Russia is a major exporter of oil and gas to Europe, which has kept the EU from sectioning oil and gas profits that are being used to fund Putin’s war machine.

By Ramona du Houx

April 15 2022

On April 6, Congresswoman Cori Bush (MO-01), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and Congressman Jason Crow (CO-06) introduced the Energy Security and Independence Act, a historic effort to strengthen America’s renewable energy supply chain through the Defense Production Act and invest in programs to lower utility prices. 

As oil and gas prices worldwide continue to surge following Russia’s horrific invasion of Ukraine, the dangers of America’s reliance on fossil fuels are more clear than ever. Indeed, Russia’s invasion has not resulted in a loss of oil supply to the market. Rather, it led to a rise in oil prices for Americans at the pump, laying bare our extreme reliance on foreign oil and glaring vulnerability in this moment of international unrest. 

“The days of energy security being synonymous with a reliance on human rights violators like Russia and Saudi Arabia, or a propagation of corporate profits for Exxon, Chevron, and BP, are over,” said Congresswoman Cori Bush. “When we talk about energy security, it’s time we include the safety of Black and brown lives in that definition. Energy security means making energy affordable for every household. Energy security means investing in energy efficiency so people can breathe clean air and keep the heat or air conditioning on. Energy security means alleviating the climate crisis by reducing our emissions and transitioning to renewable energy. I’m proud to work together with my colleagues Senator Sanders and Congressman Crow to make our vision of energy security a reality in this country.” 

For far too long, generations of Black, brown, and Indigenous communities have shouldered the economic and health costs of our relentless reliance on fossil fuels. “Natural” gas has exposed 1 million Black Americans to cancer-causing carcinogens and has been responsible for thousands of days of school missed by Black children. Climate change’s worst impacts, including flooding, wildfires, and extreme heat, are more likely to affect frontline low-income communities left with nowhere else to live. 

“When it comes to the existential threat of climate change, we are in the midst of a global struggle with nothing less than the future of the planet at stake,” said Senator Bernie Sanders. “Today, with rising prices on essential items and Russia’s horrific war in Ukraine, it is clear now more than ever: Addressing climate change and energy dependence is not just an environmental issue, it is a matter of national security. That’s why I’m proud to join with Representatives Bush and Crow to introduce the Energy Security and Independence Act, which would put us on the path to transforming our energy system away from fossil fuels toward renewable energy. Not only would this legislation help us combat climate change and strengthen energy security and independence in the U.S., but it will help working families save money on their utility bills, create good, union jobs, and take on the greed of oligarchs both here and abroad. Now is the time to think and act boldly in order to leave a more peaceful and habitable world for our children and grandchildren.”

To avoid further energy insecurity and end our support of the world’s human rights violators, the Energy Security and Independence Act will refocus America’s energy sources on renewable energy development by invoking the Defense Production Act (DPA) to scale our transition to zero-emission industries. 

“As the climate crisis worsens and oil prices skyrocket from Putin’s war, we must accelerate our transition to clean energy,” said Congressman Jason Crow. “I’m proud to join with Rep. Bush and Senator Sanders in introducing the Energy Security and Independence Act – commonsense legislation that will help meet the moment on our climate goals and bolster our national security.”

The DPA’s public investments will create high-quality new jobs in sustainable manufacturing. Additionally, those same investments will create good-paying, safe jobs, and reduce legacy pollution levels across the country. 

