Rush Floor Statement Opposing the Ensuring Small Scale LNG Certainty and Access Act
WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Representative Bobby L. Rush (D-Ill.), Ranking Member of the Energy Subcommittee of the Energy and Commerce Committee spoke on the House Floor this afternoon in opposition to HR 4606, the “Ensuring Small Scale LNG Certainty and Access Act:”
"Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
"Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to HR 4606, Ensuring Small Scale LNG Certainty and Access Act.
"Mr. Speaker, this bill is unnecessary as the Department of Energy has already finalized a rule that would approve any applications to import or export as much as 0.14 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day if no environmental reviews are required.
"Additionally, Mr. Speaker, I offered an amendment to this bill that would have protected the property rights of landowners, but that amendment was refused by the Rules Committee.
"Mr. Speaker, my amendment simply would have ensured that eminent domain would not be exploited for the construction of any pipeline used to import or export any of the gas through this expedited process.
"Mr. Speaker, Members from both sides of the aisle have been bombarded with complaints from constituents who have been forced to defend their own property rights due to aggressive tactics by companies seeking to appropriate their land in order to make a profit.
"Congress should stand on the side of these constituents, as my amendment would have ensured, instead of making it easier for private companies to seize land from citizens.
"This is especially true in cases where applications are expedited, with little to no opportunity for public input or debate throughout the process, as this underline bill mandates.
"Mr. Speaker, although my amendment was not made in order, I also urge my colleagues to support both of the amendments offered by my colleagues on the Energy and Commerce Committee.
"Ranking Member Pallone’s amendment would require public hearings so that the American people would have an opportunity to have their voices heard in this process.
"Additionally, Congresswoman DeGette’s amendment would require LNG export applications demonstrate that the natural gas was produced in a manner that minimizes dangerous methane emissions.
"A June 2018 report by Science magazine found that 13 million metric tons of methane are emitted yearly by the oil and gas industry, despite the fact that there is already existing cost-effective technology available to reduce these emissions.
"So, Mr. Speaker, I urge all of my colleagues to support both the Pallone and DeGette Amendments.
"If those amendments are defeated then I would urge all of my colleagues to oppose the underline bill, HR 4606 and with that I yield back the balance of my time."