(Bloomberg) -- If Gary Cohn gets his way, the U.S. could be the biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas in the world.
The director of the White House’s National Economic Council -- and former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. president -- said the administration would step up approvals for LNG export terminals, starting with a project in the Northwest that he didn’t identify. At present, Cheniere Energy Inc. is the nation’s sole LNG exporter from the lower 48 states.
“We could be and should be the largest exporter of LNG in the world,” Cohn said at the Institute of International Finance forum in Washington. "We’re going to permit more and more of these LNG plants."
Federal regulators are reviewing about two dozen applications from companies seeking to send America’s gas bonanza overseas. That’s putting the U.S. on course to become a net exporter of natural gas by 2018, the first time that’s happened since the 1950s.
Veresen Inc.’s Jordan Cove LNG export project in Oregon has been denied a permit twice by regulators. After Cohn’s comments, shares of the Calgary-based company jumped the most since the beginning of February. The company had no comment on Cohn’s remarks, according to Riley Hicks, a spokesman.