Under pressure to use the United States’ energy bounty to respond to the political crisis over Ukraine, the Obama administration on Monday approved exports of liquefied natural gas from Veresen Inc’s Jordan Cove plant in Oregon.

The order is the administration’s first approval of LNG exports from the West Coast and would allow shipments of up to 0.8 billion cubic feet a day from the Coos Bay, Oregon facility.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine’s Crimea region has intensified concerns about the Moscow’s dominance over natural gas supplies for Ukraine and much of Europe.

Some lawmakers have called on the Obama administration to help U.S. allies reduce dependence on Russian gas by speeding up the processing of more than two dozen applications seeking permission to ship U.S. gas abroad.

Jordan Cove is the seventh export application approved by the Energy Department since the shale gas boom spurred a push to sell excess U.S. gas overseas. It is the second project to receive approval this year.

The project needs approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission before construction can begin, and could be several years away from actually shipping any LNG.

Veresen has said the facility will offer low-cost shipping benefits to markets in the Asia Pacific region, as well as South America, Hawaii and Alaska. (Reporting by Ayesha Rascoe; Editing by Ros Krasny and Bernadette Baum)