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Barrasso Bill to Ban Russian Uranium to Become Law

Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources (ENR), spoke on the Senate Floor about his legislation to ban the import of Russian uranium. The legislation, which recently passed the Senate with unanimous support, now heads to the White House to become law. Reclaiming American nuclear energy is good for our national security, democracy, and Wyoming’s economy.

Senator Barrasso’s Remarks:

“I rise to talk about a great win for America’s people and for America’s energy future. And I want to start by saying something that I know Vladimir Putin is going to hate to hear. That’s that Russia’s choke hold on America’s uranium supply is coming to an end. Putin’s war machine has now lost one of its cash cows. America is finally starting to take back our nuclear energy security as well as our energy future.

“Last week, this body unanimously passed legislation that I sponsored, bipartisan legislation, to ban the import of Russian uranium. It will soon become law. This victory is tremendous and transformative. And it is truly bipartisan.

“I’m very grateful for Senator Manchin, Senator Risch, Senator Lummis, Senator Coons, and Senator Marshall for their critical work in helping get this bill into law. I also want to thank House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Cathy McMorris Rodgers. Together, we all worked to make America safer and more prosperous.

“I’m especially pleased because my home state of Wyoming has world-class uranium resources.

“For years Russia has used its nuclear monopoly to flood the market with uranium. Russia’s monopoly could do so only because it owned, ran, and manipulated the entire situation and have it done by the Russian government. Putin tried to corner the global market. He used enriched uranium to enrich himself and to further his dangerous ambitions.

“Russia has been undermining America’s nuclear industry for decades. As a result, Putin now controls 50% of the world’s enrichment capacity. Today, he supplies 24% of America’s enriched uranium. Putin’s control is so vast that currently today the equivalent of one out of 20 homes in America is powered by uranium enriched by Russia. My legislation ensures that Americans will no longer count on Russia to turn on our lights.

“Even worse, Putin uses the money from selling uranium to pay for his war efforts in Ukraine. For two years America has unintentionally helped fund Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. That’s not how we stand up for democracy. America can’t talk about stopping Vladimir Putin’s march through Europe while also helping fund it.

“When it comes to national security, actions matter more than words and our allies want to see consistency. Banning the sale of Russian uranium in the United States shows Putin that the world is united against him. With our legislation, Putin will lose a billion dollars in revenue each and every year. By banning Russian uranium, we’re striking a serious blow to Putin’s war machine.

“Perhaps what’s most important about this legislation is what it does to boost America’s industry. We are helping America become the global leader once again in nuclear energy.

“I have spoken to leaders of many American nuclear utilities. What I hear constantly is that they’re ready to transition away from Russian uranium. They point out that expanding our enrichment capacity here at home could be expensive. It takes time, it takes money, and it takes certainty. This legislation provides American uranium producers with the support that they need. The bill also dedicates dollars for strategic investments to help jump-start America’s nuclear supply chain.

“Of course, we’re not starting over from scratch. No, we’re not. Wyoming is ready to power American reactors with Wyoming nuclear fuel.

“My home state, Wyoming, is America’s energy breadbasket. We’re America’s leading uranium producer. We have large uranium resources, and we will keep building upon them. We have Crook County, Campbell County, Converse County, and Sweetwater County. They are ground zero for making sure America has the uranium that our nation needs.

“Wyoming has the uranium to free America from dependence on Russia, and we are ready to deploy it. I have great confidence in Wyoming’s energy resources and, of course, in Wyoming’s energy workers, remarkable individuals. Through their hard work, America will once again be a world leader in uranium production, conversion, and enrichment.

“Mr. President, America’s nuclear supply chain must begin with American-mined uranium and end with American-made fuel. Russia’s control of the world’s nuclear fuel supply is coming to an end. It’s good news for Wyoming, good news for America, and good news for the world.

Source: Denison Mines