WASHINGTON, DC – In a Speaker’s Minute on the House floor today, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) addressed the situation in Ukraine and made the case for standing up to Vladimir Putin by ending the Obama administration’s de facto ban on natural gas exports:

“Mr. Speaker, my colleagues:  I know the whole House is paying close attention to the crisis in Ukraine.  What is going on there is more than a cause for concern – it is a cause for action.  America has a responsibility to stand up for freedom around the globe.  And the House will work with the administration to support the Ukrainian people and confront Russian aggression. 

“In fact, the House has already taken serious steps in this regard.  For years now, we have been pursuing an ‘all-of-the-above’ energy strategy.  It’s a big part of our focus on the floor this week, in fact.  Because developing our own resources doesn’t just bring jobs home; it strengthens America abroad.  Last month, the Energy and Commerce Committee released a report that says, and I’ll quote, ‘by becoming a natural gas exporter, the U.S. can supplant the influence of other exporters like Russia and Iran while strengthening … our allies and trading partners around the world.’

“The key word in that statement is ‘can.’  We can supplant Russia’s influence, but we won’t so long as we have to contend with the Energy Department’s achingly slow approval process.   As we speak, the administration is sitting on 24 applications for natural gas exports; it’s approved just 6 in the last three years.  This amounts to a de facto ban that only emboldens Vladimir Putin, allowing him to sell large quantities of natural gas to our allies.

“The American people have seen the threat Mr. Putin puts forward.   They know something must be done.   The president should do the right thing here and end this de facto ban so we can strengthen our economy here and our security here and abroad.”