Gardner to introduce natural gas exports bill

Rep. Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerMcConnell calls for Senate hearings on Russia sanctions GOP seeks separation from Trump on Russia Republican bill aims to deter NATO members from using Russian pipeline MORE (R-Colo.) will introduce a bill on natural gas exports Thursday, a congressional source told The Hill.

Gardner, who recently announced his campaign against Sen. Mark UdallMark Emery UdallRecord number of LGBT candidates running for governor Senate GOP rejects Trump’s call to go big on gun legislation Democratic primary could upend bid for Colorado seat MORE (D-Colo.), will introduce details Thursday.

"Natural gas means jobs in Colorado and energy independence for America,” Gardner said in an emailed statement.

"It also serves our national security interests as an aggressive Russian regime looks to expand power in former Soviet Union countries. By acting to speed up export approvals, we can help our allies in the region and across the globe while creating jobs and economic opportunity here in Colorado,” Gardner said.

Natural gas exports became a hotter topic for Republicans in the House after Russia's gas-export monopoly said it would stop selling natural gas to Ukraine for a discount rate.
Roughly 80 percent of Russian gas exports to Europe pass through Ukraine, and Ukraine itself would go cold without Russian gas.

Udall, who's up for a stiffer reelection bid than previously thought, introduced a bill Wednesday night that would allow for the expedited approval of natural gas exports to World Trade Member Organization member countries.

Gardner's decision to challenge Udall could give Republicans a real shot at taking the seat, helping to boost their chances at gaining control of the Senate come November.