Specifically, the Energy Security and Independence Act of 2022 will: 
  • Fund the Defense Production Act (DPA) for use by the Biden administration to build renewable energy to scale in the United States to lower prices and reduce our reliance on dangerous and unpredictable fossil fuels;
  • Invest in the renewable energy supply chain in the US to support reliable, affordable and safe energy production and green jobs with strong labor standards;
  • Invest billions in energy efficiency to lower utility prices including investments in weatherization and heat pumps.
  • “In order to have a livable future where all of us thrive, the United States must take decisive action to protect against climate crises by reducing our dependence on fossil fuels,” said Pam Campos-Palma, Director of Peace & Security at the Working

“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine makes crystal clear that true energy security means powering the United States with 100% renewable energy and not an ounce of dangerous fossil fuels,” said Jean Su, Energy Justice Director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Congress should move urgently to pass Rep. Bush’s bill and super-charge the climate transition. No household should suffer the disconnections and energy price swings that are the hallmarks of fossil-fuel utilities. This is Biden’s golden opportunity to end the fossil fuel era once and for all.”

A full text of the bill can be found here.

A one-pager on the bill can be found here.  

In the House, the bill is co-sponsored by: Adriano Espaillat (NY-13), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14), Andy Levin (MN-09), Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), Carolyn Maloney (NY-12), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC-AL), Ilhan Omar (MN-05), Jamaal Bowman (NY-16), Jesús “Chuy” García (IL-04), Joe Neguse (CO-02), Mark Takano (CA-41), Mondaire Jones (NY-17), Rashida Tlaib (MI-13), Raul Grijalva (AZ-03), Jared Huffman (CA-02), Ro Khanna (CA-17), Yvette D. Clarke (NY-09), Jerrold Nadler (NY-10), Marie Newman (IL-03), Nanette Diaz Barragán (CA0-44), Barbara Lee (CA-13), Steve Cohen (TN-09), Sean Casten (IL-6), Mikie Sherrill, and Karen Bass (CA-37) 

In the Senate, the bill is co-sponsored by: Cory Booker (D-NJ), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Ed Markey (D-MA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Alex Padilla (D-CA), and Chris Murphy (D-CT)

The bi-cameral legislation is endorsed by over 80 groups and organizations, including: 198 methods, 350 Triangle, 350 Ventura County Climate Hub, American Sustainable Business Network, Association of Young Americans, Beyond Extreme Energy, Bold Alliance, Canton Residents for a Sustainable Equitable Future, Center for Biological Diversity, Christians For The Mountains, Climate Hawks Vote, CodePink, Common Defense, Conejo Climate Coalition, Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) Knoxville TN chapter, Earth Ethics, Inc., Earth Guardians Bay Area, Earth Works, Economic Policy Institute, Electrify Now, Extinction Rebellion San Francisco Bay Area, Farmworker Association of Florida, Food & Water Watch, Foreign Policy for America, Friends Committee on National Legislation, Gen-Z for Change, Giniw Collective, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, Green New Deal Network, Green Workers Alliance, GreenFaith, GreenLatinos, Greenpeace USA, Greenvest, Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy, Harrington Investments, Inc., Heartwood, Indian Point Safe Energy Coalition, Indigenous Environmental Network, Indivisible, Jewish Climate Action network, Labor Network for Sustainability, League of Conservation Voters, Long Beach Alliance for Clean Energy, Maine Unitarian Universalist State Advocacy Network (MUUSAN), Methane Action, Michigan United, Mothers Out Front, New Energy Economy, North Quabbin Energy, Ocean Conservation Research, Oil and Gas Action Network, Oil Change International, Our Climate, Our Revolution, Palms To Pines Democratic Network, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Arizona Chapter, Progressive Democrats of America, Public Citizen, Récolte Energy, Rewiring America, Santa Cruz Climate Action Network, Saphron Initiative, Save Our Illinois Land, Sequoia ForestKeeper, Sierra Club, Social Eco Education (SEE), Solarize Abany,, Sunrise Movement, Terra Advocati, The Climate and Community Project, The Democracy Collaborative, The Enviro Show, The Shalom Center, Turtle Island Restoration Network, Unitarian Universalist Advocacy Network of Illinois (UUANI), Unitarian Universalist Association, Unitarian Universalists for Social Justice, Vote Climate, Waterway Advocates, Win Without War, Working Families Party, and Zero Hour, among others. 

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