ENSURING SMALL SCALE LNG CERTAINTY AND ACCESS ACT
(House of Representatives - September 06, 2018)

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[Congressional Record Volume 164, Number 148 (Thursday, September 6, 2018)]
[Pages H7887-H7894]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




           ENSURING SMALL SCALE LNG CERTAINTY AND ACCESS ACT


                             General Leave

  Mr. OLSON. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members may 
have 5 legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and to 
include extraneous material on the bill, H.R. 4606.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Texas?
  There was no objection.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to House Resolution 1049 and rule 
XVIII, the Chair declares the House in the Committee of the Whole House 
on the state of the Union for the consideration of the bill, H.R. 4606.
  The Chair appoints the gentlewoman from Wyoming (Ms. Cheney) to 
preside over the Committee of the Whole.

                              {time}  1338


                     In the Committee of the Whole

  Accordingly, the House resolved itself into the Committee of the 
Whole House on the state of the Union for the consideration of the bill 
(H.R. 4606) to provide that applications under the Natural Gas Act for 
the importation or exportation of small volumes of natural gas shall be 
granted without modification or delay, with Ms. Cheney in the chair.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The CHAIR. Pursuant to the rule, the bill is considered read the 
first time.
  The gentleman from Texas (Mr. Olson) and the gentleman from New 
Jersey (Mr. Pallone) each will control 30 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Texas.
  Mr. OLSON. Madam Chair, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Madam Chair, I rise in support of H.R. 4606, the Ensuring Small Scale 
LNG Certainty and Access Act, a bill written by the gentleman from Ohio 
(Mr. Johnson).
  This important bill will speed up the review of applications to 
export small amounts of natural gas to the emerging small LNG markets 
in the Caribbean, Central America, and South America. This bill will 
strengthen our energy security, create jobs at home, and open new 
markets for Americans.
  This bill is about creating a level playing field for the smallest 
projects. Right now, to export natural gas to a country that we have a 
free trade agreement with, it is approved without red tape. We want to 
do that for very small projects, too, no matter the buyer.
  H.R. 4606 is truly focused on ``small-scale'' projects. We are 
talking about projects that amount to maybe one-tenth of 1 percent of 
the natural gas America consumes every single day. It is only 0.14 
billion cubic feet per day. The big LNG products that you hear about 
are more like 2 billion cubic feet per day. That is 0.14 versus 2 
billion cubic feet. These are tiny projects worth looking at. We want 
them to make their way to the emerging markets.
  But don't let the small size fool you. Just as larger LNG exports 
help us push back against Vladimir Putin and help free Eastern Europe, 
small LNG will preserve American influence in Latin America. We can 
give our trading partners a cleaner, more dependable option than 
unreliable and unstable Venezuelan exports. That is why I call our LNG 
exports ``liquid American freedom.'' America will never turn off the 
spigot over politics.
  Madam Chair, this is a bipartisan bill. It went through regular order 
in the Energy and Commerce Committee, where we held hearings and 
accepted a bipartisan amendment to perfect the bill.
  The Department of Energy is also in support of this bill's intent. 
Passing this bill, they said, means ``saving several months of review 
time, at a minimum.''
  We have also heard from LNG producers, terminal operators, and 
overseas developers. One said it will provide certainty and speed up 
``America's rise as a world-class exporter of natural gas, creating 
U.S. jobs, growing our economy, strengthening global energy security, 
all while reducing emissions and pollution.''
  I believe it is important to point out that H.R. 4606 makes 
absolutely no changes to environmental law. In fact, at our markup we 
accepted a bipartisan amendment that clarifies that any project would 
have to qualify for a broad exclusion under NEPA to be put on the fast 
track. This bill is not about waiving environmental laws.

                              {time}  1345

  Most importantly, DOD is working on the same problem and is improving 
their rules as we speak. They say that many of the countries in the 
Caribbean and Latin America don't have enough demand to cover the costs 
of enormous import terminals for huge ships. The small-scale LNG export 
market is the only path that makes sense to bring affordable American 
energy to these projects and countries.
  Congress needs to put DOE's policy into law. That is the only way we 
can create certainty. No one wants to make investments on a single 
administration's policy. Congress must create certainty, and this bill 
does just that.
  I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting this bill. It is good 
for our economy, our jobs, and our economic diplomacy.
  Madam Chair, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. PALLONE. Madam Chair, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  This bill is unnecessary because the Department of Energy is 
aggressively approving liquefied natural gas exports. DOE currently 
conducts a public interest review of all applications to export LNG to 
a country without a free trade agreement with the United States, and 
this process is working just fine.
  To date, DOE has granted final approval for 29 applications to export 
LNG. Over the past few years, the U.S. has emerged as one of the 
largest exporters in the world.
  There is no backlog of applications or delay at DOE to speak of, and 
the Trump administration has taken every opportunity to promote U.S. 
natural gas abroad.
  In July, the Department of Energy finalized a rule to automatically 
approve applications to export less than 0.14 billion cubic feet per 
day of LNG. It declares in this rule that all small-scale exports are 
always in the public interest, removes longstanding consumer 
protections of the Natural Gas Act, prevents the public from having the 
opportunity to know about or provide input on export proposals, and 
violates the public hearing requirements of the Natural Gas Act.
  Rather than stand up for American consumers and manufacturers who 
benefit from low natural gas prices, the Trump administration is 
boosting the profits of oil and gas special interests by allowing them 
to export LNG without any regard for domestic impacts.
  This bill is intended to codify DOE's small-scale LNG rule, but 
proponents have not justified the need for swift congressional action 
on a rule that was just finalized.
  There are drawbacks to codifying the rule with such a prescriptive 
volume requirement. For example, should the circumstances arise where 
exporting this amount of LNG is no longer in the public interest, 
Congress would then have to enact a new law to make any necessary 
changes.
  In addition, Madam Chair, an unrestricted export policy could lead to 
even higher levels of LNG exports, which could have significant impacts

