WASHINGTON—U.S. Senators John Boozman (R-AR) and John Barrasso (R-WY) reintroduced legislation to enhance the energy security of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) members by providing an escape from dependence on Russian energy.
The Energy Security Cooperation with Allied Partners in Europe (ESCAPE) Act (S. 548) aims to quickly provide our allies with reliable, dependable American energy to stop Russia’s political coercion and manipulation in the region. In addition, the legislation mandates sanctions on Russian energy export pipelines.
“Russia’s aggression has made it clear we must use the tools and resources at our disposal to minimize its ability to weaponize energy and inflict hardship on the U.S., our allies and partners,” Boozman said. “This legislation would make that commonsense conclusion a reality, supporting American natural gas production and further diminishing President Putin’s malign influence.”
“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,” said Barrasso. “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.”
Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Mike Braun (R-IN), Katie Britt (R-AL), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), John Cornyn (R-TX), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Steve Daines (R-MT), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), Josh Hawley (R-MO), John Hoeven (R-ND), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), John Kennedy (R-LA), James Lankford (R-OK), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Roger Marshall, M.D. (R-KS), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Rick Scott (R-FL), Tim Scott (R-SC), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) are also cosponsoring the bill.
Representative Carol Miller (R-WV-1) introduced the companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Full text of the legislation can be found here.
Some of America’s European allies are increasingly dependent on Russian energy. Russia continues to undermine peace and security in Europe through a variety of mechanisms, including its use of energy as a geopolitical weapon.
Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022. Months later, Russia cut off all gas supplies to Europe in response to economic sanctions imposed by the West.
The ESCAPE Act:
- Directs the U.S. permanent representative to NATO to work with NATO member states to address 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 our 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.