The House Appropriations Committee, which oversees federal discretionary funding, approved its version of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 Energy and Water Development Appropriations legislation. U.S. Rep. Rodney Alexander (R-Ruston) successfully had his amendment included that directs the Department of Energy (DOE) to report back to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development within 30 days of the enactment of this legislation with a plan to process natural gas export applications expeditiously. Alexander issued the following remarks regarding his amendment to the bill:
"I am simply requesting that DOE do its job and either approve or deny pending applications to export our vast natural gas reserves. For an energy company to export fossil energy, the company must first submit an application to DOE and have it approved. For exports to countries we have a free trade agreement with, the process is fairly routine. However, the problem lies with applications involving countries where no free trade agreement exists. Up to this point, only two companies have had their applications approved, and over 20 applications remain pending, some of which date back two to three years. For the applications to remain in limbo signals that DOE has been asleep at the wheel.
"Those who have applied to DOE to conduct international commerce should be given, in a timely and responsible manner, a straightforward yes or no answer. It is bad policy to ignore these requests as DOE continues to do."