House hearings to explore gas sales to Ukraine

Two House committees meet next week to lend support for increased U.S. exports of natural gas, an idea supporters say would erode Russia's influence over U.S. allies like Ukraine.

On Tuesday, a House Energy & Commerce subcommittee will hold a hearing on H.R. 6, the Domestic Prosperity and Global Freedom Act. This bill would allow for expedited approval of exports of natural gas to countries in the World Trade Organization.

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Its sponsor, Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), says the bill would let Ukraine rely on countries other than Russia for energy and help expand U.S. influence in that region of the world.

"President Putin and the Russian regime are using their dominance of the European natural gas market to flex their muscles and expand their influence," Gardner said, when he proposed the bill earlier this month. "European nations are clamoring for a resource that is abundant in Colorado, but current law restricts our ability to sell it to them."

Also Tuesday, the House Foreign Affairs Committee meets to discuss how U.S. energy exports would create U.S. jobs and aid U.S. diplomatic efforts.

"This hearing presents the Committee with an especially timely opportunity to examine how to better utilize U.S. natural resources in an effort to break Russia's energy grip over Ukraine and other European countries, which undermines their security," Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.) said when announcing the hearing.

The two hearings will take place as the Senate is expected to consider legislation to authorize U.S. loan guarantees for Ukraine, and as the Obama administration is examining further sanctions against Russia for its military intervention into Ukraine.

Details on these and other House hearings next week follow here:

House Appropriations

Homeland Security subcommittee

March 25, budget hearing on the Transportation Security Administration
     10 a.m., 2359 Rayburn House Office Building

Financial Services and General Government subcommittee

March 25, budget hearing on the Federal Communications Commission
     2 p.m., B-308 Rayburn House Office Building

Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies subcommittee

March 27, budget hearing on the Environmental Protection Agency
     10 a.m., B-308 Rayburn House Office Building

House Education & the Workforce

March 26, "Reviewing the President's Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Proposal for the Department of Labor," Labor Secretary Thomas Perez testifies
     10 a.m., 2175 Rayburn House Office Building

House Energy & Commerce

Energy and Power subcommittee

March 25, "H.R. 6, the Domestic Prosperity and Global Freedom Act"
     1:30 p.m., 2123 Rayburn House Office Building

House Financial Services

March 25, "Why Debt Matters"
     10 a.m., 2128 Rayburn House Office Building

March 26, "Annual Testimony of the Secretary of the Treasury on the State of the International Financial System," Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew testifies
     10:30 a.m., 2128 Rayburn House Office Building

House Foreign Affairs

March 25, "The Geopolitical Potential of the U.S. Energy Boom"
     10 a.m., 2172 Rayburn House Office Building

House Judiciary

Joint subcommittee hearing: Judiciary subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security, Oversight & Government Reform subcommittee on National Security

March 26, "Overturning 30 years of Precedent: Is the Administration Ignoring the Dangers of Training Libyan Pilots and Nuclear Scientists?"
     1 p.m., 2141 Rayburn House Office Building

House Natural Resources

March 26, "Collision Course: Oversight of the Obama Administration's Enforcement Approach for America's Wildlife Laws and Its Impact on Domestic Energy"
     10 a.m., 1324 Longworth House Office Building

House Science, Space, and Technology

March 26, "A Review of the President's Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Request for Science Agencies"
     10 a.m., 2318 Rayburn House Office Building