Earlier this month, Congressman Ted Poe (R-TX) introduced a bill that would require the Department of Energy to expedite and approve exports of natural gas to Ukraine and other nations. The purpose of the legislation was to thwart Russia’s control over energy supplies in the region. On radio this morning, Rep. Poe joined Glenn to discuss the crisis in Ukraine and the threat Russia poses not just to the region but to the world.
“I introduced a bill… that the United States expedite the sale of natural gas to foreign countries, especially to the former Soviet republics… Most of that part of the world… gets natural gas from Russia,” Rep. Poe explained. “I was in the Ukraine several years ago when the Russians turned off the gas in winter. It got cold. And it was dark. And so if we could do this, it would help give them an alternative to depending on Russia. And we have an abundance of gas in the United States and we could sell it.”
Much like Glenn, Rep. Poe believes Vladimir Putin has his sights set on a new empire that stretches far beyond Crimea. As a result, the Obama Administration would be best served recognizing the Russian threat and acting on it.
“Putin is not through… When [I] look at Putin, I still see [KGB] across his forehead because that’s what he still is. This is my belief,” Rep. Poe said. “His philosophy is not trying to go back to the communist days of taking all these republics. He wants to go further back than that. He thinks he’s the new czar of Russia… So the west has to do something.”
The most effective sanctions against Russia will be those that involve isolation, and offering Eastern Europe an alternative to Russian energy could help with that goal.
“We have to isolate Russia,” Rep. Poe concluded. “And, of course, [we must work] to make sure that those former Soviet republics have an alternative form of energy because that’s the number one source of income to Russia – the sale of energy to other countries. Let’s compete against that.”