June 13, 2019
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-WY) 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,” (S. 1830) 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.
“President Trump was right when he recently said that Germany will be held hostage by Russia if they move forward with Russia’s Nord Stream II gas pipeline,” said Barrasso. “We already know Russian President Vladimir Putin has a history of using Russia’s natural gas to extort and threaten our allies. The ESCAPE Act will take away this geopolitical weapon by sanctioning the Nord Stream II pipeline and expanding American natural gas exports. In the United States—especially in Wyoming—we’re blessed with an abundance of natural gas. It only makes sense that we would use these resources to help our allies and loosen Putin’s economic and political grip on the region.”
Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO), Steve Daines (R-MT), David Perdue (R-GA), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Pat Roberts (R-KS), John Kennedy (R-LA), John Cornyn (R-TX) and Kevin Cramer (R-ND) 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.