Bill would expedite the export of American natural gas to NATO allies and help alleviate their reliance on Russian energy.
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) released the following statement after the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations voted in favor of his legislation to provide North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) members an escape from Russia’s political coercion and manipulation.
“Russia continues to use its energy resources as a weapon to intimidate, influence and coerce our allies. Freeing Europe from Russian energy dependence will strengthen both our allies and our NATO alliance,” Barrasso said. “I’m pleased the Foreign Relations committee agrees that the ESCAPE Act is a great tool to make this a reality. In the United States—especially in Wyoming—we’re blessed with an abundance of natural gas. This bill gives us an opportunity to supply Europe with an alternative to Russian gas and increase Europe’s energy security.”
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.
Cosponsors of the ESCAPE Act include Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), John Boozman (R-AR), Mike Braun (R-IN), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), John Cornyn (R-TX), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Steve Daines (R-MT), Mike Enzi (R-WY), Cory Gardner (R-CO), John Hoeven (R-ND), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), John Kennedy (R-LA), David Perdue (R-GA), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Rick Scott (R-FL), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), and Thom Tillis (R-NC).
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 committee-passed version of 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 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 deem it in the public interest for natural gas exports to go to NATO allies, Japan and any other foreign country where exports of natural gas would promote the national security interests of the United States.