Ukraine war stiffens energy-security resolve
It's been one year since Russia invaded Ukraine, and the war has only reinforced preexisting political narratives about energy policy.
- But it’s also spurred bipartisan concerns over energy security — with China the subtext of a Senate Energy and Natural Resources hearing last week on the invasion.
Why it matters: Lawmakers' views on the war tug at the fundamentals of the energy transition. Everyone wants cheap, secure energy, but what that means is often a matter of opinion.
We asked senators for the energy-related lesson they've learned from the war. Here’s a selection of what they told us:
- Bill Cassidy: “Energy is a geopolitical tool.… If the United States does not develop our energy resources with our environmental standards, the rest of the world will burn more coal."
- Jack Reed: “I think the lessons remain that if we're energy independent, that's one less critical resource we have to depend upon which can be disrupted by either attacks or sometimes multiple ways.”
- Brian Schatz: “We have to generate our own electrons and our own fuel supplies. Eventually that should all be carbon-free, and in the meantime, it should at least be American."
- Jon Tester: “Energy can be used as a weapon. Not that we didn't know that before, but it's been absolutely done with Russia.”
- John Cornyn: “Energy security is important. That’s probably the single most important thing we’ve learned. We need an all-of-the-above strategy.”
- John Kennedy: “All of us should seek (A) affordable energy. And (B), all of us should agree that we should use technology to improve and make more efficient and more climate-friendly, all forms of energy.”
What we’re watching: Senate Energy chair Joe Manchin introduced a bill last week with his GOP committee counterpart John Barrasso to create a domestic nuclear fuel program.
- It’s another attempt to counter Russia, which currently controls much of the global enrichment capacity for nuclear fuel.
- The Ukraine conflict "has drastically disrupted energy supply chains around the world, and now is the time to take a hard look at how we source the raw materials necessary to power our nation and develop advanced energy technologies," Manchin said.