Sen. Wyden: Energy Dept. must explain gas export review criteria

Wyden is expected to become chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee if Democrats retain their majority in the upcoming elections. Current chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) is retiring from the Senate.

Record U.S. natural-gas production is fueling an array of applications to export liquefied natural gas from Oregon, the Gulf Coast and elsewhere; a list of projects under review is here.

Wyden has expressed skepticism about the proposals, citing concerns that a surge in exports could raise natural gas costs for manufacturers and other sectors of the economy.

An Energy Department contractor is still working on a closely watched economic analysis of the proposed exports. But Wyden’s letter says the department must also explain how it will “establish the actual decision-making criteria” to be used for specific applications.