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Landrieu-Udall Bill Calls for Expedited DOE Review of LNG Export Applications

U.S. Sens. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Mark Udall (D-CO) -- two Democrats running for re-election this fall -- introduced a bill Wednesday designed to speed up the review process for liquefied natural gas (LNG) export applications at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

Under the bill -- S2494, also known as the Natural Gas Export Promotion Act of 2014 -- DOE would be required to make a final decision on whether an LNG export application is in the national interest within 45 days of a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review being finalized.

The bill would also allow for an expedited judicial review if DOE doesn't make a decision within the 45-day period, and would require DOE to report to the public which countries LNG would be exported to.

"By speeding up the DOE's review of pending LNG export facilities, my bill would cut red tape and complement the agency's newly announced review process," Udall said Wednesday. "My legislation also provides the DOE with a common-sense amount of time to consider the environmental and national security implications of each application without unnecessarily delaying the process."

Landrieu and Udall both serve on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, which is chaired by Landrieu.

In a statement, the Industrial Energy Consumers of America (IECA) said it opposes S2494.

"With domestic natural gas prices forecasted to rise over 160% in 10 years, expediting LNG exports beyond what has already been approved by the DOE is reckless public policy that will drive up the cost of natural gas and electricity to all consumers and seriously damage manufacturing competitiveness and jobs," IECA President Paul Cicio said Thursday.

Udall has been under fire from Republicans for voting against the Keystone XL pipeline. He will face Republican Cory Gardner in the general election on Nov. 4. Meanwhile, Landrieu will face at least three Republican challengers on Nov. 4, with a runoff in December between the top two candidates if no one receives 50% plus one of the votes.

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