Senator Richard Lugar: ‘The U.S. Congress should give European allies access to burgeoning supplies of U.S. natural gas’

Senator Richard Lugar: ‘The U.S. Congress should give European allies access to burgeoning supplies of U.S. natural gas’
# 12 December 2012 08:55 (UTC +04:00)

Baku. Malahat Najafova – APA. The U.S. Congress should give European allies access to burgeoning supplies of U.S. natural gas, Republican Senator Richard Lugar said on Wednesday, proposing a new law that he said would improve energy security in a critical region, APA reports citing Reuters.

Lugar, the veteran top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said his bill would advance U.S. interests by helping allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) reduce their dependence on natural gas from Russia, and also would help Turkey wean itself from Iranian supplies.

"My legislation would place NATO allies on equal footing with free trade partners under U.S. law in providing for automatic licenses for U.S. (liquefied natural gas) exports," Lugar said in a letter to the Senate's Foreign Relations Committee.

Lugar said increased U.S. exports would augment but not replace the need for the so-called "Southern Corridor" pipeline system to move natural gas from Azerbaijan to Turkey and Europe.

The bill likely will be the last legislation introduced by Lugar. After 35 years in the Senate, he will retire later this month, having lost a primary race earlier this year to a more conservative rival.

Lugar, a long-time advocate for the Southern Corridor who traveled its route in 2006, urged his colleagues to try to advance the bill, which would need to find approval from the Democrat-controlled Senate before it would have a chance of becoming law.

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