[[Page H7888]]

on domestic natural gas prices and adversely affect American consumers 
and manufacturers.
  Unfettered exports would also exacerbate climate change by 
encouraging more fossil fuel extraction and displacing carbon-free 
sources of power. High methane leak rates and increased demand for LNG 
exports would likely offset any climate benefits associated with 
natural gas use.
  For Congress and the Trump administration to prioritize such a policy 
at a time when methane pollution from U.S. oil and gas operation is 
expected to warm the planet as much as coal is, in my opinion, 
completely reckless.
  Madam Chair, beyond that, the use of floor time on such an 
unnecessary bill is just the latest example of our current reality. 
Republicans are running a government of, by, and for the corporate 
interests, not a government for the people.
  This bill will not create a single new job.
  Madam Chair, the House has just 16 legislative days remaining before 
the election and just 8 legislative days before the end of the fiscal 
year. The farm bill expires this month. So does authorization for FAA 
and the Land and Water Conservation Fund. We also need to fund the 
government to prevent another Trump shutdown.
  We should be focusing our limited time on legislation that would fix 
our crumbling infrastructure, create jobs that pay a livable wage, and 
move America toward a smarter, greener energy future.
  We need a practical balance and sustainable energy policy. What we do 
not need are bills like this that target problems that don't exist. We 
don't need to be throwing more bones to the fossil fuel industry.
  I will be opposing this legislation, and I urge my colleagues to do 
the same.
  Madam Chair, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. OLSON. Madam Chair, I yield such time as he may consume to the 
gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Johnson), the author of the bill.
  Mr. JOHNSON of Ohio. Madam Chair, I have said it many times this 
week, and I will say it again. The legislation before us today, H.R. 
4606, the Ensuring Small Scale LNG Certainty and Access Act, will help 
the United States fully realize its economic potential regarding small-
scale liquefied natural gas exports and associated technologies.
  This bill addresses current permitting concerns, but it is also 
forward looking. H.R. 4606 will help the United States to grow as a 
reliable, trusted trading partner. It can help reduce trade deficits, 
promote new job opportunities at home, and strengthen ties with our 
allies abroad.
  Specifically, this bill provides that applications under the Natural 
Gas Act for the importation or exportation of small volumes of natural 
gas will be granted without delay, but only if they do not require an 
environmental assessment under the National Environmental Policy Act. 
This means that both FERC and DOE must continue to fully comply with 
NEPA regulations and that they must evaluate the potential direct and 
indirect impacts, consult with other agencies, and receive public 
input.

  Importantly, this bill is the product of bipartisan compromise and 
work. During markups at the House Energy and Commerce Committee, 
Representative Gene Green and I worked together so that both sides of 
the aisle could support this commonsense legislation. I appreciate his 
hard work, along with the work of many of my other colleagues.
  As a result, this bill has support from a diverse group of 
stakeholders, including the Center for Liquefied Natural Gas, the 
National Association of Manufacturers, the Laborers' International 
Union of North America, the American Petroleum Institute, and Citizens 
for Responsible Energy Solutions.
  Now, as the Representative for rural eastern and southeastern Ohio, I 
have long recognized the benefits of excess natural gas exports. 
Because of the shale gas boom, new opportunities are emerging for Ohio 
and the surrounding States virtually daily, as ethane cracker plants 
and ethane storage hubs begin to take shape.
  Reports show that this trend will only continue, as one study 
predicts that the region has sufficient ethane feedstock to support up 
to five ethane cracker plants.
  These opportunities are huge and have become viable thanks to new 
technologies that have led to an increase in natural gas production. 
But it is also due to an increase in production resulting from the 
growing demand for excess U.S. natural gas.
  In fact, natural gas production is at an all-time high, and reserves 
are so large that they are predicted to meet domestic demand for almost 
a century. Ohio alone reached new highs in October 2017, as natural gas 
production reached 5.5 billion cubic feet per day.
  H.R. 4606 can play a role in furthering America's economic progress 
by allowing our domestic producers and gas providers to export small 
quantities of natural gas to neighboring countries in a more efficient 
manner.
  Don't misunderstand this. There is an interest for U.S. natural gas 
in the Caribbean, Central America, and South America, although not in 
the quantities that the current large-scale domestic exporting 
facilities were built to address via conventional liquefied natural gas 
tankers.
  This bill will help our job creators meet that demand and take full 
advantage of our economic opportunities throughout our Western 
Hemisphere. And, with the certainty provided by H.R. 4606, companies 
currently in operation or those exploring new small-scale possibilities 
will be incentivized to move forward with new investments with the 
increased certainty provided by H.R. 4606.
  This is especially important considering that the Dominican Republic 
is the only country in the Caribbean with a free trade agreement that 
can get our excess natural gas easily. And, as Puerto Rico continues to 
rebuild after the devastating hurricane in 2017, increased shipments 
and availability of American small-scale LNG can help the island meet 
its energy needs.
  H.R. 4606 will also better allow our domestic providers the 
opportunity to deliver a stable source of U.S. energy to countries 
currently relying on Venezuelan fuel oil, which has been used to gain 
influence within countries throughout the region.
  This effort to increase U.S. energy opportunities within this area of 
the world is not new, as the previous administration also sought 
increased engagement through the creation of the Caribbean Energy 
Security Initiative. Similarly, the Department of Energy recently 
issued a final rule very similar to H.R. 4606.
  Now I would like to quickly address a few concerns that we have heard 
about this bill during debate. Some of my colleagues have said that the 
bill is unnecessary because it would replicate a Department of Energy 
regulation that was recently finalized, while at the same time arguing 
that this bill would lead to an unrestricted natural gas export policy 
with dire consequences.
  I disagree with both of those statements, as it is important for 
Congress to exercise its authority and not leave policy solely up to 
the administration, and this bill by no means promotes an unrestricted 
policy. What is telling about these conflicting statements is that they 
simply cannot both be true at the same time, and it leads me to 
question the sincerity behind the statements.
  Additionally, I have heard arguments that this bill could allow 
companies to skip the review process for larger projects by splitting 
them into smaller pieces.
  Now, these LNG companies are building to economies of scale. These 
are expensive projects. The financial viability of stacking or 
combining many small-scale trains is simply not viable, and the 
operating costs would surely cause the cost of gas to be uncompetitive 
in the global market.
  Madam Chair, the benefits of natural gas exports are clear. As 
numerous Department of Energy studies and various independent studies 
have concluded, they are a net positive to our U.S. economy. These 
studies have found that LNG exports support thousands of American jobs, 
many of them within manufacturing.

  In fact, the Department of Energy once again highlighted the benefits 
of LNG exports with a study it released in June. This study, which is 
in addition to four other studies commissioned by the DOE since 2012, 
presented additional data that demonstrates how

[[Page H7889]]

LNG exports are a net benefit to our economy.
  With U.S. natural gas reserves as large as they are, and with new 
technological advancements allowing our producers to access an 
increasing amount of natural gas each and every day, it is imperative 
that the United States takes full advantage of this important and 
abundant energy resource.
  H.R. 4606 is a step in that direction. It will strengthen U.S. 
geopolitical ties, increase job creation, and promote domestic economic 
growth as a result.
  Madam Chair, I hope all of my colleagues will join me in supporting 
this important bipartisan legislation today.
  Mr. PALLONE. Madam Chair, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Texas (Mr. Gene Green).
  Mr. GENE GREEN of Texas. Madam Chair, I want to thank our ranking 
member for yielding me the time.
  I rise in support of H.R. 4606, the Ensuring Small Scale LNG 
Certainty and Access Act. This bill has been worked on in good faith 
with Mr. Johnson--I thank him for his kind words--which would expedite 
U.S. small-volume LNG exports, so long as they do not require an 
environmental impact assessment under the National Environmental Policy 
Act, or NEPA.
  Natural gas production has dramatically increased all across the 
country thanks to the energy revolution that we have seen in the last 
10 years. We are now able to get gas out of shelves long thought 
impossible.
  The U.S. has enough natural gas to meet our own energy needs for over 
a century. Soon, we also will be able to be a net exporter of these 
petroleum products.
  Despite being the world leader in production of natural gas, many 
companies are unable to export the small quantities of LNG, or 
liquefied natural gas, to neighboring countries in the Caribbean.

