WASHINGTON—U.S. Senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), along with U.S. Representatives Adam Kinzinger (IL-16) and William Keating (MA-09) on Friday applauded passage of their European Energy Security and Diversification Act that was included in the appropriations package and will head to the president’s desk to become law. This legislation, for the first time, allows the United States to help finance strategic energy projects in Europe and Eurasia. This is a substantial new tool for the United States to combat malign Russian influence and create economic opportunities at home and abroad.
“For too long, Vladimir Putin has weaponized Russia’s oil and energy resources to strong-arm nations on its periphery, including NATO member countries. This legislation responds to this national security challenge by promoting energy security and diversification of supply so these nations can become energy autonomous. This legislation greatly increases NATO security, and we’re glad to have worked with the administration and across the aisle to make this law,” said the Members.
The European Energy Security and Diversification Act of 2019 as included in the FY20 omnibus would:
- Provide approximately $1 billion in financing from FY20-FY23 to catalyze public and private sector investment in strategically important energy projects in European and Eurasian countries. This is a new tool to counter Russia’s predatory energy policies and promote the energy security of U.S. allies and partners;
- Authorize funding for the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) for FY20 to help connect American companies to business opportunities and provide feasibility studies, reverse trade missions, pilot projects, and technical workshops to support projects in the earlier stages of development; and
- Encourage the State Department to ramp up its political and diplomatic support to eligible countries such as by facilitating negotiations for cross-border energy infrastructure and assisting eligible countries improve their energy markets and regulatory environments.