Washington, DC—In response to increasing Russian aggression, Congressman Mike Turner, the Chairman of the U.S. Delegation to the North Atlantic Parliamentary Assembly (NATO PA), led other lawmakers in urging President Obama to emphasize the importance of global energy security as part of our transatlantic partnership when he attended the EU-US Summit in Brussels on March 26.

Following the Summit, President Barack Obama and leaders of the European Union released a joint statement which included the following:

“The situation in Ukraine proves the need to reinforce energy security in Europe and we are considering new collaborative efforts to achieve this goal.  We welcome the prospect of U.S. LNG exports in the future since additional global supplies will benefit Europe and other strategic partner."

“I am encouraged by the President’s joint statement welcoming U.S. natural gas exports to our European allies,”  Turner said.  “However, he can and must do more.  The President must order the Department of Energy to immediately approve the more than 20 pending natural gas export permits and he must work with Congress in a bipartisan fashion to eliminate restrictions to export U.S. natural gas to our allies.”

As Secretary of State John Kerry embarked on his European trip, Congressman Mike Turner, sent a letter to Secretary Kerry, pressing him to show support for initiatives that enhance global energy security, help our allies diversify their energy resources, and demonstrate the United States’ commitment to a strong NATO alliance. 

"As we continue to see, Russia will not hesitate to use military force and its energy resource dominance to intimidate and influence neighboring nations. Heeding the call of lawmakers in the House, this administration is slowly coming to the realization that there is a critical need for increasing U.S. natural gas exports to our European allies.

But, this delayed recognition isn’t enough. It must be coupled with strong, decisive action that provides our allies with an alternative and reliable source of energy, helps them maintain their independence and that provides a counter weight to a increasingly aggressive Russia.

I urge Secretary Kerry to affirm to our European allies the commitment of the United States to a strong NATO alliance and to increasing U.S. natural gas exports. ” said Turner.