MEXICO CITY, Sept. 4 (UPI) -- Unlocking U.S. energy potential by facilitating exports would increase leverage in the foreign policy arena, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said.
The Republican governor, widely expected to run for U.S. president, delivered the keynote address to the American Chamber of Commerce of Mexico in Mexico City.
Opening up trade pathways and increasing cross-border pipeline capacity would help ensure North American energy security, he said.
In terms of exports, the governor said an increased capacity for liquefied natural gas and easing restrictions on crude oil exports would bolster an already booming energy sector.
Long-term, he said, opening up the energy market would help overseas allies as well.
"The long-term benefits of open markets for U.S. energy exports are worth considering in light of the response, particularly in Europe, to Russian aggression in the Ukraine," he said in his Wednesday address.
Russia meets about a quarter of European demand for natural gas, though most of that runs through the Soviet-era pipeline network in Ukraine. Ongoing skirmishes in eastern Ukraine are threatening European energy security.
"The strategic value of reducing this dependence is now clearer than ever," the governor said.
Maria van der Hoeven, executive director of the International Energy Agency, said last week time will tell how much of an impact U.S. LNG exports will have on the global marketplace. For the European market, more LNG from North America is not the panacea "talked up by some" in Washington, she said.