Energy Regulatory Committees (FERC) for approving Eagle LNG exporting LNG out of Jacksonville. 

“This decision will allow for the siting, construction, and operation of a new liquefaction, storage, and export terminal facility on the St. Johns River,” Rubio’s office noted. 

“Today’s approval of this important LNG project at JAXPORT is great news for North Florida and our state’s growing trade relationships around the world,” Rubio said. “It’s also another step towards weaning our Caribbean neighbors off of more expensive and environmentally damaging fuel oil for electricity generation. Our outdated energy export laws are contributing to an ongoing reliance on Venezuelan oil in the region when we should instead be promoting Florida-produced LNG. I introduced the Small Scale LNG Access Act to correct this situation, and it’s time for Congress to pass this bill.” 

Back in March, U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., brought out the “Small Scale LNG Access Act” with the support of  Rubio and U.S. Sen. John Kennedy, R-La. The companion bill in the U.S. House was introduced by U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., with U.S. Rep. Michael Waltz, R-Fla., cosponsoring the proposal. 

The bill “would expedite the approval of natural gas exports equal to, or less than, 51.1 billion cubic feet per year" which “would be deemed consistent with the public interest and granted without modification or delay.” 

Back in July, the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee passed the bill and sent it to the Senate floor. The bill was put on the Senate calendar last month. 

“I thank my colleagues on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee for marking up and passing this important bill to expedite approval of small-scale natural gas exports, strengthen an emerging sector of Florida’s economy, and bolster our existing ties with Caribbean and Latin American nations,” Rubio said after the committee passed the bill. “As nefarious actors, including the criminal regimes in Venezuela and Cuba, continue to undermine democracy and commit human rights atrocities in the region, we must ensure they cannot benefit from expedited access to American energy exports.”

“The Small Scale LNG Access Act unleashes the potential of American natural gas, creating good-paying jobs for hardworking families in Louisiana,” Cassidy said. 

“Louisiana already leads the world in large-scale LNG exports.  Entering the market to export small-scale LNG shipments will lead to even more well-paying jobs for workers,” Kennedy said. “This bill is about creating opportunities for our families in an industry with limitless potential.”

When Yoho introduced the bill back in March, his office offered some insights on what it would do. 

“The current permitting process for LNG export facilities is expensive, and small-scale projects often are not cost effective under current conditions,” Yoho’s office noted. “Reducing the time and investment required for small-scale exports will benefit U.S. production, manufacturing, and construction jobs while also reducing trade deficits with the importing country. Increasing LNG exports, even on a small scale, will positively impact the economies of the United States as well as the economies of those receiving U.S. natural gas.”

“With America’s vast natural gas reserves, JAXPORT in North Central Florida is in a position to be a valuable trading hub to meet global demand for Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) exports,” said Yoho when he unveiled the bill. “At the end of 2018, demand for LNG has seen a sixty-percent increase from what it was in 2017. We must capitalize on the growth of this energy sector.  Jacksonville is an ideal location to service the needs of the Caribbean, South America, and the rest of the world with abundant, clean-burning American natural gas. This will not only mean good paying jobs regionally but increased economic benefits for our state economy as well.”

“South and Central American countries have limited alternatives to Maduro’s socialist oil for energy resources,” Waltz said.  “This bill makes American liquefied natural gas accessible and cost-effective to regional allies that no longer want to rely on Venezuelan oil.”

While in the upper chamber, the bill is headed to the Senate floor, the legislation has not gained as much traction over in the House. Back in March, Yoho’s bill was sent to the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee where it has stayed since then. 

At this time Florida has no significant natural gas reserves and only a small amount of natural gas production, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. All of it comes from the same fields that produce crude oil. 

Almost all of the state's natural gas production comes from the Jay Field in the Florida Panhandle, where natural gas withdrawals are used primarily to repressure oil reservoirs to maintain or improve oil production. As a result, less than one-fifth of the state's limited natural gas gross withdrawals are marketed. 

Florida's natural gas production peaked in the late 1970s. By 2009, production had fallen to less than 1 percent of the 1978 record high. Despite a brief increase in production early in the current decade, natural gas production is now less than 7 percent of peak production. 

Geologists believe additional economically recoverable natural gas deposits may lie offshore in the eastern Gulf of Mexico, but Florida has banned exploratory drilling in state waters in the eastern Gulf. Also, the federal government has placed a moratorium on exploration in federal waters in the eastern Gulf until 2022.

Executive Editor Nancy Smith contributed to this story.

Comments

Floridians and Americans send out a big THANK YOU to President Trump for allowing American companies to get and sell American natural gas. Unfortunately, the fascist Democrat party ilk is doing everything they can to cause a recession. Americans and their President are fighting back!

A lot of talk and a lot of stranded assets in 15 yrs, long before they get paid off. …………….The liquification plants cost too much to build and run and the market is poor and cheaper players closer to demand......……Not mentioned is that costs $7/mmbtu, tripling the NG price delivered to liquify. ...........But the biggest problem is renewable energy costs much less and most markets in 15 yrs will be mostly wind , solar, hydro, CHP/CSP, bio/waste/synfuels, heat/cold storage, batteries, EVs that suck up excess power and sell on demand power getting checks instead of a bill...……...........And because they cost 50% less to make at home, buildings, businesses...…...……...Can you be more conservative than making your own clean power for 50% less Brad?...…...How conservative is it to subsidize FFs $600B/yr in the US mostly from pollution, healthcare, military, etc costs just 4 yrs of that pays for the switch to RE, EVs easily...…...…...Wouldn't that be more conservative Brad?...………......Or keep letting big FFs poison, cut our lives 1.7 yrs average and give them massive subsidies to do it?...……………...Which to chose?

Spoken like a true ignoramus.

Nutty

Oil and gas have always been the GOP Robber Barons' traditional favorites, regardless of how they muck up the environment. By now, Florida should have become the leader in the generation of solar power ... and all those drilling platforms the Republicans CONTINUALLY want to put out in the Gulf and along the Atlantic seaboard should, instead, be wind-powered electricity generating stations. Even now, Trump and his co-creepazoids in the swamp have opened up some 300,000 acres of pristine Alaskan wilderness to oil exploration.

Nutty

Everything you've said has been thoroughly and completely debunked. The best way for you to be green is to dig a hole and jump in and find some way to put the dirt back.

Said the idiot with her head in the sand as she pays big oil, coal 2x as much to poison her vs lower cost RE. …...……...What kind of person wants to pay more for polluting power Marilyn?...…...…….Is that what you call conservative?...…..And you like more oil wars?...……...And my numbers come from the utility industry news sources like PowerEngineering…….............. Most recent wind, solar is coming in at $.03/kwh utility scale...…. And TECO just announced fuel costs were dropping because of solar. ...….TECO NG is costing $.085/kwh, solar $.05/kwh. Do the math.....…….Why did the Ga Tea Party come to Florida to help with our Solar amendments?

Total rubbish.

Excellent move! And also, thank God for our common sense president who allows America to extract that natural gas which helps our economy greatly.

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