WASHINGTON, June 26 (UPI) -- Democratic lawmakers crossed party lines to vote in support of a Republican-led effort to increase U.S. LNG gas exports, the bill's leader said.
With 46 Democrats voting yay, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 266-150 in support of a bill giving the Department of Energy 30 days to make a final decision on an application to export liquefied natural gas once an environmental review is completed.
U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., who introduced the measure, said Wednesday he was pleased with the bipartisan support.
"By passing this legislation, we are sending a clear signal to the world that the United States is serious about becoming a key player in the global energy market," he said in a statement. "I now urge the Senate to act quickly on this important legislation that can be both a foreign policy and economic policy success story for a nation that could use a lot more of both."
The bill's fate in the Senate is unclear.
Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said the bill imposed arbitrary deadlines that undermine the Department of Energy's authority.
The Department of Energy weighs LNG export applications against the public interest.
Critics of more LNG exports argue it would lead to higher energy prices in the domestic market and lead to an increase in hydraulic fracturing, the controversial shale drilling practice.