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US politicians want LNG exports on US ships

Supporters of effort say US merchant fleet vital to national security

Published Mon, Mar 10, 2014 · 10:00 PM
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[NEW YORK] US lawmakers are making a fresh push to require exports of natural gas to be carried on American ships.

Proposals from Representative John Garamendi, a Democrat from California, and the Department of Transportation's Maritime Administration would require exports of liquefied natural gas to use US-made and crewed ships. The shipping industry expects the moves to gather bipartisan support, said Clay Maitland, chairman of the Merchant Marine Policy Coalition, an industry group.

While the changes would make LNG exports more expensive than using foreign tankers because no such US-flagged vessels currently exist, supporters of the effort say that the US merchant fleet is vital to national security. The proposals are gaining attention amid calls to ship gas to Europe to offset possible reductions in supply from Russia.

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