                              {time}  1400

  If the U.S. does not have a free trade agreement with another nation, 
natural gas exports must go through a lengthy national determination at 
the Department of Energy. Currently, the U.S. has only a free trade 
agreement with the Dominican Republic in the region.
  DOE recently recognized that this placed an undue burden on small 
volume exports and issued a rule similar to this bill to address the 
issue. The dominant fuel source in the region for these countries is 
Venezuelan fuel oil, a source that is not geopolitically friendly or 
environmentally sound.
  What we would like to have is more natural gas being used for 
electricity in the Caribbean and Puerto Rico instead of fuel oil, which 
is an environmental disaster.
  U.S. LNG in the region would drastically reduce emission rates from 
burning fuel oil for power generation. The benefits of H.R. 4606 are 
not limited to other countries. As I said, Puerto Rico continues to 
rebuild with the devastation of Hurricane Maria.
  The CHAIR. The time of the gentleman has expired.
  Mr. PALLONE. Madam Chair, I yield as much time as he may consume to 
the gentleman from Texas.
  Mr. GENE GREEN of Texas. Madam Chair, to rebuild from the devastation 
of Hurricane Maria, this LNG has the potential to reshape the Puerto 
Rican grid, making it safer and more reliable and more environmentally 
safe.
  This bill also protects the environment. No application for export 
under the Natural Gas Act will be granted unless the applicant 
qualifies for a categorical exclusion under NEPA, ensuring that there 
won't be an adverse environmental impact.
  Study after study has shown natural gas exports are a clear net 
positive to our domestic economy. Moreover, energy ties develop 
diplomatic ties with countries that they go to. This bill will 
strengthen U.S. ties with countries throughout the region.
  I urge my colleagues to support this important bill.
  Mr. OLSON. Madam Chair, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Georgia (Mr. Carter).
  Mr. CARTER of Georgia. Madam Chair, I rise today in support of my 
good friend, Mr. Johnson's bill, the Ensuring Small Scale LNG Certainty 
and Access Act.
  As many Members are aware, we are currently in the midst of a natural 
gas boom, with liquefied natural gas more of a resource than ever 
before. We have seen how this increase in production has benefited not 
only the United States, but some of our closest allies and trading 
partners. Now we have an opportunity to continue to build and foster 
those relationships while stimulating American industries.
  For over 60 years, the United States has been a net importer of 
natural gas, relying on other countries to supply our LNG needs. I have 
seen it firsthand, as I have a facility in my district that was once an 
import facility for natural gas. That has changed as they are 
undergoing a massive overhaul to allow for the export of natural gas.
  This bill will help to address backlogs and delays in the application 
process by allowing small shipments of LNG to be exported, so long as 
they don't go over the threshold set forth in this legislation. That 
would have major implications for our regional trading partners, 
especially those in the Caribbean and Latin America, which don't have 
access to consistent and reliable forms of energy production.
  I applaud my colleagues on the Energy and Commerce Committee for 
their bipartisan work on this legislation, and I urge my colleagues to 
support this bill.
  Mr. PALLONE. Madam Chair, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
California (Mr. Garamendi).
  Mr. GARAMENDI. Madam Chair, who doesn't want to export natural gas? I 
suspect we all do. We like to do it in the proper manner, and this is 
the debate to be had over whether it should be done with or without 
this exemption from the normal process.
  But there is another issue at hand. Clearly, natural gas is a 
strategic national asset. Both sides would agree to that. I don't think 
there is any debate whatsoever--a strategic national asset. And it is 
certainly going to be to the benefit of certain parts of this Nation 
that happen to have shale gas available. It is also going to be a 
benefit to the petroleum industry and those that are able to extract 
the natural gas--all good.
  But why don't we use this strategic national asset to support another 
strategic national asset, our maritime industry?
  It used to be when the north slope of Alaska opened up that all of 
that oil that was exported from Alaska had to be on American ships with 
American sailors. Over the years, that disappeared. But we have an 
opportunity right here with this piece of legislation to really enhance 
the benefit that comes from this strategic national asset.
  I am all for the Caribbean. Good for them. Good for us. But what if 
that was shipped on American ships, built in American shipyards by 
American workers, and the steel was American steel?
  What if we made it in America? What if we used this natural gas 
export, LNG, for the benefit of the broad American economy, not just 
for a few places that are fortunate enough to have the gas in the 
ground and those that extract it?
  Why not require that a small percentage--1, 2, 5, 10 percent--of that 
gas be on American-built ships with American mariners?
  Spread the benefit of this extraordinary natural resource, this 
strategic national asset to the broad width of America, the shipyards 
of America located on our coasts, the steel mills of America, the 
engine manufacturers. Americans throughout could benefit.
  The CHAIR. The time of the gentleman has expired.
  Mr. PALLONE. Madam Chair, I yield an additional 1 minute to the 
gentleman from California.
  Mr. GARAMENDI. Well, let me wrap this up very, very quickly in the 
next 60 seconds.
  A strategic national asset, natural gas, coupled with another 
strategic natural national asset, our mariners, our shipyards, our 
steel industry, our manufacturers of pumps and motors, take a small 
percentage.

  By the way, we have a bill to do this, bipartisan, bicameral, Senator 
Wicker, Senator Casey, good men and women in California, in the 
legislature here on this side, all of us supporting this. So why don't 
we amend this bill in the process?
  In the meantime, I will vote it out of here, but let's remember, this 
asset

