House Speaker John Boehner has an idea for President Obama regarding the Ukraine crisis: Start exporting natural gas.
There is an "abundant" supply of natural gas in the United States, Boehner wrote in The Wall Street Journal
, but government regulations only allowed six applications for exports of liquefied natural gas to be approved over the past three years. Increasing U.S. exports of LNG to European countries would ease those nations’ dependence on Russian energy.
And that, Boehner wrote, would give Russia’s neighbors more power when it comes to standing up to the actions of President Vladimir Putin in recent days.
"Under Mr. Putin, Russia has expanded its military and tightened its grip on its neighbors by aggressively making the most of its vast resources, exporting oil, coal and natural gas in massive quantities to Europe and elsewhere," Boehner wrote. "Russia's neighbors need large quantities of natural gas — and, currently lacking a better option, they buy much of it from Russia.
"Mr. Putin's scheme assumes that the U.S. will continue to sit on its own natural resources instead of engaging Russia in the global energy marketplace."
With the U.S. government’s reluctance to beef up homegrown energy sources such as oil and natural gas, the country will not be able to compete with Russia in the global energy market, the speaker wrote.
Boehner is advocating for Obama to make changes — without Congressional interference.
"President Obama should announce a series of steps that will dramatically expand production of American-made energy, beginning with lifting this de facto ban on exports of U.S.-produced liquefied natural gas," Boehner writes. Taking this step would also create American jobs and lower prices for our consumers and small businesses when coupled with other moves that would bolster energy production in North America.
"These include construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, ending the Obama administration's embargo on our supplies of oil and gas from federal lands and waters, and halting the effort to take coal out of America's electricity generation mix.
"The president doesn't need legislation from Congress to make these changes. This is something the commander in chief can do right now in the face of Mr. Putin's aggression. It would also provide much-needed evidence that the president's State of the Union commitment to an 'all of the above' energy strategy is real, and not just poll-driven rhetoric."
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