Bipartisan Energy Bill Would Strengthen Long-Term National Security
‘It aims to make America more secure in an era of insecurity. It aims to make America more prosperous in a time of economic uncertainty. It’s a bipartisan bill that deserves to pass’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate floor today regarding the Energy Policy Modernization Act:
“There are a lot of reasons to like the broad, bipartisan energy bill before us.
“You’ll like it if you’re an American interested in producing more energy.
“You’ll like it if you’re an American interested in paying less for energy.
“You’ll like it if you’re an American interested in saving energy.
“There are a lot of important reasons to support the Energy Policy Modernization Act.
“Here’s another one.
“You’ll like it if you’re an American interested in bolstering your country's long-term national security.
“That’s always important, and Americans are telling us it’s especially important today.
“They see our commanders, for instance, attempting to juggle myriad threats from across the globe with diminishing force structure.
“Well if we’re interested in improving our overall strategic position, then there are ways this broad, bipartisan energy bill can help.
“First, the Energy Policy Modernization Act is designed to boost America’s liquefied natural gas exports.
“That doesn’t just hold potential for America’s economy, it holds potential for America’s global leadership — including the security of our allies.
“We know that Russia is the dominant supplier of natural gas to Western Europe and we know that building America’s own export capacity can enhance European energy security in the long run. So, in broad strokes:
By increasing our ability to export natural gas – in the form of liquefied natural gas or LNG – to Europe, the U.S. can weaken Russia’s strategic stronghold while boosting our domestic economy by increasing energy exports.
“That’s how Congressman Calvert, a Republican, and Congressman Israel, a Democrat, put it in an op-ed they authored together last year after returning from a trip to Ukraine.
“Here’s what a former Obama energy advisor wrote in November:
‘Increased LNG trade can also enhance energy security for our allies,’ he said. ‘[Russian state-owned energy giant] Gazprom’s grip on Europe is weakening, and U.S. LNG will accelerate that shift even as Russia seeks to counter it…’
“Enhancing America’s own export capacity is also important when you consider that Iran has just been freed from Western sanctions and is looking to expand its own trade in energy resources, including its natural gas potential.
“Robust LNG exports to Asia could also enhance America’s stature there too and give our allies in the region a stable source of energy.
“Boosting America’s natural gas exports is one reason to support this bill.
“The Energy Policy Modernization Act is designed to reduce our foreign reliance on minerals and raw materials needed for everything from military assets to smart phones.
“We can help strengthen American mineral security by developing our world-class American mineral base.
“The necessary modern policies can move us ahead, and this bill contains positive steps forward.
“Here’s what else this bill would do.
“The Energy Policy Modernization Act is designed to defend our national energy grid from terrorist cyberattacks.
“It would help prepare us by authorizing additional cybersecurity research, it would help deter attacks by erecting stronger cybersecurity defenses, and it would help provide for faster and more effective responses when threats do arise.
“At the end of the day, here’s what you can say about the Energy Policy Modernization Act.
“It aims to make America more secure in an era of insecurity.
“It aims to make America more prosperous in a time of economic uncertainty.
“It’s a bipartisan bill that deserves to pass.
“It’s great to see so many Republicans and Democrats in this chamber who agree.
“It’s great to see both sides working with the bill managers to process amendments and progress the legislation.
“I ask members to continue working in the same spirit of cooperation.”
Related Issues: National Security, Energy