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Upton responds to Russian decision to cut off Ukraine’s gas

LNG Industry,

Fred Upton, Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, released the following statement in response to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s announcement that Russia will cut off natural gas supplies to Ukraine unless it receives pre-payments.

Act on LNG exports

“Threatening to turn off the spigot of natural gas to Ukraine is nothing but extortion playing out on the global stage. This shameful act of defiance by Putin underscores the growing need for Congress to act on LNG exports. Passage of Rep. Gardner’s bipartisan legislation, H.R. 6, would send the clear signal that we are serious about enlarging the scope of natural gas exports, and immediately undercut Russia’s dominance.

“Russia has chosen to wield its energy resources as a geopolitical weapon to inflict harm on others. As the world’s emerging energy superpower, America has a newfound responsibility to help our allies. I look forward to a strong vote on the House floor and urge the Senate to take action on this critical issue."

Slow approval process

The increased export of US LNG would have considerable benefits at home and abroad, however according to Upton, the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) slow approval process threatens this opportunity.

H.R. 6, the Domestic Prosperity and Global Freedom Act, would help clear the backlog of export applications currently pending at DOE. The legislation provides that DOE must issue a decision on any application no later than 90 days of enactment or the end of the application's comment period. It also provides for expedited judicial review for challenges to DOE’s decision or inaction on these applications.

Remaining applications

Currently 24 applications are awaiting action from DOE. H.R. 6 was approved by Upton’s committee on 30 April 2014, by a bipartisan vote of 33-18 and will be considered by the full House in the next few weeks.

Adapted from press release by Katie Woodward

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