Bill would impose sanctions on Russia’s Nord Stream II gas pipeline and expedite the export of American natural gas to NATO allies.
U.S. SENATE — Today, U.S. Senator Steve Daines 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.
“The energy we produce is a direct relation to our national security. We must not only be energy independent but we must be energy dominant around the globe. The ESCAPE Act will take natural gas off the table for the Russians to use as a weapon to our allies. The United States is in a position to use American energy to our allies and we should do so.” said Daines.
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.