Fox News | Monday, September 28, 2015 | Senator John Barrasso
President Obama is scheduled to meet this week with Vladimir Putin in New York. The president plans to discuss Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and its military support of the Assad regime in Syria.
Putin is a bully. He only understands force. That force can come just as effectively from a barrel of oil as from the barrel of a gun. President Obama should back up his talk by unleashing the power of American oil to compel Russia’s cooperation.
American energy is a master resource, a powerful tool that could be used against belligerent nations like Russia and Iran. President Obama has been far too eager to reject that tool or trade it away.
Since the 1970s, there have been tight restrictions on U.S. oil exports. Most of what we export goes to Canada. Yet American exports could quadruple if the law allowed it.
Our self-imposed limit gives Russia an added advantage to use oil to fund its aggression. Keeping American oil out of the global market helps keep international prices high, which helps to fund Putin’s belligerence.
Republicans want to lift these restrictions. Legislation is working its way through both houses of Congress to make that happen. While these bills have bipartisan support, so far, the Obama administration has rejected the idea.
Republican John Barrasso represents Wyoming in the U.S. Senate. He serves in the Senate as a member of both the Energy and Environment Committees.