Jun 14 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) co-sponsored 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. 

“Our NATO allies in Eastern Europe deserve to have the opportunity to purchase energy from other partners and not be held hostage by adversaries like Russia,” said Senator Tillis. “The ESCAPE Act would ensure the United States can provide our allies with energy security and give them the peace of mind that they will not be beholden to Putin and his cronies.”

Joining Senator Tillis are Senators John Barrasso (R-WY), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Steve Daines (R-MT), David Perdue (R-GA), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Pat Roberts (R-KS), John Kennedy (R-LA), John Cornyn (R-TX) and Kevin Cramer (R-ND).

Background

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.

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