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US House passes bill aimed at expediting natural gas exports

January 28, 2015

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a bill aimed at expediting approvals of natural gas exports.

In a 277-133 vote, the House approved a bill giving the Energy Department a 30-day deadline to authorize natural gas exports from facilities after they are reviewed and approved.

It’s the third energy-related bill passed by the House this Congress. They have also approved bills authorizing construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline and fast-tracking new natural gas pipelines.

“Unfortunately, our nation’s energy infrastructure, mired in red tape and an outdated permitting process, has failed to keep up with today’s growing pace of energy production,” said House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, a Louisiana Republican, whose state which has received three approvals to export natural gas from the Department of Energy.

While stopping short of threatening to veto the bill, White House spokesman Eric Schultz said it was “totally unnecessary.”

The natural gas boom has revived a push for liquefied natural gas exports from coastal terminals. Nearly all U.S. natural gas exports today are by pipeline to Mexico and Canada.

More than three dozen applications to build export terminals are pending and have yet to reach the Energy Department. DOE has authorized natural gas exports from four projects.

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