WASHINGTON, March 5 -

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Mr. Speaker, first, Vladimir Putin invaded Georgia. Now, the Russian bear is after Ukraine.

Ukraine is almost totally dependent on Russia for energy. Russian imperialism has proven that it is willing to use gas as a political and economic weapon to intimidate its neighbors. Twice it turned off the fuel switch in Ukraine, and I was even in Ukraine the last time Putin turned off the gas during winter. It was cold.

Many other European nations are also at the mercy of the Kremlin when it comes to energy. We can help European countries who depend on imperialist Russia for energy by selling them natural gas from America. The demand is there, and the American supply is overwhelming. The only thing standing in the way are the bureaucrats in the Department of Energy.

That is why today I am introducing legislation that would require the Department of energy to expedite and approve permits to Ukraine, all former Soviet nations, and all members of the European Union.

Let’s eliminate Russia’s natural gas monopoly. Let’s respond to Russian aggression. Let’s encourage the Europeans and former Soviet Republics to “Buy American.”

And that’s just the way it is.

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