Congressman Pete Stauber (R-MN), joined by his colleagues Congressmen Adrian Smith (R-NE), Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX) and Henry Cuellar (D-TX), introduced legislation to ban imports of uranium from Russia. According to the Energy Information Administration, the United States purchased more than 34 million pounds of Uranium from 2016-2020.
“It’s more important now than ever for the United States to achieve mineral dominance to secure our energy supply chain needs,” said Congressman Stauber. “By banning uranium imports from Russia, we can stop funding for Putin’s brutal war against Ukraine, create jobs for American workers, and secure our national defense.”
“As Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine continues, we must curb our reliance on Russia for resources and critical minerals,” stated Congressman Smith. “We have the time and capacity to safely produce uranium domestically, rather than buying it from Russia and funding their war on Ukraine. We can and should promote domestic production while holding Russia accountable, and this bill does just that.”
“The U.S. has the resources and capacity to produce uranium here at home and should no longer rely on foreign dictators,” stated Congressman Gonzalez. “The U.S. must continue to cut off Putin’s war chest wherever possible and support President Zelenskyy and the Ukrainian people as they continue to fight back against a tyrannical regime. I urge our colleagues to support this legislation, stand in solidarity with Ukraine and unleash American energy!”
“Russia has proven time and again that it is not interested in heeding calls for a cease fire, or respecting Ukraine’s right to self-determination. Russia must face consequences for these decisions,” said Congressman Cuellar. “The United States should ban Russian uranium imports—and stop funding the Russian war machine. Our energy supply chain is capable of withstanding the increased demand and will be the source of additional American jobs. Now is the time to secure our national security interests and remove our dependence on Russian nuclear fuel.”
“Russia has cultivated American reliance on Russian nuclear fuel for some time, posing a dangerous threat to our energy and national security that has taken on new urgency,” said Scott Melbye, President of the Uranium Producers of America and Executive Vice President of Uranium Energy Corp. “We can no longer tolerate this nuclear fuel dependence or the flow of U.S. dollars for uranium purchases that prop up the Putin regime. The U.S. has ample uranium resources and the capacity to produce them at the highest global standards. The domestic uranium industry stands ready to work with U.S. utilities and other Western uranium suppliers to ensure every single domestic reactor will be able to maintain operations as the U.S. economy increasingly relies on clean nuclear power.”
“Our uranium import dependence is a case study in how our vital domestic minerals supply chains have atrophied to levels that result in a dire national security risk,” said Rich Nolan, President and CEO, National Mining Association. “We are home to the world’s largest fleet of nuclear power plants, significant uranium reserves, and yet we import virtually all of the uranium we use – half of which comes from Russia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. Aggressive action must be taken to address this vulnerability and immediately reinvest in American-sourced, essential mined materials produced under world-leading environmental and labor standards. We applaud Representatives Stauber, Gonzalez, Smith, and Cuellar for introducing this important legislation to ban the import of Russian uranium.”
The introduction of this legislation follows actions by the United States this month to ban imports of Russian oil, gas and coal. The Senate version of the bill was introduced by Senator John Barrasso on March 17, 2022. Full text of the bill can be found here.