(The Center Square) – Congresswoman from Eastern Washington Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Spokane, commented on the Russian invasion of Ukraine during a Thursday meeting with the Spokane Valley City Council.
She said it was a sad irony that America was buying fuel from Russia and, thereby, helping its military roll into Ukraine.
Ukraine is the second largest country in Europe after Russia, which it borders to the east and northeast. As McMorris was meeting with Spokane Valley officials to learn about key transportation projects, news outlets were reporting on Russia’s heavy shelling of Ukrainian troops during the offensive.
McMorris Rodgers, who is the ranking Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said the global crisis had highlighted the need for America to return to the energy independence it had achieved by 2020. Not only could this nation not provide money to Russia, but it could help its allies weather the economic storm that was sure to follow the invasion, she said.
Oil and natural gas prices have already surged over concerns that Russia, a major energy producer, will slow the flow of oil and natural gas to Europe.
“Energy is our most powerful weapon,” she said.
Upon taking office, Democratic President Joe Biden took a series of steps that slowed gas production in the U.S., which McMorris said needed to be reversed. She said the current situation demonstrated the need for a reversal of policy by the administration.
McMorris Rodgers, who represents the state’s 5th Congressional District, later released a statement about Russia’s attack on Ukraine unfolding after weeks of a military buildup along its borders:
“I join in strongly condemning Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked and unlawful invasion of Ukraine,” she said. “We must unite around our shared values of liberty and democracy in the face of his blatant power grab against the people of Ukraine and their nation’s sovereignty. Freedom must prevail.”
She insisted that “energy security is national security” and called it “clearer than ever what is at stake when anti-American energy policies make us and Europe more dependent on Russian oil and natural gas.”
She argued that Russia’s economy and Putin’s rule “are dependent upon dominating energy production and exporting to other nations. He gains power by doing so, and it’s what funds his military and aggressive behavior.”
The congresswoman concluded by urging Biden “to restore America’s energy dominance” so that the United States’ allies will not “be beholden to aggressors like Putin who use vital resources as a weapon against the West.”