Reuters: Republicans push Obama administration on upping natural gas exports

Republican lawmakers urged the Obama administration on Tuesday to approve more ports for exporting surging supplies of natural gas, saying that fuel-thirsty countries could look to other producers if Washington does not act this year.

U.S. Representatives Fred Upton and Ed Whitfield, two Republicans, introduced a report that said the window of opportunity for U.S. natural gas exports will not remain open indefinitely.

President Barack Obama highlighted the role that natural gas has played in cutting greenhouse gas emissions in his State of the Union address last week. His Department of Energy, or DOE, has been considering more than 20 applications for companies to export natural gas to countries with which it does not have free trade agreements, such as Japan and India.

Republicans, however, are frustrated with the pace of approvals. The DOE has approved five applications since 2011, and the last one, for Freeport LNG, came in November.

“We are sending a friendly shot across the bow for DOE to take it up,” Upton, the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, told reporters.

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SOURCE: Reuters, 2014

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