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U.S. Energy Department pledges action in handling gas export applications

U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz gestures during an interview with Reuters in Vienna June 30, 2013. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger
U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz gestures during an interview with Reuters in Vienna June 30, 2013. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

VIENNA (Reuters) - Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said on Sunday he expected to have a "fair amount of action" during 2013 in evaluating applications by companies to export natural gas from the United States.

"I'm planning to go through them as rapidly as I can ... I certainly expect to have a fair amount of action this year," Moniz, who took office last month, said in an interview in the Austrian capital.

U.S. companies hoping to export natural gas are frustrated by lengthy delays and rule changes as they await Department of Energy approval of their applications.

But some U.S. manufacturers and lawmakers have warned that a rapid and unlimited push to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) could lead to a sharp rise in gas prices and harm consumers and energy-intensive industries.

(Reporting by Fredrik Dahl; editing by Jane Baird)

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