U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), a senior member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, along with EPW Ranking Member David Vitter (R-La.), Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), and Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) today sent a letter to the Secretary of Department of Energy (DOE) Steven Chu offering a rebuttal to filed comments expressing concerns about the conclusions of the NERA Economic Consulting Report to determine whether U.S. Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) exports would be in the public interest.
In the letter, the Senators addressed critics concerns regarding LNG exports, and urged the DOE to consider the sound science and economic theory that comprised the conclusions of the NERA study.
"For the United States to be a hub of cheap energy, it is imperative to pursue government policies that allow the private sector to make every energy resource as abundant, accessible, and as versatile in its consumption as possible," the Senators wrote. "Achieving this objective requires that producers be allowed access to markets, and that consumers beallowed access to resources. Providing this access without bias for one source over another will encourage more widespread production of all energy resources. This will benefit the economy, as it will be accompanied by increased economic activity, job creation, and more widespread energy choices."
The letter continued, "The United States has been blessed with an abundance of energy resources, with natural gas being among the most prevalent. Expanding market access to producers will not only result in a wealth transfer from foreign countries to U.S. households, but it will also encourage greater exploration and production activity. This will grow the economy and create jobs. It is clear that LNG exports are in the public interest. With this in mind, we respectfully urge you to disregard comments questioning the value of the NERA Study and quickly approved the pending LNG export permits."
"Oklahoma has been a leading force in the rapid growth of domestic energy production," said Inhofe. "This has largely been made possible by the safe and expanded use of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling unlocking resources previously believed to be off limits. Because of the energy sector, Oklahoma is near full employment with oil and gas production contributing at least $26 billion to the state economy. I remain committed to working with my colleagues to encourage increased investment in domestic production that is sure to spur job creation and economy growth our nation so desperately needs."
"Our abundance of natural gas is a game changer for our country that is bringing us to the verge of energy independence and has the potential to create millions of jobs," said Landrieu. "This study shows that we will be able to exploit our rich natural gas resources to the benefit of producers and consumers alike. I will work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to move forward on this important opportunity."
"It is impossible to ignore the long list of economic benefits that exporting LNG will bring to the Alaska and the rest of the country," said. Begich. "The NERA report makes clear that we need to take steps to bring our abundant supply of LNG to market, which means approving strategic pipeline routes and streamlining the permitting process. The President specifically mentioned these efforts in his State of the Union speech and I plan on holding him to that commitment."
Full Text of the Letter in PDF Available Below: