The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Tapping America's Energy Opportunities

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted May 15, 2014

Time To Act on Energy Exports

CNBC (Spencer Abraham/Bill Richardson): Once again the world is looking for America's leadership in unsettled times. Our diplomats have limited options to combat Russia's annexation of Crimea, but they can take greater advantage of a new tool in their toolbox that no administration has had for generations — U.S. energy abundance. American energy exports will not only create economic opportunities here at home but will provide strategic geopolitical advantages abroad.

The crisis involving Ukraine and Russia highlights the need for American energy leadership. Russia remains the world's largest exporter of natural gas, supplying 30 percent of Europe's imports. Countries on Russia's periphery, many nearly completely dependent on Russian supply, pay exorbitant oil linked prices. Many are NATO allies.

Central and East European leaders have called for help in accessing U.S. liquefied natural gas for their future supply. Certainty as to whether and when U.S. LNG will be available for export will help them bargain for more competitive natural gas prices today, and weaken Russia's market share. Poland's LNG import terminal has excess capacity, leaving room for other neighbors to access LNG through their port. Europe has other LNG import terminals and interconnections planned that would come on line just as U.S. LNG export terminals could be ready to deliver.

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Mary Schaper is a Digital Communications Manager for the American Petroleum Institute. She previously worked on Capitol Hill for the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee as Digital Director and for Senator Lisa Murkowski. Before coming to D.C., she spearheaded digital strategy for Murkowski's successful Senate write-in campaign in 2010. Schaper enjoys traveling and taking in the local culture alongside her husband, their son and loyal springer spaniel.