(a) Mandatory authorization order

After six months from June 21, 1938, no person shall export any natural gas from the United States to a foreign country or import any natural gas from a foreign country without first having secured an order of the Commission authorizing it to do so. The Commission shall issue such order upon application, unless, after opportunity for hearing, it finds that the proposed exportation or importation will not be consistent with the public interest. The Commission may by its order grant such application, in whole or in part, with such modification and upon such terms and conditions as the Commission may find necessary or appropriate, and may from time to time, after opportunity for hearing, and for good cause shown, make such supplemental order in the premises as it may find necessary or appropriate.

(b) Free trade agreements

Terms Used In 15 USC 717b

  • Jurisdiction: (1) The legal authority of a court to hear and decide a case. Concurrent jurisdiction exists when two courts have simultaneous responsibility for the same case. (2) The geographic area over which the court has authority to decide cases.
  • LNG terminal: includes all natural gas facilities located onshore or in State waters that are used to receive, unload, load, store, transport, gasify, liquefy, or process natural gas that is imported to the United States from a foreign country, exported to a foreign country from the United States, or transported in interstate commerce by waterborne vessel, but does not include--

    (A) waterborne vessels used to deliver natural gas to or from any such facility. See 10 USC 2568a

  • Natural gas: means either natural gas unmixed, or any mixture of natural and artificial gas. See 10 USC 2568a
  • Person: includes an individual or a corporation. See 10 USC 2568a
  • State: means a State admitted to the Union, the District of Columbia, and any organized Territory of the United States. See 10 USC 2568a

With respect to natural gas which is imported into the United States from a nation with which there is in effect a free trade agreement requiring national treatment for trade in natural gas, and with respect to liquefied natural gas–

(1) the importation of such natural gas shall be treated as a “first sale” within the meaning of section 3301(21) of this title; and

(2) the Commission shall not, on the basis of national origin, treat any such imported natural gas on an unjust, unreasonable, unduly discriminatory, or preferential basis.

(c) Expedited application and approval process

For purposes of subsection (a), the importation of the natural gas referred to in subsection (b), or the exportation of natural gas to a nation with which there is in effect a free trade agreement requiring national treatment for trade in natural gas, shall be deemed to be consistent with the public interest, and applications for such importation or exportation shall be granted without modification or delay.

(d) Construction with other laws

Except as specifically provided in this chapter, nothing in this chapter affects the rights of States under–

(1) the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 (16 U.S.C. 1451 et seq.);

(2) the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.); or

(3) the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.).

(e) LNG terminals

(1) The Commission shall have the exclusive authority to approve or deny an application for the siting, construction, expansion, or operation of an LNG terminal. Except as specifically provided in this chapter, nothing in this chapter is intended to affect otherwise applicable law related to any Federal agency’s authorities or responsibilities related to LNG terminals.

(2) Upon the filing of any application to site, construct, expand, or operate an LNG terminal, the Commission shall–

(A) set the matter for hearing;

(B) give reasonable notice of the hearing to all interested persons, including the State commission of the State in which the LNG terminal is located and, if not the same, the Governor-appointed State agency described in section 717b-1 of this title;

(C) decide the matter in accordance with this subsection; and

(D) issue or deny the appropriate order accordingly.


(3)(A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B), the Commission may approve an application described in paragraph (2), in whole or part, with such modifications and upon such terms and conditions as the Commission find 1 necessary or appropriate.

(B) Before January 1, 2015, the Commission shall not–

(i) deny an application solely on the basis that the applicant proposes to use the LNG terminal exclusively or partially for gas that the applicant or an affiliate of the applicant will supply to the facility; or

(ii) condition an order on–

(I) a requirement that the LNG terminal offer service to customers other than the applicant, or any affiliate of the applicant, securing the order;

(II) any regulation of the rates, charges, terms, or conditions of service of the LNG terminal; or

(III) a requirement to file with the Commission schedules or contracts related to the rates, charges, terms, or conditions of service of the LNG terminal.


(C) Subparagraph (B) shall cease to have effect on January 1, 2030.

(4) An order issued for an LNG terminal that also offers service to customers on an open access basis shall not result in subsidization of expansion capacity by existing customers, degradation of service to existing customers, or undue discrimination against existing customers as to their terms or conditions of service at the facility, as all of those terms are defined by the Commission.

(f) Military installations

(1) In this subsection, the term “military installation”–

(A) means a base, camp, post, range, station, yard, center, or homeport facility for any ship or other activity under the jurisdiction of the Department of Defense, including any leased facility, that is located within a State, the District of Columbia, or any territory of the United States; and

(B) does not include any facility used primarily for civil works, rivers and harbors projects, or flood control projects, as determined by the Secretary of Defense.


(2) The Commission shall enter into a memorandum of understanding with the Secretary of Defense for the purpose of ensuring that the Commission coordinate and consult 2 with the Secretary of Defense on the siting, construction, expansion, or operation of liquefied natural gas facilities that may affect an active military installation.

(3) The Commission shall obtain the concurrence of the Secretary of Defense before authorizing the siting, construction, expansion, or operation of liquefied natural gas facilities affecting the training or activities of an active military installation.