|4:25 PM EST||
Mike Turner, R-OH 10th
Mr. TURNER. Mr. Chairman, the DeFazio amendment is ill-conceived. Creating jobs in the energy sector is creating American jobs, and this amendment would, in fact, inhibit our ability to reduce our trade deficit and also affects an issue of providing natural gas to our strategic allies.
As a result of increased natural gas production, the price of natural gas has fallen over the last few years, making it competitive in the global marketplace. This presents an opportunity to export U.S. natural gas.
Many of our allies rely heavily upon a single source or unstable regions for natural gas. For example, Russia has used its European market dominance to influence other countries, cutting off natural gas supplies over various disputes. Poland is so eager to wean itself off Russia for natural gas that it plans to buy LNG from Qatar at a price estimated to be 40 to 50 percent higher than the rate charged by Gazprom, Russia's state-owned monopoly, just to be able to have some independence.
Increasing natural gas exports would provide our allies with an alternative and reliable source of energy, helping to strengthen our economic and geopolitical partnerships.
It should be noted that the boom in natural gas production has already made an impact. Supplies previously destined for our shores but no longer needed as a result of increased production have been diverted elsewhere. This increase in global supply has helped several European countries successfully renegotiate their long-term contracts with Gazprom, Russia's state-owned monopoly.
Mr. Chair, in general, when it comes to trade, we often talk about barriers that other countries have to U.S. producers, ones that we must overcome in order to export. In this case, these are regulatory burdens we are placing upon ourselves that are preventing our ability to create jobs and preventing our ability to lower our overall trade deficits. Restraining U.S. natural gas exports would only hurt our abilities to bolster strategic partnerships and create jobs right here at home.
The DeFazio amendment does nothing to decrease the cost currently of natural gas. This is an important ability to create jobs and lower our trade deficit.