WASHINGTON (September 18, 2014) – With Ukraine expected to endure dangerous energy shortages this winter due to the ongoing conflict with Russia, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee today passed legislation out of committee that included key provisions authored by Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) that would help Ukraine to become more energy efficient, increase their domestic energy production, and include the U.S. private sector in Ukraine’s energy modernization.
An amendment by Senator Markey to authorize winterization and weatherization supplies for Ukraine was also included. Ukraine is currently the second most energy inefficient nation in the world, making it vulnerable to energy shortages if Russia cuts off supplies of natural gas.
“Energy is one of Ukraine’s greatest vulnerabilities, and one that Russia is exploiting by shutting off supplies,” said Senator Markey, who chairs the Foreign Relations subcommittee with jurisdiction over international energy issues. “The best way to help the people of Ukraine weather this conflict during this winter and beyond and is by helping them increase the energy efficiency of their homes, businesses, and industries so they can do more with less energy and help them boost their own supplies. That will diminish Putin’s power, and increase Ukraine’s energy efficiency for decades to come.”
In June, Senator Markey introduced legislation to help Ukraine become more energy independent by boosting the country’s woeful energy efficiency and provide technical assistance to extract domestic natural gas. The bill, the Ukrainian Independence from Russian Energy Act, would help Ukraine reduce its reliance on Russia for natural gas and provides an easier pathway towards isolating Russia than pushing for natural gas exports to the country.
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