Home » Kennedy, Barrasso introduce bill to help NATO allies escape dependence on Russian energy

Kennedy, Barrasso introduce bill to help NATO allies escape dependence on Russian energy

by Minden Press-Herald

“I’m proud to say that Louisiana is the biggest exporter of LNG from America to Europe—but the U.S. must do more to help our allies end their dependence on Russian energy for the sake of our national security and theirs. The ESCAPE bill would help weaken Russia by providing clean American energy to our friends who need it.”

WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) joined Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) in introducing the Energy Security Cooperation with Allied Partners in Europe (ESCAPE) Act to support NATO and end NATO countries’ dependence on Russia for energy. The ESCAPE Act supports NATO allies by providing them American energy and mandating sanctions on Russian energy export pipelines.

“I’m proud to say that Louisiana is the biggest exporter of LNG from America to Europe—but the U.S. must continue to do more to help our allies end their dependence on Russian energy for the sake of our national security and theirs. The ESCAPE bill would help weaken Russia by providing clean American energy to our friends who need it,” said Kennedy.

“In light of Russia’s year-long invasion of Ukraine, it is more important than ever to provide energy security to our allies in Europe. Putin continues to use Europe’s dependence on Russian energy as a geopolitical weapon to coerce and pressure our allies. The ESCAPE Act takes away Putin’s leverage through expanding American natural gas exports. The United States can help our allies obtain reliable American energy and loosen Putin’s political grip on the region,” said Barrasso.

Rep. Carol Miller (R-W.Va.) introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives.

The ESCAPE Act:

  • Directs the U.S. permanent representative to NATO to encourage NATO member states to work together to achieve energy security for the organization’s members and partners in Europe and Eurasia.
  • Calls for a comprehensive U.S. government transatlantic energy strategy that focuses on increasing the energy security of NATO allies and partners and increasing American energy exports to those countries.
  • Requires the Secretary of Energy to expedite approvals of natural gas exports to NATO allies, Japan and any other foreign country where exports of natural gas would promote the national security interests of the United States.
  • Authorizes mandatory U.S. sanctions on the development of Russian energy pipeline projects.

Background:

  • Russia continues to use energy as a geopolitical weapon, especially as the country’s ownership of energy infrastructure in Europe poses a security and economic risk to America’s NATO allies.
  • It is important to U.S. national security to expedite American energy to allies in order to reduce their dependency on Russian energy resources.

Sens. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Katie Britt (R-Ala.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) and Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) also cosponsored the legislation.

Full text of the legislation can be found here.

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