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Take Up Request for Natural Gas

The U.S. Congress has been asked to expedite U.S. shipments of natural gas to Central Europe. Four Central European countries--Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia --have written Speaker John Boehner and are writing Senate Leader Harry Reid--asking for Congressional action to speed permits to export natural gas.

If the U.S. Government wants to do anything that will counter Vladimir Putin's invasion of the Crimea without using the military, this is a sound proposal. The Central Europeans whose countries once were under Soviet domination know that their ability to resist Putin's intimidation will be stronger if they have a new supply of gas.

Assertions that it would take until "the end of 2015" to get gas to European markets should not delay a decision by Congress. First, if the priority is high, normal processes can be speeded up--as they are in wartime. Second, just announcing the policy will be a clear encouragement to the Europeans.

You can email brucechapman@discovery.org

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