Heritage urges ‘yes’ votes on gas exports

The conservative Heritage Action for America has identified the House bill to expedite liquefied natural gas (LNG) export applications as a “key vote” and is urging representatives to approve it.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Cory GardnerCory GardnerLive coverage: Senate debates repealing ObamaCare Overnight Energy: Senate confirms controversial Interior No. 2 pick Senate confirms Trump's nominee for No. 2 Interior post MORE (R-Colo.) would require the Energy Department to decide within 30 days whether to approve an LNG export permit, starting when an environmental review is completed. A vote on the bill is scheduled for Wednesday.

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Heritage said Tuesday that the Energy Department’s action on more than two dozen natural gas export permits has stalled, and setting a deadline for consideration would “enhance the role the U.S. can play in increasing global supply, allowing European nations to diversify their suppliers and lessen their dependence on a hostile Russia.”

Gardner, who is running to replace Sen. Mark UdallMark UdallDemocratic primary could upend bid for Colorado seat Picking 2018 candidates pits McConnell vs. GOP groups Gorsuch's critics, running out of arguments, falsely scream 'sexist' MORE (D-Colo.), introduced his bill in March as Russia was moving to annex the Crimean peninsula from neighboring Ukraine. Udall has introduced similar legislation in the Senate.

Republicans see the measure as a way to weaken the influence Russia yields from its energy resources, while increasing the market for American natural gas.

“The Domestic Prosperity and Global Freedom Act takes an important step forward in reforming a broken system by breaking down barriers that currently prevent the U.S. from fully harnessing the potential in our natural gas production,” Heritage said in a statement.

America’s Natural Gas Alliance sent a letter to House leaders Tuesday also urging passage.

“Given the acknowledged abundance of domestic natural gas, expanding our export opportunities will create jobs, strengthen our economy, and enhance our national security and energy security.