Freeing Global Energy Markets Critical to Freeing Ukraine

In light of Russia’s recent aggression toward Ukraine, the Heritage Foundation has identified a critical way of helping free Ukraine: liberalize global energy markets.

The Senate is poised to act on legislation that would provide Ukraine with economic assistance and authorize sanctions against Russia when they return from recess next week.  Specifically, they plan to provide Ukraine with $1 billion in loan guarantees and other economic assistance.  But Heritage experts offer advice that would allow Congress address the root of the problem:

Much of Russia’s power in the region is the result of its control over energy supplies and distribution systems. Diminishing Russia’s economic leverage over the region should be a key component of America’s response. This could be largely accomplished simply by liberalizing global energy markets. The U.S. has antiquated and unnecessary restrictions on exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG) and crude oil, and Congress should make lifting these restrictions a priority.

“Increasing domestic energy production and lifting bans on energy exports,” they conclude, “would help the U.S. economy and Ukraine.  And by increasing energy supplies to the global market and diversifying global supplies, these reforms would diminish the ability of any nation, including Russia, to use energy as a weapon to impose its will in the future.”

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