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LNG = Liquefied Natural Gas

Natural gas must be cryogenically liquefied in order to transport it overseas in specially equipped, thermally insulated tanker vessels. Only a limited number of port facilities in the United States are equipped to process imports of LNG, and none exist on the West Coast. Thus, most of the natural gas used in the U.S. comes from domestic sources. LNG which arrives at an American port facility is then allowed to return to the gaseous state and then enter the natural gas pipeline infrastructure.

Partially due to concerns about Peak oil, dwindling domestic sources of natural gas, and in anticipation of the role natural gas will play in a hydrogen economy, there is interest by the Bush Administration in increasing capacity for the United States to import natural gas in the form of LNG. Thus, there have been numerous recent proposals for the construction of additional LNG import terminals in the United States. These proposals have usually been met with vehement local opposition, usually citing safety concers and fears of terrorism. Recent LNG-terminal proposals in eastern Maine, and near Providence, Rhode Island were defeated, and a proposal for a facility in Southern California is in jeopardy. It may only be politically possible for new LNG facilities to be constructed along the Texas/Louisiana Gulf Coast or overseas in Baja California or the Bahamas.

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