CASPER, Wyo. — U.S. Sen. John Barrasso is backing a bill that would speed up the approval process needed to ship natural gas overseas.
Introduced Thursday by Barrasso and fellow Republican Sens. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma and John Cornyn of Texas, the bill would require the U.S. secretary of energy to approve requests to ship natural gas to North Atlantic Treaty Organization member nations and Japan.
"Increased LNG exports will create good-paying jobs and open markets for Wyoming’s natural gas," Barrasso said in a statement issued Thursday. "This will expand economic opportunities across America and help lower our nation's trade deficit."
Barrasso joins Gov. Matt Mead in his support of liquefied natural gas exports. Mead last week penned a letter to U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu declaring support for terminals that would ship the product.
Under existing law, the secretary of energy must first approve an application before a company can ship any form of natural gas internationally. But before such an application can be approved, it must be subjected to a public comment period.
Under the new law, the secretary would be required to approve applications to send gas to NATO countries and Japan. The law also requires the secretary to approve shipments to non-NATO countries if the secretaries of defense and state determine the shipment would "promote the national security interests of the United States."