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.