Rick Perry calls for unlimited oil exports

Texas Gov. Rick PerryJames (Rick) Richard PerryOvernight Defense: Trump hails D-Day veterans in Normandy | Trump, Macron downplay rift on Iran | Trump mourns West Point cadet's death in accident | Pentagon closes review of deadly Niger ambush Trump hails D-Day veterans in Normandy: 'You are the pride of our nation' Trump hails D-Day veterans in Normandy: 'You are the pride of our nation' MORE (R) called for an end to all restrictions on exporting crude oil and natural gas, saying it would help the economy and U.S. allies.

Perry said increased exports would create an “energy shield” for allies who face threats from Russia’s control of energy supplies and “restore balance in Europe,” The Associated Press reported.

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Perry, a 2012 presidential candidate and a possible contender for 2016, gave his remarks late Wednesday at an energy summit hosted by Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant (R).

Perry used the “energy shield” term in similar remarks he gave last month in Texas.

While natural gas exports are widely popular among Republicans and many Democrats, lifting the four-decade-old ban on oil exports does not enjoy as much support.

Gas exports are very restricted, and the Energy Department is required to determine that any potential exports to countries without U.S. free-trade agreements are in the public interest.

Nonetheless, some high-profile officials on both sides of the aisle, like former President Obama adviser Larry Summers and Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) have endorsed easing restrictions for oil.

Texas hosts many oil and gas producers who have ramped up production in recent years thanks to the shale boom. But it also hosts industries that oppose increased exports because they fear that it would increase their costs.

“If energy is going to be used as a weapon, America needs to have the largest arsenal,” Perry said, referring to Russia’s power. “But our arsenal, that arsenal of American energy, will not be used to bully other nations, but to set them free.”

Perry also called for Congress to set a deadline for Obama’s consideration of the Keystone XL pipeline, the AP reported.