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WASHINGTON (AP) — The House has passed Republican-backed legislation aimed at speeding up the approval of liquefied natural gas exports.

The legislation would require the Energy Department to decide on each export application within 30 days after the environmental review has been concluded. It was approved on a mostly partly-line vote Wednesday.

Republicans argue that the bill is needed to clear a backlog of liquefied natural gas export projects. But Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., says the bill would truncate the Energy Department’s review process.

The bill was sponsored by Rep. Cory Gardner, a Colorado Republican who is challenging Democratic Sen. Mark Udall this fall. Udall has a similar bill pending in the Senate, where its fate is less certain.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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