On April 9, a House subcommittee voted to advance a bill seeking to expedite the licensing of liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports to World Trade Organization (WTO) members. The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power approved H.R. 6, the Domestic Prosperity and Global Freedom Act, on a 15-11 party-line vote.The bill would amend the Natural Gas Act to extend automatic approvals of LNG exports to all WTO members. Under current law, only exports to countries with which the United States has a free trade agreement receive automatic authorization.
Supporters of the bill argue that allowing LNG exports to Europe would reduce Russia's influence in the region. Opponents counter that increased exports could drive up domestic natural gas prices, and that most of the exports would end up in Asian countries with higher prices than Europe. The bill will next be considered by full House Energy and Commerce Committee.