Barletta Defense Amendment Rejects Russian Energy, Promotes PA Coal
Click here or on image for video of Rep. Barletta arguing against purchasing energy from Russia for U.S. military installations.
WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) today successfully amended the Defense Appropriations bill to prevent U.S. military installations, regardless of their locations, from purchasing energy from Russia, thereby aiding Pennsylvania coal producers and employees. Barletta led debate on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, arguing that Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin has a history of using his energy reserves to gain political influence over other nations, and that the U.S. armed forces should not be subjected to similar pressure. The amendment passed the House by voice vote. The entire Defense Appropriations bill passed the House by a vote of 282-to-138.
“Time and again, we have seen Vladimir Putin use Russian energy to assert his political will over the rest of the world,” Barletta said. “In fact, just a few months ago, the European Union announced that they were seeking alternatives to Russian natural gas imports in order to avoid a repeat of 2006 and 2009, when Russian suppliers cut off the gas shipped through Ukraine, leaving much of Western Europe to succumb to winter’s freezing temperatures.”
Barletta’s amendment benefits coal workers in Pennsylvania, since some U.S. military bases, such as one in Kaiserslautern, Germany, use anthracite coal for fuel.
“I think we can all agree that we don’t want our American servicemen and women to be left out in the cold,” Barletta said. “By ensuring our military does not rely on the Russian Federation to supply the heating and energy needs of our military bases, we can provide certainty and security for the brave individuals protecting our freedom.”
Barletta has consistently fought for the interests of Pennsylvania anthracite coal. On Wednesday of this week, Barletta vigorously opposed another amendment to the Defense Appropriations bill that removed language that required the U.S. military base in Kaiserslautern to use at least one American energy source for heat and power. That amendment unfortunately succeeded, which prompted Barletta to pursue his own amendment barring the purchase of energy from Russia.