Sens. Wyden, Murkowski press DOE on natural gas exports

The DOE has approved two licenses for exports to nations that lack a free-trade agreement with the United States. It’s weighing another 21 applications.

Deals not made through free-trade agreements must be deemed in the public interest under federal law and therefore face more scrutiny.

Supporters of increased gas exports, which include businesses, Republicans and some Democrats, say the energy agency is dragging its feet on evaluating the applications. They’ve urged more haste from the department.

Some Democrats, including Wyden, are more wary. They warn an unrestrained export increase would raise domestic prices.

Moniz has said the DOE is reviewing the applications “expeditiously” on a case-by-case basis.