The House Energy and Commerce Committee passed Gardner's measure by a vote of 33 to 18. The Republican congressman said the so-called Domestic Prosperity and Global Freedom Act would expedite the decision-making processes for facilities seeking an export license for liquefied natural gas.
"The majority of LNG export applications are waiting in a long line," Gardner said in a statement. "We must break the logjam that is currently taking place at DOE, and move toward construction of these LNG export facilities."
The federal government needs to determine if exporting LNG to countries without a U.S. free-trade agreement is in the public's interest before granting an export license.
Jack Gerard, president of the American Petroleum Institute, said Gardner's measure would position the United States, the world leader in natural gas production, as "an energy superpower."
Gardner said Wednesday his measure is in part a response to Russia's grip on the European energy sector.
Members of the European Union lack free-trade deals with the United States. It's the private sector, not the federal government, which determines LNG destinations.