[[Page H7890]]

could be for the benefit of all America, not just a narrow portion of 
it.
  Mr. OLSON. Madam Chair, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Texas 
(Mr. Barton), the former chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee 
and the current chairman and a senior member of the Texas delegation.
  (Mr. BARTON asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. BARTON. Madam Chair, I rise in strong support of H.R. 4606.
  I want to compliment Congressman Johnson for his leadership and, 
also, on the Democratic side, Congressman Cuellar. I don't know if he 
is in the room. I compliment him for being an original cosponsor. I am 
kicking myself that I am not an original sponsor. I don't know how that 
happened, but I am proud of them.
  This is a straightforward bill, Madam Chair. It simply says, as long 
as you are below a certain threshold, 0.14 BCF a day, you still have to 
file an application with the Department of Energy to export natural 
gas, but it shall be in order to be approved. So you still have to 
apply, but it is specific in the law that the answer will be ``yes'' as 
long as it is below this threshold.
  You might think: Well, that is not very much. Why even bother?
  Well, we still want to make sure that we know where it is going, so 
that is a good reason to do it. And the good news is that there is a 
market for small-scale LNG, certainly our partners in the Caribbean and 
South America. And who knows, if this works, maybe we can increase the 
number later on if we make sure that we don't do any environmental 
damage.
  This is a good piece of legislation. I am proud that it is 
bipartisan. I hope that, when we pass it, it will be taken up very 
quickly in the other body and the President will sign it. I am strongly 
supportive, and I urge a ``yea'' vote.
  Mr. PALLONE. Madam Chair, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
Texas (Mr. Cuellar).
  Mr. CUELLAR. Madam Chair, I want to thank the ranking member, Mr. 
Pallone, for yielding and his leadership in the committee, for all the 
work that he and his staff have done. I also want to thank my fellow 
Texan, Mr. Olson, for bringing this legislation to the floor. I want to 
thank my colleague, Representative Johnson, for introducing this 
bipartisan bill, along with my friend Gene Green, also from Texas.
  In particular, the dean, Mr. Barton, I want to thank Mr. Barton 
because, back in December 2015, Mr. Barton and I worked along with a 
team here to lift the ban on oil exports, and that has been the boom 
for not only Texas, but for the rest of the country.
  Today's legislation, Madam Chair, deals with H.R. 4606, the Ensuring 
Small Scale LNG Certainty and Access Act. This bipartisan legislation 
codifies the Department of Energy's recent efforts to encourage the 
exports of small volumes of natural gas as countries in the Caribbean, 
Central America, and South America look to the United States to meet 
their natural gas needs.
  Let me give you an example, a different type of country, Mexico.
  Mexico is getting a lot of natural gas from us and refined products. 
In fact, the U.S. has an $8 billion surplus when it comes to natural 
gas that we are sending off, so we can also help our friends in the 
Caribbean and Central America and South America if we do the same 
thing.
  The bottom line is this means jobs.
  I have the Eagle Ford area, and I know about the jobs. Whether they 
are at $60,000, $70,000, or more, those are good jobs, and if we are 
able to export, we will be able to create jobs also. This is why it is 
important that we continue working with our former Governor, Rick 
Perry, in the Energy Department, to approve any application to import 
or export small amounts of LNG if there is no environmental review 
required and that application waiting time will be reduced by several 
months. Those several months mean jobs.
  Right now, the U.S. is currently the world's largest producer of 
natural gas, with trillions of cubic feet of recoverable natural gas. 
And again, if we work together, especially with Canada, the U.S., and 
Mexico, we will be the new Middle East of the world by sticking 
together and working together.
  Again, this bipartisan piece of legislation will benefit our economy, 
strengthen our ties with allies abroad, reduce our allies' reliance on 
Russian natural gas.

  Again, this is good for the country, and we need to support this 
bipartisan piece of legislation, so let's move this bill forward to 
that particular goal.
  Again, I want to thank all of you all for working on this bipartisan 
piece of legislation.
  Mr. OLSON. Madam Chair, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Arizona (Mr. Gosar), the chair of the Western Caucus.
  Mr. GOSAR. Madam Chair, I rise in strong support of H.R. 4606, the 
Ensuring Small Scale LNG Certainty and Access Act, bipartisan 
legislation introduced by my good friend and colleague, Representative 
Bill Johnson.
  I applaud the gentleman from Ohio for his strong leadership in 
bringing forward this important bill. This commonsense legislation will 
further increase American energy dominance by expediting the permitting 
process for the small-scale liquefied natural gas, or LNG, market. Such 
action will create thousands of jobs, increase regulatory certainty, 
and help reduce global emissions.
  Thanks to American ingenuity and the efforts of private companies, 
the United States is now the world's leading producer of oil and 
natural gas. Despite this remarkable achievement, businesses still face 
a plethora of bureaucratic hurdles that are unable to export small 
quantities of LNG expeditiously. Removing unnecessary roadblocks that 
are shackling LNG job creators will foster economic growth and increase 
global influence.
  As DOE Secretary Rick Perry likes to say, we are not just exporting 
energy, we are exporting freedom. I saw that firsthand in Lithuania 
last year.
  Further, the U.S. has the highest regulatory standards for producing 
and exporting oil and gas in the world. Put quite simply, if we aren't 
making it in America, someone else will, and they will most likely do 
it in a way that is worse for the environment.
  I urge adoption of this excellent legislation introduced by the 
gentleman from Ohio.
  Mr. PALLONE. Madam Chair, I yield as much time as he may consume to 
the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Rush), the ranking member of the 
Energy Subcommittee.

                              {time}  1415

  Mr. RUSH. Madam Chair, I rise in opposition to H.R. 4606, the 
Ensuring Small Scale LNG Certainty and Access Act.
  Madam Chair, this bill is unnecessary, as the Department of Energy 
has already finalized a rule that would approve any application to 
import or export as much as 0.14 billion cubic feet of natural gas per 
day if no environmental reviews are required.
  Additionally, Madam Chair, I offered an amendment to this bill that 
would have protected the property rights of landowners, but that 
amendment was refused by the Rules Committee.
  Madam Chair, my amendment would simply have ensured that eminent 
domain would not be exploited for the construction of any pipeline used 
to import or export any of the gas through this expedited process.
  Madam Chair, Members from both sides of the aisle have been bombarded 
with complaints from their constituents who have been forced to defend 
their own property rights due to aggressive tactics employed by 
companies seeking to appropriate their land in order to make a profit.
  Congress should stand on the side of these constituents, as my 
amendment would have ensured, instead of making it easier for private 
companies to seize land from American citizens. This is especially true 
in cases where applications are expedited, with little or no 
opportunity for public input or public debate through the process, as 
the underlying bill mandates.
  Madam Chair, although my constituents are strongly opposed to this 
bill, and although my amendment was not made in order, I would urge my 
colleagues to support both of the amendments offered by my colleagues 
on the Energy and Commerce Committee.
  Ranking Member Pallone's amendment would require public hearings so 
that the American people will have the opportunity to have their voices 
heard in this process.

