WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., have cosponsored legislation that would ramp up U.S. natural gas production in order to reduce global dependence on Russian energy sources.
The Energy Security Cooperation With Allied Partners In Europe (ESCAPE) Act would enhance the energy security of NATO members by providing them with U.S.-produced natural gas. The Mississippi Gulf Coast is a growing export point for liquefied natural gas.
“Now that Nord Stream 2 sanctions are in place, the U.S. needs to up its game on liquefied natural gas exports,” Wicker said. “Our European friends should be getting their energy supply from the United States and other allies, not Russian tyrants and kleptocrats. I am glad to join this effort to fortify NATO against the Russian threat and unlock the enormous potential of America’s bountiful natural resources.”
“American natural gas should be used to reduce Vladimir Putin’s ability to use Russian energy to intimidate our allies, a threat that’s more real today with Russian troops in Ukraine,” Hyde-Smith said. “This legislation deserves immediate congressional consideration and support from an administration that has otherwise only shown distain for American oil and gas resources as a national security asset.”
Introduced by U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), the ESCAPE Act would:
- Direct 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.
- Call for a comprehensive U.S. government transatlantic energy strategy focused on increasing the energy security of NATO allies and partners, and increasing American energy exports to those countries.
- Require 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 U.S. national security interests.
- Authorize mandatory U.S. sanctions on Russian energy pipeline projects, including the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that would carry natural gas from Russia to Germany.
The bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, where it awaits further action.