Landrieu sets hearing on natural gas exports

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Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), the chairwoman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, will lead a hearing next week about the implications of exporting natural gas for jobs and international relations.

“The hearing will examine how the United States can responsibly export natural gas to promote manufacturing, create high-paying jobs and expand U.S. influence around the world to assist its allies,” the committee said in a Thursday statement.

Republicans have called for increasing exports of liquefied natural gas to Eastern Europe and Ukraine. Some Democrats, including Landrieu, have signaled a willingness to work with Republicans toward that goal.

Eastern Europe relies heavily on Russia for natural gas, so the GOP sees exports as a way to undercut the influence of Russian President Vladimir Putin after his move to seize control of Crimea.

The March 25 hearing will include witnesses from the Energy Information Administration, Lithuania, NERA Economic Consulting, the Brookings Institution and the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

The same day, a subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on a bill by Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) that would force the Obama administration to approve all pending applications for liquefied natural gas export terminals.