Trump Announces LNG Export Term Extension to 2050, Praises US Energy Independence

Also signs four permits to approve pipeline, railway infrastructure at US border
July 30, 2020 Updated: July 30, 2020

President Donald Trump announced on July 29 that export term limits for liquified natural gas (LNG) to non-free trade agreement countries have been extended through 2050. Trump also signed four presidential permits to approve pipeline and railway infrastructure at the border.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s final policy statement allows LNG exports to be extended through 2050, Trump announced at Double Eagle Development, a shale oil and gas company in Midland, Texas. The policy change is a shift from the current protocol of granting 20-year export terms, the energy department noted in a statement.

Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette, who accompanied Trump to Texas, said the move is among several measures the energy department has taken to support U.S. LNG exports.

“Just this year, LNG exports from the United States will reduce our trade deficit by over $10 billion. Furthermore, LNG exports in the United States are providing tens of thousands of jobs and have led to the investment of billions of dollars in infrastructure,” Brouillette said in a statement.

“This administration is following through on our commitment to make U.S. LNG—a long-term, reliable, cleaner-burning energy source—available to the world.”

Trump also signed four presidential permits that approve various infrastructure at the country’s border, as part of efforts to promote U.S. energy independence.

“I will sign four critical permits, granting approval to vital pipeline and railway infrastructure on our nation’s border. That’s a big deal,” he said ahead of the signing. “This will include two permits allowing the export of Texas crude to Mexico—a giant victory for the workers of this state that you’ve been after for many years.”

Donald J. Trump in Texas
President Donald Trump waves to supporters after delivering remarks about American energy production during a visit to the Double Eagle Development oil rig, in Midland, Texas, on July 29, 2020. (Tony Gutierrez/AP Photo)

The presidential permits authorize:

  • The Kansas City Southern Railway Company to construct, connect, operate, and maintain railway bridge facilities at the international boundary between the United States and Mexico
  • The Transcanada Keystone pipeline, L.P., to operate and maintain existing pipeline facilities at the international boundary between the United States and Canada
  • Nustar Logistics, L.P., to construct, connect, operate, and maintain pipeline facilities at the international boundary between the United States and Mexico
  • Nustar Logistics, L.P., to operate and maintain existing pipeline facilities at the international boundary between the United States and Mexico

The U.S. oil and gas industry faces a pandemic-driven economic downturn and global oversupply that briefly drove oil prices into negative territory this spring. Prices have rebounded to around $40 a barrel, still below what some producers need to break even.

Trump’s tax and regulation cuts have increased U.S. production of oil and natural gas. Under the Trump administration, the United States became the world’s top producer of oil and maintained its position as the top global producer of natural gas. The country in 2019 became a net exporter of petroleum (crude oil and refined) products for the first time since 1949, and is on its fourth consecutive year as a net exporter of natural gas.

“For the first time in nearly 70 years, we have become a net energy exporter,” Trump said, to applause. “And the United States is now the number one producer of oil and natural gas on the face of the Earth.”

The president praised America’s energy independence.

“It took a long time to be independent. And as long as I’m your president, we will never let anyone put American energy out of business, which is what they’d like to do,” Trump told the crowd. “We will never again be reliant on hostile foreign suppliers. We will defend your jobs, and we will defend the Lone Star State. I love this state. And we will defend America’s newfound energy independence.”

The White House said in a statement that energy dominance “means more affordable utilities and gas prices for families, more jobs for American workers, and less reliance on unstable foreign energy sources.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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