Senate Panel to Vote on Natural Gas Exports

LNG-Ship_600x390The Hill

By Timothy Cama

A Senate committee will vote this week on a bill that would speed the federal government’s approval of applications to export liquefied natural gas (LNG).

The legislation, sponsored by Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.), would set a limit on the time the Energy Department could take to consider whether a proposed export project is in the country’s interest.

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will consider the proposal Thursday along with 18 other minor bills on subjects like national park boundaries, wilderness areas and land swaps.

Senators, led mostly by Republicans, have called since early last year for the government to make it easier to export LNG. The Energy Department must make the public interest determination for every application to ship LNG to countries without American free-trade agreements.

The debate picked up steam early this year as a way to retaliate against Russia for its aggression toward neighbors like Ukraine while helping U.S. allies in Eastern Europe with another option for natural gas.

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