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DOE may consider Crimea crisis in weighing gas exports

The Department of Energy (DOE) may consider Russia's energy influence in Eastern Europe as it reviews applications to export liquefied natural gas there, Secretary Ernest MonizErnest Jeffrey MonizOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Dems press Trump consumer safety nominee on chemical issues | Lawmakers weigh how to help struggling energy industry | 180 Democrats ask House leadership for clean energy assistance Lawmakers weigh how to help struggling energy industry The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Surgeon General stresses need to invest much more in public health infrastructure, during and after COVID-19; Fauci hopeful vaccine could be deployed in December MORE said Friday.

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International politics and global markets are among the factors the agency can take into account when approving the applications, Moniz said, according to Bloomberg News.

The DOE must evaluate applications to export natural gas to countries with which the United States does not have a free-trade agreement, including the entire European Union. Republicans have urged quick approval of export applications as a way to undercut Russia and reduce the influence it wields by being the chief exporter of natural gas in Eastern Europe.

“Maybe we will give some additional weight to the geopolitical criterion going forward,” Moniz said at a Bloomberg Government breakfast in Washington.

Russia has not reduced its energy exports in recent weeks while annexing the Crimea region from Ukraine, Moniz said.

But the DOE will watch the crisis as it unfolds and as the agency considers the 20 export applications that are currently pending, he said.