May 02, 2022

Van Hollen, Merkley Call for Transition to a Clean Energy Economy to Protect American National Security and Combat Price Gouging by Fossil Fuel Companies

Clean energy investments weaken America’s enemies, free consumers from exploitation

Today, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) joined Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) alongside Senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) in introducing a Senate Resolution condemning oil and gas companies profiteering off the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine and urging a swift transition to a clean energy economy as a core national security priority. 

“No one should be profiteering from Putin’s brutal war in Ukraine, but that’s what Big Oil is doing,” said Senator Van Hollen. “We must be putting people over profits and consumers over corporate greed. It’s clear that accelerating our transition to a clean energy economy is necessary to reduce the price of energy, strengthen our national security, and confront climate change.” 

“The war in Ukraine has underscored how our dependence on oil fills the coffers of tyrants and dictators like Putin, and that a rapid transition to clean and renewable energy is not just necessary for our environment, but critical to our economic and national security,” said Senator Merkley. “We can achieve energy independence by transitioning to cheaper, home-grown sources of renewable energy, and we can’t waste any time in getting there. The best way to end our dependence and that of our allies on foreign oil and gas is to end our reliance on oil and gas, period.”  

“The oil and gas industry doesn’t drill to be patriotic – they drill for profit. They have reaped billions of dollars by taking advantage of Russia’s war on Ukraine and crushing Americans at the pump,” said Senator Murphy. “Investing in renewables is the only way we achieve true energy independence. It’s time we learn our lesson and make the transition to clean energy to strengthen our national security, combat the climate crisis, and lower costs for everyone.”

“Putin’s ruthless and unjustified invasion of Ukraine coupled with continued price gouging by oil and gas companies have imperiled our country’s national security and left Americans hurting from rising fuel prices,” said Senator Booker. “As this resolution lays out, the United States must immediately begin a transition to a clean energy economy that will ensure our nation’s energy independence, protect consumers, and help us reverse the devastating effects of climate change.”  

“Oil and gas companies have been profiteering from Russia’s brutal war in Ukraine by reprehensibly raising prices on Americans while raking in record profits,” said Senator Blumenthal. “Volatility in oil and gas prices exacerbated by the war and Big Oil’s greed only reinforce the need to invest in more reliable domestic green energy. A clean energy economy would ensure our energy independence while protecting the climate—and lower costs for the American people.” 

The Senators’ Resolution highlights how a clean energy economy is essential for protecting the United States’ national security and American consumers. It notes that authoritarian regimes such as Russia, which derives 40 percent of its federal budget from oil and gas production, rely heavily on fossil fuel revenue to maintain their grip on power and fund atrocities such as those occurring in Ukraine, and that the Department of Defense recently reported that climate change threatens American national security. The Resolution also highlights how oil and gas companies have unjustly profited from charging American consumers sky-high gas prices even as the price of oil falls.   

The Resolution urges a rapid transition to renewable energy, which “can come online more quickly and reliably than oil and gas production, which will ensure the United States’ energy independence and help us maintain a safe and healthy climate.” 

The Resolution concludes, “Congress and the Biden Administration must stop price gouging and excessive price increases by oil and gas companies; and help consumers and small businesses that are being harmed by rising energy prices; and the United States must transition to a clean energy economy as quickly as possible to protect our national security.”

The full text of the Resolution can be found here.