DOE Holds LNG Forum in Boston

To fulfill its mandate under the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the Department of Energy today held the first of at least three public forums to educate the public on LNG. The all-day session in Boston, drew over 300 attendees; it covered regulatory, economic, safety and security, and environmental issues and included significant Q&A sessions. Jim Kendell of the EIA discussed the domestic outlook for natural gas supply and demand through 2030. In particular, he noted that EIA predicts an 18% increase in natural gas consumption by the year 2022, and that peak natural gas consumption will occur in 2024.

In addition, Congressman Barney Frank delivered brief remarks before lunch. Noting that regulators are limited by their statutory authority, Congressman Frank stated: “I will be critical of the [FERC] process, but I will be more critical of the Congress.”

In response to a question regarding the rapid expansion of the LNG vessel fleet, Coast Guard Capt. Lorne Thomas noted that there are increased numbers of vessel inspectors in the US, as well as additional schools and training programs dedicated to ensuring vessel and crew quality. Nonetheless, he asserted that “the onus is on the flag state to make sure international standards are met.” LNGLawBlog attended the forum and provided this summary during the event.

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