[[Page H7891]]

  Additionally, Congresswoman DeGette's amendment would require LNG 
export applications to demonstrate that the natural gas was produced in 
a manner that minimizes dangerous methane emissions.
  A June 2018 report by Science magazine found that 13 million metric 
tons of methane are emitted yearly by the oil and gas industry, despite 
the fact that there is already existing cost-effective technology 
available to reduce these emissions.
  So, Madam Chair, I strongly urge all of my colleagues to support both 
the Pallone and the DeGette amendments. If those two amendments are 
defeated, then I would urge all of my colleagues to oppose the 
underlying bill, H.R. 4606.
  Mr. OLSON. Madam Chair, I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from 
Arizona (Mrs. Lesko).
  Mrs. LESKO. Madam Chair, while in the district, I met with the Puerto 
Rican Center of Arizona, including Gretchen Patterson, the founder and 
president, Leticia Jimenez, Jose Moro, Claudio Medina, and Maria 
Romero. They are advocates for Puerto Rico and have family members 
still on the island. They work in Arizona communities to share the 
culture of Puerto Rico and educate people about the island. They 
described devastation on the island caused by Hurricane Maria. They 
also talked about the problems with the electrical grid, even before 
Hurricane Maria.
  This legislation, H.R. 4606, will help Puerto Rico and other 
Caribbean islands by expediting the approval of projects to export 
small shipments of LNG to Caribbean island nations, which are in 
desperate need of natural gas to modernize their electric grids and 
supply more affordable fuel and feedstocks for manufacturing.
  H.R. 4606 will also help our U.S. citizens living in Puerto Rico and 
the Virgin Islands who are still recovering from Hurricane Maria. While 
the territories don't need a special permit to receive U.S. natural gas 
shipments, they would certainly benefit if we allow more U.S. small-
scale LNG exports to other destinations in the Caribbean.
  H.R. 4606 will jump-start investments and jobs, which will create 
economies of scale. With more competition, Puerto Rico and the Virgin 
Islands will have more supply options and lower costs.
  The Caribbean islands have some of the highest fuel and electricity 
prices. We shouldn't deny them the opportunity to share in some of our 
surplus natural gas.
  H.R. 4606 isn't a silver bullet, but it will help deliver cleaner and 
more affordable fuel to those remote locations.
  Mr. PALLONE. Madam Chair, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Madam Chair, I understand the previous speaker, my colleague from 
Arizona's interests in helping our friends and neighbors in the 
Caribbean, but nothing in this bill or the rule requires small-scale 
shipments to go to the Caribbean area. And, in fact, Puerto Rico is the 
largest importer of LNG in the region, and the problems associated with 
getting them natural gas are due to Jones Act restrictions, not DOE 
approval of export applications.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. OLSON. Madam Chair, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Kansas (Mr. Marshall).
  Mr. MARSHALL. Madam Chair, I rise today to support my colleague, Bill 
Johnson's legislation, H.R. 4606, the Ensuring Small Scale LNG 
Certainty and Access Act. With its passage, there will no longer be 
unnecessary restrictions placed on small-scale liquefied natural gas 
exports, creating more open, transparent, and competitive markets for 
our natural gas industry.
  H.R. 4606 includes a rule finalized by the Department of Energy that 
expedites approval for small-scale gas exports, ending the several-
months wait in the review process.
  These simple fixes are so commonsense that the bill itself is 
significantly bipartisan which, as you know, is a rarity here in 
Washington. But I am pleased to see that when the good clearly 
outweighs the bad, both sides really can come together, and that is 
what we see here today.
  This legislation would also place small-scale exports on a level 
playing field with Canada and Mexico, and open new markets in the 
Caribbean, Central America, and South America. As a result, this bill 
would create new jobs in the United States, boosting our local 
economies.

  I spent most of the day yesterday with the Farm Bill Conference 
Committee, where the biggest theme we heard was the need to have 
certainty. That desire for policy certainty is something that 
transcends parties and, in this case, committees. This legislation 
would provide that assurance to our energy folks and protect jobs and 
investments in the United States.
  Mr. PALLONE. Madam Chair, I have no additional speakers, and I yield 
myself the balance of my time.
  Madam Chair, LNG exports are clearly a priority for this 
administration, and I see no indication that this trajectory is 
changing, so we don't need this bill to enshrine the prescriptive and 
problematic small-scale LNG rule into law.
  Passing this bill will not create new jobs or approve any small-scale 
LNG applications. It is solely a political win for the fossil fuel 
industry at the expense of American consumers and manufacturers.
  Those who are against unrestricted export of natural gas argue that 
cheap, domestic natural gas prices are providing a big boost and 
competitive advantage to U.S. manufacturing. They are worried that 
exporting large volumes of LNG will drive up domestic natural gas 
prices, harming American manufacturers and consumers.
  Madam Chair, I believe it is reasonable to question the wisdom of 
exporting too much of our natural gas and to consider whether such an 
approach will hurt our domestic manufacturing base, and giving the 
fossil fuel industry a green light to extract and export unlimited 
amounts of natural gas will only lead to greater methane leaks and the 
displacement of carbon-free energy sources. So I urge my colleagues to 
vote ``no'' on the bill.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. OLSON. Madam Chair, I yield myself the balance of my time.
  It is real simple. This bill is about good-paying, American jobs, 
American energy going to our neighbors in Latin America, South America, 
Central America, and the Caribbean.
  This bill does not skate around any environmental laws. You have to 
comply with all the rules as they exist today to export this natural 
gas.
  This bill is bipartisan as here today, two speakers from the other 
side spoke in favor of this bill. I ask my colleagues to join those 
Members and our Members and vote for this good bill for American jobs, 
American security, and great foreign relations.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  The CHAIR. All time for general debate has expired.
  Pursuant to the rule, the bill shall be considered for amendment 
under the 5-minute rule.
  It shall be in order to consider as an original bill for the purpose 
of amendment under the 5-minute rule the amendment in the nature of a 
substitute recommended by the Committee on Energy and Commerce, printed 
in the bill. The committee amendment in the nature of a substitute 
shall be considered as read.
  The text of the committee amendment in the nature of a substitute is 
as follows:

                               H.R. 4606

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,

     SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

       This Act may be cited as the ``Ensuring Small Scale LNG 
     Certainty and Access Act''.

     SEC. 2. SMALL SCALE EXPORTATION OR IMPORTATION OF NATURAL 
                   GAS.

       Section 3(c) of the Natural Gas Act (15 U.S.C. 717b(c)) is 
     amended--
       (1) by striking ``For purposes'' and inserting ``(1) For 
     purposes''; and
       (2) by adding at the end the following:
       ``(2) For purposes of subsection (a), and in addition to 
     any importation or exportation of natural gas described in 
     paragraph (1), importation or exportation of natural gas 
     shall be deemed to be consistent with the public interest, 
     and an application for such importation or exportation shall 
     be granted without modification or delay, if--
       ``(A) the application for such importation or exportation 
     proposes to import or export a volume of natural gas that 
     does not exceed 0.14 billion cubic feet per day; and
       ``(B) the Commission's approval of such application does 
     not require an environmental impact statement or an 
     environmental assessment under the National Environmental 
     Policy Act of 1969.''.

