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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
    IntroducedOctober 11th, 2018

What is it?

This bill — the European Energy Security and Diversification Act of 2018 — would authorize up to $1 billion in financing to catalyze U.S. public and private sector investment in strategically important energy projects in eligible countries from fiscal years 2019 through 2023. These projects would include natural gas infrastructure and electricity infrastructure.

It’d also authorize the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) to spend $5 million per year on project feasibility studies, reverse trade missions, pilot projects, and technical workshops to support projects in early development.

Finally, this bill would encourage the State Department to ramp up its political and diplomatic support to eligible countries. This includes facilitating negotiations for cross-border energy infrastructure and assisting eligible countries with improving their energy markets and regulatory environments.

Impact

Oil and natural gas; NATO allies; State Department; and the USTDA.

Cost

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthSen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) introduced this bill to provide new tools for the U.S. to combat malignant Russian influence, wielded through its dominance of the energy market, and create economic opportunities at home and abroad:

“Corruption, graft, bribery, propaganda, illegal invasions – the Kremlin is doing everything it can to gain power over countries in their periphery. We’ve rightly invested billions to shore up military defenses in eastern Europe, but let’s not forget the equally dangerous implications of Russia’s energy stranglehold on Europe. Vladimir Putin gets away with a lot because so much of Europe relies on Russia for energy. By helping our allies secure new sources of energy and contributing to strategically important projects, we can help break Putin’s grip on Europe and create jobs here in the U.S.”

Original cosponsor Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) added:


“Russia has the means to coerce political behavior in nations that are dependent upon its energy. It has demonstrated its will to do so. This bill authorizes the USTDA and other agencies to support U.S. private sector investment in strategically important energy projects in Central and Eastern Europe.  It will support U.S. national security interests by promoting increased energy security and market diversification in Europe.”

In August 2018, former U.S. Ambassador to NATO Douglas Lute wrote an op-ed in The Hill, arguing that it’s in the U.S.’ best interests to help its European allies develop energy sources outside Russia:

“[A] key vulnerability for many in Europe is their dependence on Russian energy, particularly natural gas. While Putin has yet to play this card beyond Ukraine, energy intimidation must be a national security concern among many of our NATO allies… The European Union, which includes most of our NATO allies, gets about 40 percent of its natural gas from Russia. While Germany has been critiqued for importing about a third of its gas from Russia, allies in Lithuania and Estonia are 100 percent dependent on Russian gas. Concerns increase as the Nord Stream 2 pipeline would increase Russian imports to Europe. If Russia decided to manipulate these energy streams, or even intimidate by threatening to do so, it could cripple the European allies… Given the dependence of our European allies on Russian energy, it is in U.S. national security interest to reduce Russian potential for influence by diversifying gas sources to Europe… Energy security is national security. This means reducing the dependence of our European allies on Russian energy.  It is in the national interest of the U.S. to stand with our allies to do all that we can to help diversify their energy sources.”

Energy Secretary Rick Perry has called partnering with allies to deliver non-Russian energy to Eastern Europe a major priority for the administration:

“An energy policy where we can deliver energy to Eastern Europe, where we are a partner with people around the globe, where they know that we will supply them energy and there are no strings attached is one of the most powerful messages that we can send to Russia.”

Dr. Mamdouh Salameh, international oil economist and professor of energy economics at the ESCP Europe Business School, argues that this bill is unlikely to significantly alter the European energy market, even though it’s politically attractive:

“Given the growing anti-Russian atmosphere in the United States Congress and the United States’ attempts to challenge Russia’s emergence as the energy super power of the world and also given US self-interest and Russia’s dominance in the gas market in the European Union, there is a reasonable probability that the proposed European Energy Security and Diversification Act will be approved by the US Senate… [However,] US LNG cannot compete under any circumstances with Russian piped gas to Europe. Russia has a fully integrated gas industry underpinned by the world’s second largest proven reserves of natural gas, the cheapest production costs, does not have to convert its gas to LNG to ship it to Europe and already has a monopoly on export pipelines to Europe… Russia provides roughly 40 percent of Europe’s gas needs and that dominance will continue well into the future.”

There is one cosponsor of this bill, who is a Republican.


