Three pieces of legislation recently introduced by Rep. Markey (D-MA) and Rep. Holt (D-NJ) would have major impacts on the oil and natural gas markets in the U.S.:

H.R. 1189, the American Natural Gas Security and Consumer Protection Act, would prohibit the exportation of natural gas without authorization from the Secretary of Energy. To grant authorization, the Secretary must determine whether the proposed exportation will be consistent with the public interest, and must specifically consider the effects of the proposed exportation on domestic energy expenditures, the economy, energy security, greenhouse gas emissions, and other factors. Currently, DOE authorization is only required for exports to countries with which the U.S. does not have a free trade agreement.

H.R. 1190, the Keep America’s Oil Here Act, requires that the Secretary of the Interior accept bids for new oil and gas leases on federal lands only from bidders certifying that crude oil and refined petroleum products produced under the leases will be offered for sale exclusively in the U.S. The President would have the power to waive the prohibition on foreign sales if he determines the waiver to be in the national interest because it does not: (1) lead to an increase in consumption of oil from hostile countries; (2) compromise energy security; (3) raise crude costs for refiners; or, (4) raise gasoline prices for consumers. The President may also waive the prohibition on foreign sales for North American trading partners with which the U.S. has a free trade agreement if the crude oil and products exported will be consumed in North America.

H.R. 1191, the Keep American Natural Gas Here Act, requires that the Secretary of the Interior accept bids for new oil and gas leases on federal lands only from bidders certifying that natural gas produced under the lease will be offered for sale exclusively in the U.S. The law further prohibits granting new rights-of-way for natural gas pipelines unless the applicant certifies that all the natural gas transported via each pipeline shall be offered for sale only in the U.S.