News / USA

US Weighs Natural Gas Exports to Ukraine

FILE - A technician inspects pipeline equipment and gas pressure at the gas metering station in Pisarevka, Russia, on the border with Ukraine.
FILE - A technician inspects pipeline equipment and gas pressure at the gas metering station in Pisarevka, Russia, on the border with Ukraine.
VOA News
The United States appears to be rethinking its aversion to natural gas exports so it could help meet Ukraine's energy needs and weaken Ukraine's dependency on Russia for its gas supply.

The top U.S. energy official, Ernest Moniz, said at an energy conference this week that he "would certainly welcome" discussions with congressional leaders about easing the country's current natural gas export restrictions that limit sales to countries that are not free trade partners.

He said the conflict in Ukraine, where Russian troops are occupying the country's Crimean peninsula, is "obviously a very, very serious and important situation" that merits considering whether energy exports should play a role in U.S. foreign policy.
For decades, the U.S. has been a large energy importer. In recent years, however, with the advance of hydraulic fracturing energy extraction, the U.S. has increasingly headed toward energy independence. By some accounts, the U.S. could surpass Russia this year as the world's largest natural gas producer and by next year Saudi Arabia as the biggest oil producer.

Ukraine: gas pipelines from Russia into Ukraine, Europe.Ukraine: gas pipelines from Russia into Ukraine, Europe.
Ukraine: gas pipelines from Russia into Ukraine, Europe.
Ukraine: gas pipelines from Russia into Ukraine, Europe.
Russia now supplies about 70 percent of Ukraine's natural gas, but debt-ridden Kyiv has fallen more than $1.5 billion behind in its payments to Russia's state-owned Gazprom energy company. As a result, Moscow says that starting next month, it is ending the one-third discount on the cost of the gas it is shipping to Ukraine.

Some U.S. lawmakers, including Republicans and Democrats, are pressuring President Barack Obama to ease U.S. energy export restrictions, but others are wary that sales overseas could boost energy costs for U.S. consumers.

House Speaker John Boehner, the leader of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, said Obama could strengthen the U.S. standing in Ukraine by approving the gas exports.

"If the president wanted to strengthen his hand, and help protect our allies in the region, he'd pick up his phone and use his pen and have the Energy Department approve these applications for these [natural gas] exports," he said.

You May Like

Nearly Every Job in America Mapped in Detail

A nifty map pinpoints practically every job in the United States, revealing the economic character of America’s metropolitan areas, which also helps to inform the local culture

Corruption Busting Is Her Game

South African activist is building 'international online community of thousands of corruption fighters'

Former SAF Businessman Gives Books, Love of Reading to Students

Steve Tsakaris now involved in nonprofit Read to Rise, which distributes books in Soweto, encourages lower-grade primary school students to read

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: MikeBarnett from: USA
March 06, 2014 8:38 PM
It is possible to send gas by sea, but it is not as swift and efficient as pipelines. It requires burning diesel fuel for the tanker and pay for the crew. It is subject to storms and collisions at sea. It's almost like the bizarre supply lines for Afghanistan the last leg of which went through Taliban country. Fortunately, Russia is not at war with Ukraine or NATO. Otherwise, Russia's Black Sea Fleet and Russia's air forces would make delivery impossible.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?i
Carol Pearson
November 29, 2015 1:23 PM
The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?

The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video In Cambodian Capital, Political Motives Seen Behind Canceled Water Festival

For the fourth time in the five years since more than 350 people were killed in a stampede at Cambodia’s annual water festival, authorities canceled the event this year. Officials blamed environmental reasons as the cause, but many see it as fallout from rising political tensions with a fresh wave of ruling party intimidation against the opposition. David Boyle reports from Phnom Penh.

Video African Circus Gives At-Risk Youth a 2nd Chance

Ethiopia hosted the first African Circus Arts Festival this past weekend with performers from seven different African countries. Most of the performers are youngsters coming form challenging backgrounds who say the circus gave them a second chance.

Video US Lawmakers Brace for End-of-Year Battles

U.S. lawmakers are returning to Washington for Congress’ final working weeks of the year. And, as VOA's Michael Bowman reports, a full slate of legislative business awaits them, from keeping the federal government open to resolving a battle with the White House over the admittance of Syrian refugees.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video After Terrorist Attacks, Support for Refugees Fades

The terrorists who killed and injured almost 500 people around Paris this month are mostly French or Belgian nationals. But at least two apparently took advantage of Europe’s migrant crisis to sneak into the region. The discovery has hardened views about legitimate refugees, including those fleeing the same extremist violence that hit the French capital. Lisa Bryant has this report for VOA from the Paris suburb of Cergy-Pontoise

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video Thais Send Security Concerns Down the River

As Thailand takes in the annual Loy Krathong festival, many ponder the country’s future and security. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

Video Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continues

One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs