By Laura Barron-Lopez - 03/06/14 07:21 AM EST
Rep. Cory Gardner (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 Udall (D-Colo.), will introduce details Thursday.
"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.