Today, U.S. Senators John Barrasso (R-WY) and Jim Inhofe (R-OK), the ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, released the following statements calling on the Obama Administration to expedite the approval process for U.S. liquefied natural gas exports to our allies, including Ukraine:
"While the White House is considering how to support Ukraine, one of the best steps it can take is to help end their dependence on Russian energy," said Barrasso. "In 2006 and 2009, Vladimir Putin used natural gas as a political weapon against Ukraine. Today, Gazprom--Russia's state-owned energy giant, threatened to raise natural gas prices on Ukraine. The United States has abundant supplies of natural gas just waiting to be exported to our allies. If President Obama is serious about helping the people of Ukraine, he will immediately expedite the approval process for liquefied natural gas exports. American natural gas exports would help Ukraine free itself from Russian energy and Putin's political manipulation."
"The President's failure to maintain a position of leadership in the world and his strategy of apologetic diplomacy has led to an emboldened Russia that continues to defy President Obama at every turn. The President should work to replace Russian influence in the region with support from the United States, and he can do this by expediting natural gas exports to our NATO allies and Ukraine," said Inhofe. "I have been calling for the DOE to do this for some time now, and I have joined Senator Barrasso's push through legislation to require the DOE to urgently approve exports of natural gas that help to promote the national security interests of the United States. We need this action now more than ever before. Ukraine imports 50 percent of its natural gas from Russia, and Europe imports roughly 30 percent. It's clear any serious plan from the United States to respond to Russia's aggression must go straight at the heart of Russia's economy -- energy."