Washington, D.C. –During today’s House Foreign Affairs Committee hearingon President Obama’s proposed FY 2015 budget, Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the Committee, pressed Secretary of State John Kerry on the need to export natural gas to Ukraine in an effort to undermine Vladimir Putin’s leverage in the region.

In response to Chairman Royce’s question on increasing natural gas exports to Ukraine, Secretary Kerry replied, “…we are all for it.”

Chairman Royce urged the Secretary to help accelerate approval for the 24 applications by companies seeking to export natural gas, which are still pending with the Department of Energy.

Video of Chairman Royce’s Q&A with Secretary Kerry is available HERE.


Today’s exchange with Secretary Kerry comes two days after House passage of H. Res. 499, authored by Chairman Royce and Ranking Member Eliot Engel, which condemns the violation of Ukrainian sovereignty by Russian forces, endorses Russian sanctions, and calls on the U.S. to promote increased gas exports to reduce Vladimir Putin’s leverage.

NOTE:  Earlier this week, Chairman Royce penned an oped, entitled, “Take the energy out of Putin’s push,” which appeared in the Orange County Register and is available HERE.  In the oped, the Chairman argues, “America’s newly developing energy supply could be put into play, denting Vladimir Putin’s strength to our geopolitical advantage.  But first our red tape must go.”  He also notes, “A big part of Putin’s power at home and abroad is Russia’s large oil and gas resources, which account for seventy percent of its trade, fifty-two percent of its budget and eighteen percent of its gross domestic product.”