US Senate hearings on LNG exports to CEE today

World

The call of Visegrád Four (Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia) leaders to allow increased exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the United States to Central Eastern Europe is gaining traction, with Senators set for three hearings on the issue beginning today. 

The appeal, which got early support from Speaker of the House John Boehner, is a short-term response to the crisis in Ukraine, a key gateway to natural-gas supplier in the region, and for national energy security in the mid- to long-term.

“The US has a responsibility … to stand with the people of Ukraine in the face of Russia’s invasion,” Boehner said recently. “One immediate step the president can and should take is to dramatically expedite the approval of US exports of natural gas.”

Today, a House Energy and Commerce Committee subcommittee on Energy and Power will consider a bill from Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) which would force the Energy Department to approve all pending export licenses for LNG. Representatives from the Hungarian national government and NERA Economic Consulting will appear. Meanwhile, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will also be holding a hearing on natural gas exportation, with Lithuanian officials expected to serve in witness capacity.

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