Republicans are stepping up their attacks on the Interior Department’s closure of parks and monuments during the shutdown.

But a Democrat is fighting back.

The back-and-forth is a preview of looming House and Senate hearings on how the shutdown is affecting public parks, lands and monuments.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee will host officials from several countries at a Capitol Hill forum to promote expanded U.S. natural-gas exports.
The U.S. natural-gas production boom has fueled an array of industry applications to expand exports. The Energy Department has approved a few plans, and pro-export lawmakers and business groups are pressing for more.

“Such a summit with our global friends would have been unthinkable just a few short years ago. Our natural gas boom is creating jobs and revitalizing manufacturing here at home, but it also offers an opportunity for us to help our allies and trading partners fuel their economy and reduce the world’s reliance on unstable regions of the world,” committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) said in a statement.

But the export push is getting pushback from some prominent Democrats and a handful of big manufacturers — notably Dow Chemical — who fear higher domestic prices for consumers and industries that rely on the fuel.