30 July 2014; Washington D.C.: Today, on Capitol Hill, the US India Political Action Committee (USINPAC), a bipartisan grassroots organization, hosted a packed legislative briefing demonstrating strong support for U.S. export of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) to India. The event was a culmination of a year-long effort to demonstrate to lawmakers a cogent public interest case for supporting LNG export to countries such as India, which is an early signatory of the W.T.O. (World Trade Organization) Treaty as well as a major U.S. trade-partner, but not a signatory of a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the United States. At present, U.S. LNG export is limited to countries that are FTA signatories.
Rahul Srinivasan, USINPAC Director (LNG Initiative) commented: “The focus of our grassroots campaign has been to support two House bills (H.R.6, H.R. 2771) and a Senate companion bill (S.2494). If passed, the bills are intended to change current law and enable U.S. exports to India.”
Several members of the House Energy & Commerce Committee and co-sponsors of the House Bills addressed the USINPAC-organized legislative briefing.
Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX): “Like the Blue Bell ice cream company, our motto on LNG should be: We eat all we can, and we sell the rest. Where should we sell it? India.”
Rep. James Lankford (R-OK): “Exporting LNG is in the geopolitical best interest of the US and India.”
Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX): “India buys natural gas from countries we don’t like and they don’t like… When I visited India last December, I saw a healthy democracy there … In India, I saw a strong willingness to work with America.”
USINPAC Chairman Sanjay Puri noted: “Through our regular interaction with lawmakers and their staff, topical Congressional Hearings, and our dialogue with Industry leaders who serve on our LNG Initiative Executive Committee, we are convinced that U.S. LNG export to India will significantly further the U.S.-India strategic partnership.”
Mr. Puri added: “We would like to see a break-through in the recent impasse in bilateral relations. An agreement on LNG trade during the September summit between President Obama and Prime Minister Modi will surely re-energize a partnership that is critical in these challenging times.” A historic first on Capitol Hill to be solely focused on U.S. LNG export to India, this was a point reiterated by the distinguished expert-panel at today’s briefing,: Ankit Desai, Cheniere Energy; Sadanand Dhume, American Enterprise Institute; Dr. David Montgomery, NERA Economic Consulting; Dr. Michael Canes, Logistics Management Institute; Erik Milito, American Petroleum Institute; and Sandra Safro, K & L Gates LLP.