Upton: U.S. LNG Exports Can Weaken Russian Influence

March 3, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC – House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) today released the following statement on the potential for U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports to weaken Russian influence. The committee has been actively engaged on the benefits of LNG exports. In October of 2013, the committee held a forum on “The Geopolitical Implications and Mutual Benefits of U.S. LNG Exports” with numerous diplomats and energy advisors, including representatives from the Eastern European countries of the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Lithuania.

“Expanding U.S. LNG exports is an opportunity to combat Russian influence and power, and we have an energy diplomacy responsibility to act quickly. The Department of Energy's approval process for LNG exports is unnecessarily putting our allies at the mercy of Vladimir Putin. Now is the time to send the signal to our global allies that U.S. natural gas will be an available and viable alternative to meet their energy needs. Based on the committee's work and input from multiple stakeholders, we will continue to advance legislation and develop new proposals that allow market forces and technology to help expand Eastern Europe's access to affordable energy beyond Russia," said Upton. 

BACKGROUND: The Energy and Commerce Committee released a report last month entitled “Prosperity at Home and Strengthened Allies Abroad  – A Global Perspective on Natural Gas Exports,” which detailed the economic and geopolitical benefits of U.S. LNG exports and outlined the actions necessary to realize them. The report found, “In a geopolitical context, the benefits of diversity apply to suppliers as well as supplies, and the added option of U.S. LNG enhances both kinds of diversity. This is especially important to Central and Eastern European nations heavily reliant on Russia for natural gas. This dependence has not only led to higher prices, but also to the ability of Russia to exert political pressure on these nations.” To read the full report, click HERE.