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Opening of the Cheniere Energy Sabine Pass LNG Regasification Facility

April 21, 2008 - 10:49am

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Remarks As Prepared for Delivery by Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman

Good morning.  Charif, thank you for inviting me to be here and thank you for the tour.

It's good to see Senator Vitter, Congressman Boustany and Secretary Abraham.  And I am pleased we are joined by my good friends from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Mark Robinson and former chairman Pat Wood, as well as the members of the Louisiana Legislature and the local officials who are here with us today. 

I bring you greetings from President Bush, who is in New Orleans today for the first day of the North American Leaders' Summit with Prime Minister Harper and President Calderon.

Our desire to foster global economic growth means the world needs more energy.  The International Energy Agency estimates primary world energy needs will grow by 55 percent by 2030.  And, because that will make the global energy market just that much more competitive, America has an energy policy that centers on the idea that we need to diversify our energy sources, our energy suppliers, and our energy supply routes.

We need to do this in ways that are mindful of our responsibility to our shared global environment, as the President challenged us last Wednesday when he moved us further down the path toward slowing, and ultimately stopping growth in greenhouse gas emissions.

The effort to keep pace with the projected increase in global energy demand and to address the problem of global climate change is going to require a significant sustained investment, the kind of investment we see here. 

The International Energy Agency estimates that, between now and 2030, the world will need $22 trillion in new investment - and there are encouraging signs that investment is, for the moment, occurring in those markets that welcome it.  That investment must occur over a sustained period, in developed and developing countries alike, and at all stages of the energy cycle.

One of the signs that this investment is occurring is what has brought us here today, for what is an important moment for southwestern Louisiana and for the entire country.  This new facility, the first domestic onshore regasification terminal built in more than 25 years, will help us diversify our energy supplies, suppliers and supply routes.

America is relying on technology and our historic spirit of innovation to move our energy sector ahead and meet our current and future energy needs.  Innovations, like what we see here today, have made it possible for the United States to increase its use of clean natural gas by providing us access to sources unreachable by pipelines alone. 

Because of technological innovations, the LNG business has been able to transform itself from a simple, single supplier-customer relationship catering to countries without natural gas resources to an interconnected network serving dozens of major consuming markets. 

From my days in the private sector, I know a little something about LNG and LNG terminals and how important growth in this particular part of the energy sector is to our energy future. 

Cheniere has been an important player in this area and has done much to encourage the development of a viable global LNG industry, which is helping to create a stable base for natural gas markets throughout the world.  New discoveries, buoyed by a strong demand for the cleanest forms of fossil fuels, have brought new supplies to market and made enough resources available to allow more and more countries to import LNG.

And so it is somewhat discouraging to see that efforts to construct additional LNG terminals elsewhere in the United States are being discouraged by some elected officials. 

In my judgment, they should not try to block their construction -- they should welcome it.

These terminals are valuable, not just for the jobs they bring to the American people, but because of the role additional terminals will play in bringing environmentally-responsible, affordable energy to the American people that they may use to heat their homes and operate their businesses.

Ladies and gentlemen, let me once again offer my best wishes to all of you and, to those of you who played a role in bringing this facility on line, to thank you for your contribution to a secure energy future for America.

Location: Cameron Parish, Louisiana

Media contact(s): Andrew Beck, (202) 586-4940

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