Russia's Ukraine Power Play Spotlights LNG Exports As Key to Global Energy Security and Domestic Prosperity

June 16, 2014

House Expected to Vote on Gardner’s H.R. 6 As Early As Next Week Amid Escalating Russia-Ukraine Tensions

The need for increased U.S. natural gas exports remains pressing, especially as tensions between Russia and Ukraine continue to worsen. The Washington Post reports, “Russia cut off gas supplies to Ukraine on Monday, a move that will inflict immediate pain on its turbulent neighbor and could eventually affect other gas-dependent European nations.”

For decades, Russia has been wielding its energy resources as a weapon to exert power over our allies, but the U.S. now has the opportunity to fight back against this Russian aggression with our own emerging energy prowess. Last week, Vali R. Nasr, the dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, wrote an opinion piece in The New York Times, which highlighted the domestic and geopolitical benefits of the U.S. shale gas revolution, and also explained the potential for America to gain a strategic advantage over Russia as a leading global energy supplier. He explained “[T]he United States must start now to develop a global energy strategy, designed to compete with Russia and to provide both Europe and Asia with viable alternatives to Russian gas,” and stated that, “Most important, Congress should approve the export of America’s natural gas and support the building of terminals for shipping it. And America should, like Russia, be looking now to seal long-term gas deals with Europe and Asia. That could allow the United States to emerge a winner on both fronts of the new map of economic rivalries.”

Nasr reached conclusions similar to the Energy and Commerce Committee’s report, “Prosperity at Home and Strengthened Allies Abroad – A Global Perspective on Natural Gas Exports,” which found, “Our friends and allies around the globe desperately need a more stable, reliable, and affordable supply of natural gas, and American consumers and manufacturers need continued robust demand to bring additional resources into competitive production. The U.S. has the opportunity to  be the  world’s preferred supplier, and the case for mutually beneficial trade is very strong.”

Next week, the House of Representatives is expected to vote on timely legislation to bolster our economy and assert our global energy leadership. H.R. 6, the Domestic Prosperity and Global Freedom Act, authored by Rep. Cory Gardner (R-CO), would expedite U.S. LNG exports by reforming the Department of Energy’s export approval process. The bill was approved by the committee with bipartisan support, and has received strong support from American workers, international advocates, and other stakeholders. Clearing the backlog of export applications and removing uncertainty from the process will help increase investments in U.S natural gas production and LNG export facilities. Approval of this legislation will also send a clear and immediate signal to our allies that a stable and secure energy supply will be an available alternative to meet their energy needs, weakening Russia’s stranglehold.

The need for action on LNG exports has never been greater. To learn more about H.R. 6 and the domestic and geopolitical benefits of LNG exports, visit: http://energycommerce.house.gov/lngexports.

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