Americans are growing more dependent on natural gas for power generation, manufacturing and indoor heating, but a natural gas trade association is pressing lawmakers to accelerate the approval of natural gas exports, according to a recent article on FuelFix.com.

America's Natural Gas Alliance recently called on the federal government to revamp its permitting process for projects aimed at exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG) to foreign markets, arguing that such exports are in the country's national interest. "The time is now for the U.S. to seize the day," Alliance President and CEO Marty Durbin said in a conference call with reporters.

The Department of Energy should issue blanket approval to all companies wanting to ship LNG to countries with which the U.S. does not have free trade agreements, rather than requiring each of those projects to undergo their own permitting process, Durbin said.

Natural gas exports are controversial, because the United States is increasing its own demand for the fuel in critical sectors, including power generation and indoor heating. Some experts predict that natural gas exports will drive up the prices that U.S. homeowners pay. More than 30 LNG export terminals have been proposed.

Despite those risks, America's Natural Gas Alliance claims that LNG export projects represent a "once-in-a-generation opportunity" to give the U.S. a distinct competitive advantage over other countries.

To read the FuelFix.com article, click here.