U.S. lawmakers mull speedier gas exports to help Ukraine, Europe

By Ayesha Rascoe WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. shale gas boom should be used to counteract Russian influence in Europe and on Ukraine, a key senator said on Tuesday, as lawmakers weighed changes to export policy to take into account a shifting geopolitical landscape. European worries about the security of energy supplies have skyrocketed since Russian forces seized control of the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine this month. The Ukrainian crisis has led to intense scrutiny of export rules for U.S. liquefied natural gas. The regulations require the Department of Energy to grant permission for natural gas exports to all but a handful of countries, such as Canada, which have free trade agreements with the United States.

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