OVERNIGHT ENERGY: House panel green lights gas exports bill

NATURAL GAS: The House Energy and Commerce Committee advanced legislation that would speed up the export of liquified natural gas.

After a number of changes, the current bill, proposed by Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), puts the Energy Department on the clock when considering applications for natural gas export facilities in the U.S.

Momentum has continued to grow for meaningful legislation to expedite natural gas exports amid tensions over Ukraine, which is severely dependent on Russia's energy supply.

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SENATE LNG MEASURE TO MIRROR HOUSE BILL: Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.), who had introduced his own bill to expedite LNG exports, announced late Wednesday that he would replace it with one based on the bill that passed the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

“This effort to expedite natural gas exports to our allies and trading partners abroad is far too important to get bogged down over technical differences between the two chambers,” Udall said in a statement.

He said he would introduce the new measure as an amendment to the energy-efficiency legislation that the Senate will consider next week.

ON TAP THURSDAY: The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing about this winter’s propane shortages. The panel said it will focus on what led to the shortage and the government’s response. Lawmakers will also assess propane needs heading into next winter.

The committee will hear from representatives of the Department of Energy and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, as well as private sector witnesses from the propane, pipeline and agriculture sectors.

Rest of Thursday's agenda:

The Environmental Defense Fund is holding a conference call on natural gas development. The president of the green group, Fred Krupp, and Gideon Rose, editor of Foreign Affairs magazine will be on the call.

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) will hold a call on the growing threat to U.S. food security by a changing climate. The director of Iowa State University's Climate Science program, Eugene Takle, will be on the call with Claire O'Connor, agricultural water policy analyst of NRDC, among others.

NEWS BITES:

Change up: The American Petroleum Institute has appointed Louis Finkel, a Democratic policy strategist, to be its top lobbyist. Finkel will be executive vice president for government relations effective May 27, leading a staff of 64, API said.

Finkel currently serves in a similar role at the Grocery Manufacturers Association, and has more than two decades of energy policy experience.

Crude oil: Sierra Club chimed in on the latest derailment of tanker cars carrying crude oil Wednesday.

"In the wake of this and other recent dirty fuel disasters it's clear that we must move as quickly as possible to safer, cleaner forms of energy like wind and solar. The safest place for dirty fuels is in the ground."

 
AROUND THE WEB:

In the Tuesday ruling upholding the Environmental Protection Agency’s cross-state pollution rule, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia mischaracterized a previous EPA-related decision that he wrote himself, the Huffington Post reports.

A federal district court in San Francisco ordered EPA Tuesday to propose new ground-level ozone pollution standards by December, the Associated Press reports.

Southern Co. has pushed to next year completion of its Mississippi coal-gassification plant, which will feature carbon-capture and sequestration technology, Reuters reports.

Proposed zoning rules in Chicago that Mayor Rahm Emanuel sent to the council for a vote would allow three petroleum coke dumps in the city to remain, the Chicago Tribune reports.
 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

Check out the stories of the day here:

- Progressive group ties oil lobby to Saudi Arabia
- Dems want to boost military energy efficiency
- Fishery groups defend EPA on Pebble Mine
- Oil train derails in Lynchburg, Va.
- White House: Congress shouldn't touch Keystone
- Vitter will again push O-Care amendment on energy bill
- Natural gas just one part of European energy security, State official says
- House panel OKs bill to speed up gas exports
- Natural gas terminal clears hurdle
- Sanctions threaten US, EU energy deals, Putin says
- Exelon to buy Pepco for $6.8 billion

Please send tips and comments to Laura Barron-Lopez, laurab@thehill.com and Timothy Cama, tcama@thehill.com.

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