Barrasso: President should lift restrictions on oil, gas exports
March 5, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) spoke about how President Obama and his administration should use their authority to make it easier for the United States to export natural gas, oil and coal to our allies abroad. In addition to creating American jobs and lowering our trade deficit, increased energy exports will help nations in Europe, including Ukraine, free themselves from Russian manipulation.
Barrasso also responded to the President’s Fiscal Year 2015 budget proposal.
“A few years ago, actually in 2010, President Obama announced something he called ‘the National Export Initiative.’
“The goal of this initiative was to double American exports in five years. That’s right–double American exports in five years. Something certainly I support.
“Now, it’s been more than four years now, and it’s pretty clear that we’re going to fall well short of the President’s goal.
“Now, the President specifically requested trade promotion authority. The very next day, the Democrat’s Majority Leader rejected this request.
“American natural gas, our oil, and our coal exports will also reap important foreign policy benefits—such as helping nations in Europe, like Ukraine, free themselves from Russian manipulation.
“Last month, the magazine the ‘Economist’ published an article with the headline: ‘The petro-state of America: The energy boom is good for America and the world. It would be nice if Barack Obama helped a bit.’ That’s from the ‘Economist’ last month.
“The article explained that the United States may already have surpassed Russia as the world’s largest oil and natural gas producer.
“However, the ‘Economist’ also pointed out that the process for obtaining the permits–the permits needed to export that American natural gas, they say is ‘insanely slow.’
“Over the past three and a half years, the Department of Energy has used its discretion to approve only six applications to export liquefied natural gas.
“Meanwhile, the Department of Energy is sitting on 24 other applications.
“Fourteen of those have been pending for more than a year–and two of them have been pending for more than two years.
“To put this in context, the United States has approved only two-thirds of the amount of liquefied natural gas exports that Canada has.
“Well think about the country of Ukraine.
“As Congress considers this legislation, President Obama should direct his Energy Department to expedite the existing permitting process. F
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