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March 04, 2022

King, Cornyn Introduce Bill Requiring Report on Countering Russian Energy Influence

BRUNSWICK, ME – U.S. Senators Angus King (I-Maine) and John Cornyn (R-Texas) have introduced the Strategy to Reduce Russian Energy Influence Act, which would direct the Biden administration to evaluate how Russian energy influence can be countered globally. If passed, the bipartisan bill would require U.S. Department of State, in consultation with the U.S. Department of Energy to determine how existing federal laws and authorities can be used to reduce or replace Russia’s global energy supply worldwide and submit a report to Congress within 90 days.

“In light of Putin’s unprovoked and brutal invasion of Ukraine, it is clearer than ever that the United States, our allies, and partners should not be reliant on Russian exports to meet our energy needs,” said Senator King. “The study required by this bipartisan bill will examine what the world energy market looks like if we come together and refuse support to Russian oligarchs– maximizing the damage to Putin’s most loyal supporters and minimizing the negative effects on American and other global consumers.”

"Vladimir Putin is not afraid to weaponize Russia’s energy sector, threatening global energy security and economic stability," said Senator Cornyn. “The situation Russia has created with its invasion of Ukraine underscores the importance of providing our allies with alternative energy sources free from the whims of a Russian tyrant."

The report required by the Strategy to Reduce Russian Energy Influence Act would include a strategy to reduce or replace the Russian Federation’s supply of energy products in global markets and a plan for working with U.S. allies and partners to counter Russian energy influence. In 2020, Russia was the world’s third-largest producer of petroleum and second-largest producer of dry natural gas. Europe secures 29 percent of its petroleum imports and 33 percent of its natural gas imports from Russia, leaving these countries vulnerable to a tyrant with a history of weaponizing the country’s energy resources. 

As a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources, Armed Services, and Intelligence Committees Senator King has condemned the heinous attacks on Ukraine’s sovereignty, and worked to make sure Putin feels the economic price of his actions. Yesterday, he introduced legislation that would prohibit the importation of Russian crude oil, petroleum, petroleum products, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and coal. As the crisis in Ukraine escalated, Senator King shared concerns that Putin may consider “greater force in Ukraine” and condemned the attacks on Ukrainian sovereignty while calling for a united, international effort to push back on Putin.

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