Of NoteRussia is the largest exporter of oil and natural gas to the European Union through state-owned enterprise Gazprom, which currently controls 35 percent of Europe’s gas market. Gazprom’s ambition is to increase its market share to 40 percent due to declining European production in other areas, and the lower cost of extracting gas in Russia. Some observers say that Russia could double its gas exports by 2030 to meet growing global demand — putting Russia on par with Qatar, the world’s largest liquified natural gas producer.

In recent years, Russia has been accused of using energy pipeline shutdowns as an intimidation tactic to blackmail governments in disputes with the Kremlin.


Media:

Sponsoring Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) Press Release

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / zorazhuang)

AKA

European Energy Security and Diversification Act of 2018

Official Title

A bill to prioritize the efforts of and enhance coordination among United States agencies to encourage countries in Central and Eastern Europe to diversify their energy sources and supply routes, increase Europe's energy security, and help the United States reach its global energy security goals, and for other purposes.

    In the form of loans and knowledge? Sure, how does this hurt us? It only enriches our relationship. China has been doing this all over Africa. If we don't bolster up our allies, we won't have any.
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    Not until we address the infrastructure issues in our own country. Our country needs to be the priority.
    Like (97)
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    Uh NO?!?! Not only do we not have money for that, we’re trying to move away from fossil fuels, remember? Even if we gloss over our own crumbling infrastructure, why would we build more fossil fuel dependent systems when sustainable energy systems achieve the same goal? This is all kinds of stupid.
    Like (56)
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    Yes, while working swiftly for a completely green, renewable energy system.
    Like (48)
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    It’s past time to move on from primitive fuel sources. We have the knowledge and technology for clean energy. Not only do we need to use it, but help lead the world to a cleaner future.
    Like (33)
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    Spend our tax dollars here or give them back to the citizens! Stop sending our money overseas.
    Like (16)
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    This country needs to focus on it's own infrastructure. We're deeply in debt and need to help ourselves and stop supporting other countries. Stop illegal immigration. Most of them end up breaking the backs of US citizens by getting on welfare that the American taxpayer has to fund. TAKE CARE OF THIS COUNTRY. The red, white and blue flag is what we Americans want to support.
    Like (8)
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    Are you idiot Democrats really this stupid? Murphy lives in a bankrupt state (CT) for a reason, his ideas and legislative skills suck. If Europe wants energy then get it yourself. Having us subsidize these socialist more is a terrible idea. They already don’t pay full rate on prescription medicine, tariff and tax us to death on our goods and never pay their NATO bills as required. Dims, Libtards and Progressive are all code word for socialism. GFY.
    Like (8)
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    We need to invest in our own infrastructure, electrical grid, bridges, dams and highways. It is nice to attempt to save the world but these countries have had plenty of time to invest in their own infrastructures.
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    Are you joking?!? We need to fix our own infrastructure before we think about spending a billion on infrastructure in other countries. Plus, we need to stop using fossil fuels like natural gas and use more renewable energy. We need to drastically reduce our carbon footprint and this bill does nothing to address that.
    Like (7)
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    would be a positive step from the US to counter the ill will President Trump is causing
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    Hell no. It’s past time to invest in our infrastructure for a change.#MAGA
    Like (6)
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    Can’t private industry provide the needed investment? Is government going to guarantee these loans to lower interest rates? We don’t for students, why is industry special? Better lobbyists? When will we put US citizen first vs supposedly US corporations? Is GM a lesson learned for Congress? Too many unanswered questions here. Ps: How can we afford this??
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    Loans, yes. Gifts, no. Interest earned from infrastructure loans to NATO allies should be earmarked for our own infrastructure needs.
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    Our infrastructure is in shambles. Lets spend the money at home.
    Like (5)
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    Not until we have our own fixed. Think AMERICA! That’s what we want!
    Like (5)
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    The more money we hand these countries the less they do. We need to fix our own infrastructure! As a taxpayer I am sick of our taxes going to other countries while our infrature crumbs. Time to reinvest those $$$ in our own country.
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    No. Not ever. Never.
    Like (4)
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    I support America helping other countries, but at their expense, not ours. We use to be a lender nation. The last I’ve heard, that money was never repaid to us; we are now a debtor nation. Too many NATO countries do not pay their fair share for military expenses. We need to stop protecting all countries that do not pay: now. Let corporations do feasibility studies and invest their capital. U.S. taxpayer money has found its way to too many slush funds; tax money has been misappropriated and misused. We need to take care of our own infrastructure.
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    It will not help break Russia's influence in Europe. Plus we need to be updating and worrying about our own infrastructure.
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