Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee are adding their voices to the growing chorus around the fossil-fuel export debate.
Committee aides, led by Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., are writing a report on America's fossil-fuel abundance, with a particular focus on natural-gas exports and its effect on geopolitics.
The report is expected by month's end and will build on work the committee did last year, including a forum in October where delegates from 10 countries spoke about the need for America's natural gas abroad. The Energy Department has approved five applications to export natural gas to countries that are not free-trade partners with the U.S. More than 20 applications are pending.
On Tuesday, Senate Energy and Natural Resources ranking member Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, is releasing a report of her own and delivering a speech on the same general topic of fossil-fuel exports, although she's expected to focus a bit more on the prospect of lifting the decades-old ban on crude-oil exports. The ban, which Congress first put in place back in the 1970s, restricts exports of crude oil in almost all circumstances, with a few exceptions mostly for Canada.