The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is sponsoring a series of liquefied natural gas (LNG) public education forums aimed at maintaining open communication between government officials and citizens concerning the importation of the gas. Topics covered in the forums include what LNG is, where it comes from, and why it is needed; LNG siting and environmental review processes; LNG federal safety and security requirements; and LNG risk management.
LNG is natural gas condensed to liquid form by chilling it to about -260 degrees Fahrenheit at atmospheric pressure, which reduces its volume. One shipload of LNG provides approximately 5 percent of the U.S. average daily demand for natural gas, according to the DOE. The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates that the United States will have to increase imports of LNG by more than 600 percent in the next twenty-five years to meet the increasing demand for natural gas.
The DOE’s LNG forums are mandated by the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct), which states that a minimum of three LNG forums must be conducted no later than one year after EPAct’s date of enactment. EPAct requires that the forums be located in areas where LNG facilities are under consideration and be designed to foster dialogue among federal, state, and local officials; the general public; independent experts; and industry representatives.
In addition to the DOE, those presenting at the forums include the U.S. Department of Transportation, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, coastal state governors, and professional groups representing regulatory and safety officials. Forums were held in March in Boston, Massachusetts, and Astoria, Oregon. More will be scheduled, and they are free and open to the public.
“The Department of Energy’s liquefied natural gas forums will initiate constructive dialogue among community members, local, state, and federal government leaders,” said DOE Secretary Samuel Bodman. “This forum is one step of many that will help us address and evaluate our energy needs and increase America’s energy security.”
Additional details on the DOE’s LNG forums can be found at http://www.fe.doe.gov/programs/oilgas/storage/lng/lng_forums.html.
The National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium (NAFTC) offers an LNG course, Liquefied Natural Gas Vehicles. More information can be found on the NAFTC’s Web site, http://www.naftc.wvu.edu, in the online course catalog under the curriculum heading.