On January 28, 2015, the U.S. House of Representatives rejected an amendment offered by Rep. John Garamendi from California to require that U.S. LNG exports be carried in U.S.-built, U.S.-flag vessels if available. Presently, there are no LNG tank vessels under U.S.-flag that would precipitate the carriage requirement.
The amendment was offered to a bill intended to make it easier to obtain LNG export permission from the U.S. Government (H.R. 351, the “LNG Permitting Certainty and Transparency Act”). Rep. Garamendi had presented a similar amendment for consideration last year during committee consideration of the Coast Guard authorization bill. Rep. Garamendi argued that the U.S. build, U.S.-flag requirement was necessary for national defense (to support U.S. shipyards and U.S. merchant mariners) and for the preservation of American manufacturing and seagoing jobs. The vote was 237 to 175 against the amendment (with 21 not voting).