July 18, 2018
Barrasso Bill Gives NATO Allies an Escape From Russia’s Political Coercion
Bill would impose sanctions on Russia’s Nord Stream II gas pipeline and expedite the export of American natural gas to NATO allies.
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) introduced legislation to give North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) members an escape from Russia’s political coercion and manipulation.
The Energy Security Cooperation with Allied Partners in Europe Act, or the “ESCAPE Act,” enhances the energy security of NATO members by providing those countries with reliable and dependable American energy. It also mandates sanctions on the Nord Stream II pipeline that would carry natural gas from Russia to Germany, along with other Russian energy export pipelines.
“Russian President Vladimir Putin uses Russia’s natural gas to extort and threaten our allies and our partners,” said Barrasso. “The ESCAPE Act will take this geopolitical weapon away from Russia by sanctioning the Nord Stream II gas pipeline and facilitating the export of more American natural gas to our allies. With an abundance of natural gas in the United States, it’s time we use American energy resources to give our allies lasting and dependable energy security.”
Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Steve Daines (R-MT) are original cosponsors of the ESCAPE Act.
Some of America’s European allies are increasingly dependent on Russian gas. Russia continues to undermine peace and security in Europe through a variety of mechanisms, including its use of energy as a geopolitical weapon.
The Nord Stream II pipeline, which would carry natural gas from Russia to Germany, would make Europe more reliant on Russian gas by undermining the diversification of Europe’s energy sources, supplies and routes.
The Energy Security Cooperation with Allied Partners in Europe Act or 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 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, such as Nord Stream II.