Murkowski leads effort to push Keystone XL pipeline, LNG exports

Rider to unemployment bill would sanction Keystone XL pipeline, LNG exports.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |   April 2, 2014 at 10:09 AM
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U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski unveiled a measure that would facilitate the construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline and fast-track liquefied natural gas exports.

Murkwoski, R-Alaska, ranking member on the Senate Energy Committee, joined Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., and John Barrasso, R-Wyo., in introducing the Energy Security Act as an amendment to a bill that would extend unemployment assistance.

The measure authorizes pipeline company TransCanada to build the Keystone XL oil pipeline. Keystone XL needs federal approval as a cross-border pipeline, though the Senate leaders said lawmakers have the authority to act under the foreign Commerce Clause.

The amendment also calls on the Department of Energy to approve applications to export liquefied natural gas to Ukraine, Japan and NATO allies that don't have a free-trade agreement with the United States.

Current law requires a consideration of public interest before granting LNG export licenses to non-FTA countries.

The Natural Resources Defense Council praised a draft bill introduced by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., which would renew expired tax credits for renewable energy.

"America doesn’t have to settle for dirty air and yesterday’s energy," Franz Matzner, associate director of government affairs for the NRDC, said in a statement.

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