By RYAN TRACY AND TENNILLE TRACY
WASHINGTON -- The new United States energy secretary raised
the possibility of delaying further approvals for United States
companies seeking to export natural
gas, saying he wants to review whether the government's
studies of the issue are adequate.
The comments by Ernest Moniz, who was sworn in as energy
secretary, came as industry executives urged the Department of
Energy to move quickly on export applications, some of which
have been waiting for more than a year.
Sempra Energy Executive Octavio Simoes, who is in charge of
the company's bid to export LNG,
told lawmakers that time is running short for the United States
because other natural
gas producers around the world are stepping up efforts.
A study commissioned by the DOE last year found that exports
would bring net economic benefits to the United States. The
department cited that study last week when it approved an
application by Freeport LNG
to export natural gas from a Texas facility.
Some 19 other export facilities have pending applications
at the Energy Department, taking advantage of rising domestic
Mr. Moniz showed caution about the existing studies.
Speaking to reporters after a speech to an energy-efficiency
conference here, he said he was "committed to doing a review of
what's out there in terms of impact analyses" before approving
more applications to export United States natural
gas. Critics have said last year's study didn't rely on the
best data available.
Dow Jones Newswires