US Congress experts tout LNG exports to punish Putin for Crimea.

Guardian: “Congress moved to punish Vladimir Putin for the annexation of Crimea on Tuesday by expanding America’s exports of natural gas to challenge Russia’s energy dominance. In the first of three hearings on natural gas exports this week, the Senate energy committee was told repeatedly that exporting US gas to Europe – or even Asia – would end Putin’s “energy blackmail” by lowering prices and providing an alternative to Russia as Europe’s big energy supplier.”
“America should be an energy superpower,” Mary Landrieu, the Louisiana Democrat who chairs the Senate energy committee said. “The last thing Putin and his cronies want is competition from America in the energy race.”
The full Senate was due later on Tuesday to debate a $1bn aid package for Ukraine that could also bring more calls for expanding exports of liquified natural gas (LNG).
Landrieu was one of nine US officials sanctioned by Putin last week. She continued in Tuesday’s hearing to push for America to open up exports of LNG.
….(Congress) approved a seventh licence for LNG exports on Monday – but there are still about two dozen more projects in the pipeline, and critics accuse the Obama administration of stalling approvals.
But as the hearing was told on Tuesday, even if the administration were to give an immediate go-ahead to all the export projects, it is unlikely any will be up and running and exporting LNG before the end of 2015. Even then they will fall far short of replacing Russian gas supply to Ukraine or Europe, the committee was told.
“No amount of US exports can begin to replace Russia,” Edwin Chow, senior energy fellow at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, told the hearing. “Export of LNG is not a silver bullet for Europe.”
….The US is unlikely to begin exporting LNG before late 2015 at the earliest – and most of those shipments are committed in advance to markets in Japan and India including the Jordan Cove facility approved on Monday.”