U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), top Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee, today made the following statement regarding the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) giving conditional approval to Lake Charles Exports LLC to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Louisiana to countries not covered by free trade agreements.

"Natural gas production is arguably one of the brightest spots in our economy, and I am pleased to see the Department of Energy finally crack open the door a little wider for American businesses to make the most of getting into this growing international energy market," said Vitter. "Even though this is only the third permit authorized since 2011, we are making progress toward the continued development of domestic natural gas production and the creation of much-needed jobs."

Earlier this week, Australia's Liquefied Natural Gas Ltd. signed its second customer for its proposed gas processing facility in Lake Charles, Louisiana. The plant is expected to produce around 4 million tons of LNG per year and export up to 2.0 billion cubic feet of natural gas daily for 20 years.