Letter: Sanction by Putin is badge of honor

Recently, Russia sanctioned nine U.S. officials from entering its borders in retaliation for these individuals and the U.S. government championing freedom and democracy for the people of Ukraine and across the world. I was one of them. Being sanctioned by President Putin for this offense is a badge of honor for me and the good people I represent in the U.S. Senate. Louisiana, our neighbor Texas, and states like North Dakota are leading the energy revolution in this country to build an American powerhouse to support a manufacturing renaissance that creates millions of new, high-paying jobs.

This sanction will not stop me from using my power as chairwoman of the Senate Energy Committee to expand domestic energy production, responsibly increase energy exports around the world and continue supporting our allies and lovers of democracy.

Thanks to new technologies and bold financial risks taken by the private sector, we can now locate, capture and produce natural gas and eliminate our need to import. Louisiana is at this epicenter, and we are prepared to provide energy resources to our allies and turn the United States into an energy superpower.

We have become a gateway for natural gas exports. Already, Louisiana has one fully permitted facility in the Sabine Pass export terminal, owned by Cheniere, under construction to export the first shipment of LNG in this energy revolution. And we have two more conditionally approved in Cameron LNG, owned by Sempra, and in Lake Charles Exports that will soon break ground.

Natural gas is not the only resource that Louisiana, the Gulf Coast and the United States can export to help our friends. For several years, I, along with Sen. Ron Wyden, of Oregon, and Sen. Lisa Murkowski, of Alaska, have worked to build partnerships between oil and gas companies and universities along the Gulf Coast to connect to Eastern Mediterranean countries, including Israel, and help them produce offshore oil and gas.

While Israel recently discovered more than 30 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in the Leviathan and other fields off its coast that could be a national security game-changer, it lacks the experience in petroleum engineering and infrastructure to harness it. I intend to work to expand this model of cooperation to U.S. allies in Africa, South America and Eastern Europe.

Tyrants and dictators throughout history have had many reasons to fear revolutions, and this U.S. energy revolution is no different. I look forward to playing a leading role bringing energy independence to America and freedom to people around the world.

Mary Landrieu

U.S. senator

New Orleans