UPDATE 1-U.S. House passes bill speeding up decisions on LNG export requests
(Adds background on bill, comments from lawmakers, trade group)
By Ayesha Rascoe
WASHINGTON, June 25 (Reuters) - The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday approved legislation that would set a deadline for Energy Department reviews of liquefied natural gas export applications, a move aimed at securing swifter approvals for shipping gas overseas.
The legislation, mostly backed by Republicans, would require the department to issue a decision 30 days after the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has completed its environmental analysis of an LNG export project.
Passed by a vote of 266 to 150, the bill must still get through the Senate.
The measure, which attracted the support of 46 Democrats, has a slightly better shot at making it through the Democrat-controlled Senate than other energy bills that have typically languished after clearing the House.
Senate Energy Committee head Mary Landrieu, of Louisiana, along with Senator Mark Udall, a Democrat from Colorado, have introduced a similar bill in the Senate that would require a decision within 45 days of FERC's environmental review.
Since the bill would not force the department to approve any applications and a similar measure has support from some Democrats in the Senate, Center for Liquefied Natural Gas President Bill Cooper said he was hopeful the bill could become law.
The differences between the Senate and House measure are not "enough to get upset about," Cooper said on press call Wednesday. Continued...