  The CHAIR. No amendment to the committee amendment in the nature of

[[Page H7892]]

a substitute shall be in order except those printed in part B of House 
Report 115-919. Each such amendment may be offered only in the order 
printed in the report, by a Member designated in the report, shall be 
considered read, shall be debatable for the time specified in the 
report, equally divided and controlled by the proponent and an 
opponent, shall not be subject to amendment, and shall not be subject 
to a demand for division of the question.


                 Amendment No. 1 Offered by Mr. Pallone

  The CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 1 printed in 
part B of House Report 115-919.
  Mr. PALLONE. Madam Chair, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       Page 3, line 18, insert ``after opportunity for hearing and 
     public input,'' after ``delay,''.

  The CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 1049, the gentleman from New 
Jersey (Mr. Pallone) and a Member opposed each will control 5 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from New Jersey.
  Mr. PALLONE. Madam Chair, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Madam Chair, one of my biggest concerns with this bill, and DOE's 
Small-Scale LNG rule, is the removal of public hearing requirements for 
LNG export applications. This is drastic change in the approval 
process, and my amendment seeks to restore the ability for public input 
through a public hearing.
  Section 3 of the Natural Gas Act requires DOE to grant an application 
to export natural gas to a non-Free Trade Agreement country, unless it 
finds that the proposed export is not consistent with the public 
interest. And typically, notices of non-FTA applications are posted in 
the Federal Register for public comment, which ultimately informs DOE's 
evaluation of an application's consistence with the public interest.
  DOE evaluates a range of factors when performing a public interest 
review, including economic impacts, international considerations, U.S. 
energy security, and environmental considerations. And these are 
important considerations that are unique to each export application, 
and the public plays a key role in DOE's decisionmaking process.

                              {time}  1430

  But DOE recently turned this process on its head for small-scale 
exports.
  Hidden in its small-scale LNG proposed rule, DOE proclaimed that: 
``This proposed rule, and the 45-day comment period for this proposed 
rule, would constitute the notice and opportunity for hearing on all 
prospective small-scale natural gas export applications.''
  What that means, Madam Chair, is that all qualifying small-scale 
export applications would be approved without any public notice or 
comment, or need for a unique public interest determination, in 
perpetuity.
  I think that is pretty outrageous, and I would argue it violates the 
public hearing requirements of the Natural Gas Act.
  DOE failed to justify the sweeping change to the existing approval 
process. Congress should avoid the same mistake.
  Congress should not be in the business of limiting the participation 
of the American public in such a debate, but that is exactly what H.R. 
4606 does.
  By codifying the DOE rule, this legislation reduces the ability of 
communities directly impacted by these projects to give meaningful 
input during the review process.
  Exporting America's resources to foreign nations while creating 
domestic environmental and public health impacts is not in the public 
interest, nor is cutting the public out of the process by which we 
express our interest.
  Congress should not create laws to export our natural resources 
wealth at the expense of our environment and our manufacturers while 
simultaneously limiting the rights of Americans to comment on natural 
gas export projects in their communities.
  My amendment is a commonsense proposal to fix this problem in the 
underlying bill. It is good government. It is in the public interest 
that consumers and communities have the ability to provide input on 
export applications, no matter how small.
  Madam Chair, for these reasons, I urge adoption of my amendment, and 
I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. JOHNSON of Ohio. Madam Chair, I rise in opposition to the 
amendment.
  The CHAIR. The gentleman from Ohio is recognized for 5 minutes.
  Mr. JOHNSON of Ohio. Madam Chair, this amendment adds an additional 
round of DOE hearing and public comment on proposed small-scale LNG 
exports. Unfortunately, this amendment is designed to undercut the 
important benefits of this legislation, and we simply cannot accept it.
  H.R. 4606 was narrowly drafted with bipartisan input throughout the 
committee process, as the ranking member knows very well. In fact, at 
committee, I worked with Mr. Green and other Democrats on a bipartisan 
amendment that ensures that DOE and FERC must fully comply with NEPA 
and the Council on Environmental Quality's regulations under this bill. 
This means they must evaluate the potential direct and indirect 
impacts, consult with other agencies, and, most importantly, receive 
public input.
  Not only has this idea been vetted through hearings and markup on the 
Energy and Commerce Committee, but, additionally, this concept has 
already been thoroughly vetted and subjected to a fully transparent 
rulemaking process at the Department of Energy, complete with public 
comment and input.
  We simply want to put this in the right lane. It should be the 
Congress that is passing law, not putting it solely in the hands of the 
administration.
  Today's amendment serves only one purpose, and that is delay.
  The purpose of H.R. 4606 is to help the United States fully realize 
its economic potential regarding small-scale liquefied natural gas 
exports and associated technologies. It will strengthen U.S. 
geopolitical ties, increase job creation, and promote domestic economic 
growth as a result.
  This amendment jeopardizes those goals and it denies nations in the 
Caribbean and Latin America the opportunity to have an inexpensive, 
reliable source of energy from right here in the United States.
  Madam Chair, I urge a ``no'' vote on this amendment, and I reserve 
the balance of my time.
  Mr. PALLONE. Madam Chair, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Madam Chair, I just wanted to read some parts of a letter from the 
Industrial Energy Consumers of America in support of the amendment.
  Let me just say to my colleagues on the other side, the purpose of 
the amendment is not delay, but public input for the public interest.
  The Industrial Energy Consumers write: ``In behalf of the Industrial 
Energy Consumers of America, IECA, we support your amendment to provide 
consumers of natural gas an `opportunity for hearing and public input' 
for small-scale LNG export applications, in advance of final approval 
by the U.S. Department of Energy. It is good government and in the 
public interest that consumers have the ability to provide input.
  ``Every study conducted by the U.S. Department of Energy on the 
potential economic impacts of LNG exports concludes that exports of LNG 
increase the price of natural gas and electricity. Although we do not 
anticipate this being a significant problem in the short term, public 
policy must consider longer term potential impacts. It is for this 
reason that it is wise to provide for public input. Consumers of 
natural gas deserve that option.
  ``The manufacturing sector consumes about 25 percent of all U.S. 
natural gas and demand is increasing annually. IECA members are mostly 
energy intensive trade exposed, EITE, companies, which means that 
relatively small changes to the price of natural gas and electricity 
can have relatively large impacts to competitiveness and jobs. For the 
majority of our applications, there is no substitute for natural gas.''
  And then it is signed by the president, Paul Cicio.
  Again, Madam Chair, I would urge support of my amendment. There is 
nothing wrong with public input. It is part of the democratic process.
  I do think we need to be concerned about the increased price of 
natural gas from LNG exports and what it might mean not only for 
consumers, but for manufacturing. If manufacturing is decreased because 
of the increase, then that means fewer jobs for Americans.

[[Page H7893]]

  So I appreciate the support from the Industrial Energy Consumers.
  Madam Chair, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. JOHNSON of Ohio. Madam Chair, I include letters of support in the 
Record.

