Question from Senator Chris Murphy to Keith Krach, Under Secretary of State nominee
Nominated to serve as Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment, Keith Krach testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on March 27, 2019.
Krach was asked by Senator Chris Murphy about his commitment to take advantage of the provisions of the bipartisan European Energy Security and Diversification Act to, “stand up new capacities to try to help countries around the Russian periphery become energy independent of Russia.”
Krach replied, “I believe that energy security is a vital component to national security. And a key to energy security is obviously to diversify all sources of energy. So, Senator, you have my commitment. If confirmed, I will do everything possible to utilize our Foreign Service experts and bring all forces to bear.”
Read Life & News’ article on Mr. Krach’s nomination – http://www.lifeandnews.com/articles/white-house-nominates-keith-krach-to-under-secretary-of-state-and-other-key-posts/
Mr. Krach was Life & News’ 2018 Transformational Leader of the Year – http://www.lifeandnews.com/articles/life-and-news-names-keith-krach-2018-transformational-leader-of-the-year/
FULL EXCHANGE BETWEEN SENATOR MURPHY AND MR KRACH
Mr. Krach, the House just passed a bill called the European Energy Security and Diversification Act by a big bipartisan majority, 391 to 24. This is a piece of legislation originally introduced here in the Senate by myself and Senator Cardin and Senator Johnson, Senator Rubio, Senator Gardner. A bunch of us on both sides of the aisle think it is really important to set up a financing vehicle that we could partner with diplomatic efforts in order to help countries, especially those on the Russian periphery, become energy independent of Russia, a way, at no cost to the American taxpayer, to find some ways to try to push back on one of the prime means of Russian leverage, which is their energy that continues to flow largely unimpeded into countries that then become reliant on not only Russia’s energy source but become very intertwined with their foreign policy objectives and priorities as well.
Can you talk about the importance of the United States standing up new capacities to try to help countries around the Russian periphery become energy independent of Russia? And I would love to get your commitment to work with us on both sides of the aisle on this legislation.
MR. KRACH. Yes, Senator. And thank you for that piece of legislation — all of Congress — because I really believe that energy security is such a vital component to national security. And a key to energy security is obviously to diversify all sources of energy. So, Senator, you have my commitment. If confirmed, I will do everything possible to utilize our Foreign Service experts and bring all forces to bear.
SENATOR MURPHY. And I assume you believe that the United States can do more to try to promote energy independence in and around Russia’s periphery.
MR. KRACH. Absolutely, Senator. And my goal is to improve.