March 23, 2022

Warren, Markey Call on President Biden to Deploy Clean Energy and Energy-Efficient Electric Technologies in Response to Putin’s Energy Market Disruption

Senators Call for Historic Investments in Heat Pump Manufacturing and other Technologies

Text of Letter (PDF)

Washington, D.C. – United States Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), along with Senators Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) sent a letter to President Biden, urging him to employ his existing executive authorities to advance the development and widespread adoption of clean energy and energy-efficient electric technologies, such as heat pumps, in order to reduce dependence on Russia and other authoritarian petrostates, create new green jobs, save money for American consumers, protect public health, and combat the climate crisis.

“Due to the humanitarian, energy, and economic crises caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, we urge you to use all the tools and authority at your disposal to provide relief to our residents and allies and take preemptive steps to limit future instability caused by climate change and conflict funded by fossil fuel profits. In addition to our ongoing efforts to pass a robust set of climate justice and clean energy investments through Congress, we must take bold action to invest in energy efficiency and cut fossil fuel demand through electrification wherever possible,” wrote the lawmakers. 

The Biden administration’s recent ban on oil imports from Russia has been a crucial step in imposing economic pain to counter Russia’s unjustifiable invasion of Ukraine, as approximately 40% of Russia’s state revenues comes from its oil and gas exports. Europe is Russia’s main market for oil and gas exports, and 7% of oil and gas imports in the US come from Russia, further underscoring the need for the United States and its allies to reduce energy demand from Russia and cut off its funding.

The lawmakers called on President Biden to employ the Defense Production Act or authorities through the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, which have previously been used to provide humanitarian assistance to allies or ramp up domestic production and provide certainty to important U.S. sectors. Within the heat pump sector alone, a federal investment of $600 million over five years could help the United States develop 30 manufacturing plants and produce three million heat pumps a year by 2025. Deploying an additional five million heat pumps could cut the country’s demand for oil equivalent to nearly a third of the amount imported from Russia. Heat pumps could also save the average U.S. family as much as $500 annually on their utility bills, reducing harm from volatile fossil fuel prices.

Senator Warren is an outspoken advocate for investing in clean energy and energy-efficient electric technologies to transition to a more sustainable future and create good paying jobs. She has also taken a number of steps to address high fuel costs this year and help American families, while also working to promote a clean energy independence to prevent such future spikes in energy costs.

  • In January 2022, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) joined Senator Ed Markey (D-Mass.) to introduce the Heating and Cooling Relief Act, which would invest in and expand the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) to universalize energy assistance for all of those who need it. This would save families from housing and food insecurity as they cope with high energy bills, while also increasing funding for weatherization, promoting renewable energy use, and aiding with climate adaptation.
  • In November 2021, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) joined Senator Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.) to introduce the Clean Energy for All Homes Act, which would help middle-class and lower-income families afford solar roofs and other renewable energy technology installations by lessening the cost burden of installing these systems.
  • In March 2021, Senator Warren, Representative Andrew Levin (D-Mich.), along with Senator Ed  Markey (D-Mass.), and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) introduced the BUILD GREEN Infrastructure and Jobs Act, which would invest $500 billion over ten years in state, local, and tribal projects to jumpstart the transition to all electric public vehicles and rail and help modernize the nation's crumbling infrastructure.