                                        CLNG, Center for Liquefied


                                                  Natural Gas,

                                                December 11, 2017.
     Hon. Greg Walden,
     Chairman, Committee on Energy and Commerce, House of 
         Representatives, Washington, DC.
     Hon. Frank Pallone, Jr.,
     Ranking Member, Committee on Energy and Commerce, House of 
         Representatives, Washington, DC.
       Dear Chairman Walden and Ranking Member Pallone: Regulatory 
     certainty is vital to U.S. LNG and bipartisan legislation 
     like the Unlocking Our Domestic LNG Potential Act (H.R. 4605) 
     and The Ensuring Small Scale LNG Certainty and Access Act 
     (H.R. 4606) take steps to provide a clear and straightforward 
     path for the industry. Providing a certain pathway for U.S. 
     natural gas to be sold abroad will create thousands of good 
     paying jobs right here in the United States, generate 
     millions in tax revenue for the federal, state, and local 
     governments, and supply our allies and trading partners with 
     a reliable, clean, safe source of energy.
       The United States is awash with natural gas, with more 
     discoveries almost daily, and in order for the U.S. natural 
     gas industry to continue to be an engine for growth, reliable 
     exports offer a perfect solution. Legislation by Congress 
     that creates a more certain regulatory process enables our 
     country to capture this narrow window of opportunity to 
     export LNG internationally and sends a strong signal to our 
     allies and trading partners that the U.S. is committed to its 
     role as a global energy leader.
       Bi-partisan support for LNG certainty highlights how 
     important the issue is. Policymakers from both sides of the 
     aisle can appreciate good paying jobs here at home and energy 
     choices for allies around the globe. Representatives Johnson 
     and Ryan have a long history of support for U.S. LNG and we 
     look forward to working with them and others in the future on 
     LNG issues.
       We urge support for Representative Johnson and Ryan's 
     Unlocking Our Domestic LNG Potential Act and The Ensuring 
     Small Scale LNG Certainty and Access Act.
           Sincerely,
                                                    Charlie Riedl,
     Executive Director, Center for LNG.
                                  ____



                                                       Liuna!,

                                                September 5, 2018.
     Hon. Paul Ryan,
     Speaker of the House of Representatives,
     Washington, DC.
     Hon. Nancy Pelosi,
     Minority Leader, House of Representatives,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Mr. Speaker and Leader Pelosi: On behalf of the 
     500,000 members of the Laborers' International Union of North 
     America (LIUNA), I want to express our support for H.R. 4606, 
     Ensuring Small Scale LNG Certainty and Access Act, offered by 
     Representative Bill Johnson of Ohio. This bipartisan bill 
     amends the Natural Gas Act by granting approval to 
     applications, without modification or delay, seeking to 
     export 0.14 billion cubic feet (Bcf) per day or less, that do 
     not require an Environmental Assessment (EA) or an 
     Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) under the National 
     Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
       H.R. 4606 solidifies and provides certainty to a recently 
     enacted rule made by the Department of Energy (DOE) that 
     mirrors Rep. Johnson's legislation. This cuts the red tape 
     for small-scale exports and imports of liquefied natural gas. 
     This bill not only continues to promote our Nation's economic 
     growth, it also guarantees job security for the thousands of 
     skilled working men and women we proudly represent within the 
     energy sector.
       LIUNA believes in an all-of-the-above energy policy. Our 
     members work across virtually every sector of our domestic 
     energy production. Whether it is solar-panel fields, wind 
     farms, pipelines, or hydro power, our members are working to 
     bringing our Nation's abundant energy resources to market.
       This legislation has bipartisan cosponsors, and was voted 
     out of committee with even stronger bipartisan support. I 
     urge you to support H.R. 4606, Ensuring Small Scale LNG 
     Certainty and Access Act.
       With kind regards, I am
           Sincerely yours,
                                                 Terry O'Sullivan,
     General President.
                                  ____

                                          Citizens for Responsible


                                             Energy Solutions,

                                Washington, DC, September 5, 2018.
     Speaker Paul Ryan,
     House of Representatives,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Speaker Ryan: On behalf of Citizens for Responsible 
     Energy Solutions (CRES), I am writing in support of H.R. 
     4606, Ensuring Small Scale LNG Certainty and Access Act. CRES 
     urges the House to pass this legislation.
       H.R. 4606 would expedite approvals for small-scale exports 
     and imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) up to 0.14 billion 
     cubic feet per day if no environmental reviews are required. 
     The legislation would help modernize U.S. energy policy by 
     facilitating exports and imports of LNG which is critical as 
     the U.S continues to position itself as a net energy exporter 
     over the next decade. The legislation would support the 
     growth of jobs in the LNG space because of greater certainty 
     in permitting and because it would allow for the greater use 
     of LNG terminals already built or under construction. This 
     economic growth would be achieved without substantively 
     greater risk to the environment due to a strict adherence to 
     National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requirements.
       H.R. 4606 is important legislation for growing domestic 
     jobs and for elevating the U.S.'s position in global energy 
     markets. We encourage Congress to pass this legislation as 
     soon as possible.
           Sincerely,
                                                    Heather Reams,
                                                Managing Director.

  Mr. JOHNSON of Ohio. Madam Chair, I have before me a letter from the 
Center for Liquefied Natural Gas. It says: ``The United States is awash 
with natural gas, with more discoveries almost daily, and in order for 
the U.S. natural gas industry to continue to be an engine for growth, 
reliable exports offer a perfect solution.''
  They go on to say: ``Bipartisan support for LNG certainty highlights 
how important this issue is.''
  I also have a letter here in front of me from LIUNA, and they say 
this: ``On behalf of the 500,000 members of the Laborers' International 
Union of North America, LIUNA, I want to express our support for H.R. 
4606, Ensuring Small Scale LNG Certainty and Access Act.''
  They go on to say: ``LIUNA believes in an all-of-the-above energy 
policy.''
  Madam Chair, that is exactly what H.R. 4606 promotes.
  I also have a letter here in front of me from Citizens for 
Responsible Energy Solutions. There is nobody any more concerned about 
our energy policy than the American people. We talk about it here all 
the time in Washington, D.C., oftentimes in political terms, 
ideological terms, but it is the American people who are going to 
benefit from the results of LNG exports, whether it is along the Ohio 
River or all across America.
  This is a job creator. It is an opportunity creator. It strengthens 
our geopolitical ties. And we can't underestimate the strength of that 
geopolitical tie factor in what we are doing.
  We have countries like Russia that are using their energy resources 
to hammer other countries, to use it as a leverage point to force them 
into obedience. The last thing that we want is for countries in the 
Caribbean and Latin America to have to face going to Russia or other 
countries to get their energy resources when they could be getting 
those from us.
  Right here, this letter from Citizens for Responsible Energy 
Solutions says: ``On behalf of Citizens for Responsible Energy 
Solutions, CRES, I am writing in support of H.R. 4606, Ensuring Small 
Scale LNG Certainty and Access Act. CRES urges the House to pass this 
legislation.''
  Madam Chair, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman 
from New Jersey (Mr. Pallone).
  The question was taken; and the Chair announced that the noes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. PALLONE. Madam Chair, I demand a recorded vote.
  The CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further proceedings on 
the amendment offered by the gentleman from New Jersey will be 
postponed.


