Chorus Grows for Using American Energy to Help Allies, Keep Putin in Check |

In a Speaker’s Minute on the House floor last week, Boehner urged the Obama administration to end its de facto ban on natural gas exports to help our European allies, counter Russian President Vladimir Putin’s hostile acts of aggression, and help create jobs and boost economic growth at home.  Several editorials and op-eds have echoed Boehner’s call to action:

  • “Soon, North America’s bounty of oil and gas will swamp Moscow’s capacity.  Authorizing the Keystone XL pipeline and championing natural gas exports would signal that we intend to do precisely that.” (Condoleezza Rice, The Washington Post)
  • “All of this underscores that President Obama can serve U.S. strategic and economic interests by immediately approving every request to build a liquefied natural gas export terminal. …  With Europe begging and Republicans in Congress encouraging, what is the White House waiting for?” (Wall Street Journal)
  • Increasing natural gas exports could serve American foreign-policy interests in Europe, which gets about 30 percent of its gas from Russia. Countries like Germany and Ukraine are particularly vulnerable to supply disruptions that are politically driven.” (New York Times)
  • “Once thought to be a permanent importer of gas, the United States is now producing huge amounts of the fuel, to the point that energy firms want to export it. U.S. exports could reduce Russia’s leverage further.” (Washington Post)
  • “The Obama administration faces a critical choice: It can continue to appease its environmental allies, or it can accept the new reality that the U.S. must use its energy resources to help check Putin’s aggression.” (John Fund, National Review)
  • U.S. gas exports also would reduce Europe’s dependence on Russia’s pipelines and curb Putin’s capacity to blackmail his neighbors.” (Deroy Murdock, NewsMax)
  • “The economic benefits of exporting LNG include more economic activity and more employment at home. But the geopolitical benefits could be even greater if we care, as we should, about freedom and democracy in Ukraine.” (Diana Furchtgott-Roth, RealClearMarkets)
  • “Russia looks to its energy resources as a geopolitically strategic asset; it is time for America to do the same. House Speaker John Boehner wants to ‘dramatically expedite the approval of U.S. exports of natural gas.’ This needs to be the bipartisan national security policy that stops rewarding Vladimir Putin.” (Markos Kounalakis, Sacramento Bee)

In his own Wall Street Journal op-ed, Speaker Boehner noted that “only six applications for U.S. exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) have been approved over the past three years, while 24 applications are pending.”  Members of the president’s own party have joined Republicans in calling for more natural gas exports, along with four key central European allies who wrote in a letter to Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) on Friday:

“Energy security is not only a day-to-day issue for millions of citizens in our region, but it is one of the most important security challenges that America’s allies face in Central and Eastern Europe today. Furthermore US export of LNG would not only meet the energy security challenge of the Visegrad countries but that of the wider region as well.”

As Speaker Boehner has said, “If the president wanted to strengthen his hand, and help protect our allies in the region, he’d pick up his phone and use his pen and have the Energy Department approve the applications for these LNG exports.”