Recent Terrorist Events Highlights Need to Develop Domestic Natural Gas Infrastructure, Says Congressman
WASHINGTON (May 8, 2012) – Recent terrorist activities emanating from Yemen calls into question whether New England should be importing significant amounts of its natural gas from that country, Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) wrote today in a letter sent to the head of the Department of Energy. Al-Qaeda affiliates in Yemen have recently attacked natural gas pipelines there, disrupting supplies due to be sent to an import terminal in Everett, Massachusetts. Information released just yesterday confirm that Al Qaeda affiliates in Yemen also plotted to plant a bomb on a U.S.-bound plane, a plan that was foiled by the Central Intelligence Agency.
Nearly one-fifth of the current LNG imports arriving to the Massachusetts terminal come from Yemen, even as domestic supplies of natural gas are robust. Rep. Markey, the Ranking Member of the Natural Resources Committee and an advocate for keeping America’s natural gas here for use by American families and businesses, today pressed the Obama administration on what it was doing to help develop domestic natural gas infrastructure to help reduce or eliminate America’s reliance imports from countries like Yemen where terrorist attacks may threaten the reliability of supplies.
“These natural gas supply problems highlight the importance of developing the domestic infrastructure that would allow all Americans to benefit from the low-price, abundant and secure supplies of natural gas now being produced in the United States,” writes Rep. Markey to Energy Secretary Steven Chu. “The disturbing connection between American energy demands and violence in the Middle East is one that we must work to eliminate. I believe that using our domestically produced natural gas here in America to reduce our dependence on foreign supplies should take precedence over any plans to export our natural gas.”
The full letter from Rep. Markey to Secretary Chu is available HERE.
As the letter notes, New England is particularly vulnerable to serious supply threats from such attacks. The LNG import terminal located in Everett is the busiest in the country, taking in 35 percent of all U.S. LNG imports by volume. LNG makes up 20 percent of New England’s natural gas supply, and during times of peak natural gas demand LNG is used to meet 30 percent of the region’s needs. Since 2010, roughly 18 percent of LNG shipments into the Everett LNG facility have originated in Yemen.
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