The U.S. has to do more to counter Russia's dominance in the European natural gas market in the wake of the turmoil in Ukraine, says Rep. Cory Gardner, who on Thursday introduced legislation to speed up the approval process for liquid natural gas exports.
"The United States has quickly become the world's energy superpower and as a result of that, we are not only in a position to, for the first time in our generation be energy independent, but we can also start wielding that energy superpower influence around the world and change the geopolitical impact that Russia, other nations are having, by making sure we are in a position to export additional energy resources to countries that otherwise have been dependent on nations like Russia for their energy supplies," the Colorado Republican told Newsmax TV's John Bachman and J.D. Hayworth on "America's Forum" Friday.
"So the bill that we've introduced is an effort to say, look, the United States is on its way to make sure that Europe, Asia, Ukraine have energy alternatives other than being held and strangled by a Russian, basically a Russian energy cartel."
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Gardner has represented Colorado's 4th congressional district since 2011. He was formerly a member of the Colorado House of Representatives.
He said that similar legislation that has been dropped in the Senate was too restrictive.
"It could require all of the permits for existing facilities, existing permits to refile. So our legislation would allow them to go forward without refiling. The bill that's been dropped in the Senate could actually force further and unnecessary delays, which is a significant problem.
We need to get moving on this immediately. That's why we crafted our bill in a way that approves these permits and gets permits moving which are compliant with the World Trade Organization requirements," Gardner explained.
"These projects that are ready to build, they just need the permits. We can create good paying American jobs and not only at the L&G export facilities, but also in places like Colorado where we're already the fourth largest natural gas producer in the United States.
Good paying jobs in Colorado and clean burning energy that can change the geopolitical structures around the globe. This is a very good thing for this country."
Asked what figured into his decision last month to run for the Senate,
the 39-year-old legislator replied, "The United States is suffering from a continued lagging economy. There are too many people out of work, looking for work. We have people in the United States Senate who caused, including [Democratic Colorado Sen.] Mark Udall, who caused the cancellation of millions of people's insurance around the country and 335,000 in Colorado alone. The United States Senate is the reason we can't pass jobs legislation, the reason we can't pass pro-economic growth policy, the reason we're not able to reform our regulatory nightmare and bureaucracy.
"Look, if we're going to have an impact on changing this country's future, if we're going to get this nation growing again, an opportunity for the American people, that America that rises that we so desperately want, we have to have change in the United States Senate. People like Mark Udall, Harry Reid cannot be there in the majority," he said.
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