House advances Kinzinger’s bipartisan, bicameral global energy security bill

Bipartisan, bicameral legislation sponsored earlier this month by U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) to bolster global energy security received resounding approval on March 25 from the U.S. House of Representatives. 

The House voted 391-24 to approve the European Energy Security and Diversification Act of 2019, H.R. 1616, which Rep. Kinzinger introduced on March 7 along with U.S. Rep. Bill Keating (D-MA). The same-named S. 704 also was introduced on March 7 in the U.S. Senate by U.S. Sens. Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Chris Murphy (D-CT).

“I’m glad to see such swift action on the European Energy Security and Diversification Act and proud to join my colleagues in voting on its passage today,” Rep. Kinzinger, ranking member of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, Energy, and the Environment, said on Monday following the House vote.

The bill would prioritize the efforts of and enhance coordination among United States agencies to encourage countries in Europe and Eurasia to diversify their energy sources and supply routes, increase energy security in the region, and help the United States reach its global energy security goals, according to the congressional record summary.

“The Russian Federation, led by Vladimir Putin, has long used energy as a weapon to coerce and manipulate European countries,” explained Rep. Kinzinger. “As American energy production continues to rise, we have a prime opportunity to support our allies and provide an alternative to the stronghold Russia employs over energy sources.”

The congressman added that Putin can be stopped “from threatening the security of our European partners” with U.S. support that would “increase their own energy security to better defend against these bad actors.”

The U.S. Senate received H.R. 1616 on Tuesday and referred the bill for consideration to the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which is also reviewing the companion bill, S. 704.