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tional interest determination, has received more than 30 applications to export LNG to non-FTA countries. In the time
since, it has processed only a handful of them “while it has
changed the procedures more than once,” he said.
He said if Congress acts, “It wouldn’t change the situation
tomorrow. It takes about 3 years to construct one of these
plants. But the process would be more certain.” More proj-
ects would move forward if the 1938 legislation was repealed
or amended, he predicted, saying, “I’m not prepared to say
which ones they are because there are financing decisions
which need to be made by the individual companies.”
But the matter needs to be addressed before the window
of opportunity for US gas producers to benefit from the rap-
idly expanding global LNG market closes, Franklin said. “If
policymakers don’t revisit and redress some significant legal
and regulatory problems [which] are relics of a long-gone
era, the US will underperform during one of the great devel-
opments in global energy and trade,” he said.
BLM proposes higher
onshore oil, gas royalty rates
The US Bureau of Land Management is proposing changes
to federal onshore oil and gas royalty rates, rental payments,
lease sale minimum bids, civil penalty caps, and financial
assurances, US Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced.
Comments on the Advanced Notice of Possible Rulemaking
(ANPR) will be accepted for 45 days following its publication in the Federal Register next week.
“It’s time to have a candid conversation about whether the
American taxpayer is getting the right return for the development of oil and gas resources on public lands,” Jewell said.
She said modernizing the agency’s flexibility, especially
given the dramatic growth of oil development on public and
tribal lands, where production has increased in each of the
past 6 years, and combined production in 2014 was 81%
higher than in 2008.
Changing BLM’s regulations also would respond to concerns the Government Accountability Office, the US Department of the Interior’s Office of Inspector General, and others
have expressed regarding BLM’s rules that lack the flexibility to
offer new competitive leases at higher royalty rates, Jewell said.
DOI and BLM are analyzing the costs of doing business
on federal lands, noted Janice Schneider, assistant Interior
secretary for land and minerals management. “We also want
to ensure those resources are developed diligently and responsibly and that financial assurances and penalties reflect
the true costs of modern day oil and gas development and
reclamation,” she said.