                 Amendment No. 2 Offered by Ms. DeGette

  The CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 2 printed in 
part B of House Report 115-919.
  Ms. DeGETTE. Madam Chair, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       Page 3, line 22, strike ``; and'' and insert a semicolon.
       Page 4, line 2, strike ``of 1969'' and all that follows 
     through the end and insert ``of 1969; and''.
       Page 4, after line 2, insert the following:
       ``(C) with respect to an application for such exportation, 
     the application includes sufficient information to 
     demonstrate that the natural gas to be exported was produced 
     using available designs, systems, and practices to minimize 
     methane emissions from leaks or venting.''.

  The CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 1049, the gentlewoman from 
Colorado (Ms. DeGette) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from Colorado.

[[Page H7894]]

  

  Ms. DeGETTE. Madam Chair, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Madam Chair, H.R. 4606, the Ensuring Small Scale LNG Certainty and 
Access Act, is far from perfect, as several of our colleagues have 
noted. The amendment I am offering today would reverse most of the 
bill's most egregious shortcomings and help ensure that liquefied 
natural gas exports benefiting from expedited approval truly are in the 
public interest, as the original bill purports to do.
  This amendment would help keep methane waste to a minimum for the LNG 
exports permitted by the bill. It requires export applications to show 
that the natural gas was produced using available techniques and 
technologies to minimize methane emissions from leaks or venting.
  In other words, this amendment would require companies developing 
liquefied natural gas for export to actually develop and export the 
natural gas rather than venting vast quantities into the atmosphere or 
lighting it on fire.
  This requirement is easy to implement with readily available 
technologies. Many companies are already working to reduce their 
methane emissions.
  Sara Ortwein, president of XTO Energy, a subsidiary of ExxonMobil, 
just this week stated her company's continued support for Federal 
methane regulations, and she is far from alone.
  In Colorado, we have had strong methane rules in place since 2014, 
and our oil and gas industry has continued to thrive, even as it is 
required to find and stop the leaks.
  Stopping these leaks has real benefits. There is widespread 
scientific consensus that methane leaks into the atmosphere 
significantly contribute to climate change. The volatile organic 
compounds released with the methane increase ground-level pollution and 
harm public health. When natural gas is produced on public land, it 
leaks rob taxpayers of royalties on the wasted gas.
  So we can and we must prevent such needless harmful emissions 
wherever possible, and this measure is one way to do it. It would 
increase the royalties collected for taxpayers; it would reduce 
climate-changing emissions; and it would protect public health.
  Vote for it and you will vote for a better future for our 
constituents, for our children, and for generations to come.
  Now, colleagues who are considering whether to support this amendment 
may be interested to learn that natural and regional polling 
consistently show strong bipartisan support for methane rules. Sixty to 
80 percent or more of those polled expressed their approval.
  Now, there may be many reasons for which some people will oppose this 
amendment, but I can't think of any that would stand up to scrutiny. I 
would look forward to discussing those reasons here. And if you oppose 
this amendment, let's talk about it.
  Otherwise, we can reduce these emissions; we can pass this bill; and 
it would go a long way toward cleaning up our environment and saving 
money.
  Madam Chair, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. OLSON. Madam Chair, I rise in opposition to the amendment.
  The CHAIR. The gentleman from Texas is recognized for 5 minutes.
  Mr. OLSON. Madam Chair, this amendment is unnecessary and misguided 
because emissions from natural gas wells are already regulated by the 
EPA and States under the Clean Air Act.
  H.R. 4606 applies only to projects that have already undergone 
rigorous environmental review and are eligible for an exclusion under 
the National Environmental Policy Act.

                              {time}  1445

  Other than the Natural Gas Act, DOE has the responsibility to protect 
the public interest. In doing so, DOE must consider whether the project 
applicant is following the laws and regulations, including those under 
the Clean Air Act.
  Let's be clear about the environmental benefits of natural gas in 
general and this legislation, specifically.
  U.S. carbon emissions in 2017 were the lowest they have been since 
1992 because we are using more clean natural gas. Unfortunately, carbon 
emissions are increasing in other parts of the world because they don't 
have access to clean-burning natural gas. Our friends in South America, 
Central America, and the Caribbean are still burning Venezuelan fuel 
oil in places where our U.S. LNG can replace that fuel oil.
  H.R. 4606 is good for our economy. It is good for new American jobs, 
and it is good for our environment. This legislation will start 
America's rise as a world-class exporter of natural gas, which will 
help reduce emissions and pollution all across the globe.
  If you really care about reducing emissions, you can't deny the 
benefits of this legislation.
  I urge a ``no'' vote on this amendment, and I reserve the balance of 
my time.
  Ms. DeGETTE. Mr. Chairman, just quickly, these rules that the 
gentleman referred to, alleging that they solve the problem, I would 
just say the BLM Methane and Waste Prevention rule was eliminated by 
the Trump EPA under Scott Pruitt, and so that is not controlling the 
public lands emissions right now, which is what this amendment would 
do. And the EPA rule under the Clean Air Act is also under attack.
  Really, if it is current law, why not just support it? Why not say, 
if we are going to be developing this LNG, let's stop these leaks? 
Because it helps our environment, it helps with our air and our climate 
change, and it also helps with profits. And, frankly, for the BLM lands 
and the other Federal lands, it will help the taxpayers recover money.
  Mr. Chair, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. OLSON. Mr. Chairman, again, this bill is all about good-paying 
American jobs.
  American exports of liquified natural gas help our neighbors in South 
America, Central America, and the Caribbean. This bill makes our air 
cleaner. Let's lock those benefits in for years to come.
  I urge my colleagues to support H.R. 4606 and oppose this amendment.
  Mr. Chair, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR (Mr. Calvert). The question is on the amendment 
offered by the gentlewoman from Colorado (Ms. DeGette).
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the noes 
appeared to have it.
  Ms. DeGETTE. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further 
proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from Colorado 
will be postponed.
  Mr. OLSON. Mr. Chairman, I move that the Committee do now rise.
  The motion was agreed to.
  Accordingly, the Committee rose; and the Speaker pro tempore (Ms. 
Cheney) having assumed the chair, Mr. Calvert, Acting Chair of the 
Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union, reported that 
that Committee, having had under consideration the bill (H.R. 4606) to 
provide that applications under the Natural Gas Act for the importation 
or exportation of small volumes of natural gas shall be granted without 
modification or delay, had come to no resolution thereon.

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