Cornerstone Public Affairs is pushing for the U.S. to free up natural gas exports to Europe, which would enable the continent to reduce its reliance on energy exports from Russia.

alliesThe measure has moved front and center with rising pressure to slap sanctions on Russia’s in the aftermath of its grab of Crimea and intervention in eastern Ukraine.

Russia accounts for 30 percent of Europe’s natural gas consumption. The Baltic states of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania are 100 percent dependent on Russia.

The LNG Allies coalition, non-profit business league bankrolled by European governments, wants changes in the Natural Gas Act to expedite applications for export of gas to nations without free trade agreements with the U.S.

Though members of NATO, Russia border-sharing Baltic states do not have FTAs with the U.S.

Under federal rules, The Dept. of Energy must determine the gas exports are in the public interest.

Geoff Gonella is president of 12-year-old Cornerstone, which has offices in Washington, Baton Rouge, Houston, Jackson and Chicago.