WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND), a Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee member, joined Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) in introducing the Natural Gas Export Expansion Act, a bill to eliminate onerous regulations which discourage liquefied natural gas (LNG) trade and to increase LNG exports to the 160-plus countries in the World Trade Organization (WTO).

“Energy security is national security. Bolstering America’s liquefied natural gas industry would help keep Americans safe and employed in good paying jobs, all while lowering global emissions,” said Senator Cramer. “Our bill would eliminate burdensome regulations surrounding liquefied natural gas and allow American producers to sell their premier product around the world.”

Specifically, the Natural Gas Export Expansion Act would:

  • Amend the Natural Gas Act to expedite non-Free Trade Agreement (non-FTA) export permits. By doing so, applications to export LNG to certain non-FTA countries would be treated the same as free trade countries and “deemed to be consistent with the public interest.”
  • Retain current law for restricted nations. Any nation subject to sanctions or trade restrictions is specifically excluded, and the President or Congress can exclude any nation from expedited approval.

Click here to read the text of the bill.


Despite the pandemic, U.S. LNG exports reached all-time highs in November and December 2020, and the U.S. remains a net exporter of natural gas. U.S. LNG was exported to 38 countries, also a record. Historically, the review process for an application to export LNG to non-FTA countries can take years.

The U.S. has one of the lowest flaring intensity levels in the world and methane emissions from U.S. natural gas production have decreased nearly 25 percent since 1990—all while natural gas production grew more than 70 percent. A 2019 Department of Energy report conducted by the National Energy Technology Lab concluded U.S. LNG exports resulted in reduced emissions abroad.

In hearings and public statements, Senator Cramer has stressed the importance of expanding U.S. LNG export capabilities, both as an effort to lower emissions and as a way to bolster national security. Learn more here.