Helsinki Commission to Hold Hearing on Energy Security in the OSCE Region

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

WASHINGTON - Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL), Chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission) and Co-Chairman Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), will hold a hearing on Monday, June 25, 2007, at 3:00 p.m. in room 419 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building. The hearing, entitled “Pipeline Politics: Achieving Energy Security in the OSCE Region,” will focus on conflict prevention and the security of supply and transit of oil and natural gas. More specifically, the hearing will address such questions as: What factors ensure reliable and predictable supply and transit of oil and gas? What is the United States doing to secure and promote its own energy security? What role should the United States play in Eurasian energy security?

As global demand for energy continues to increase, disruptions in the source and transit of oil and natural gas can be a source of profound economic and political instability. This was demonstrated in January 2007 when Russia halted oil supplies to Belarus for three days, creating a ripple effect on shipments to western Europe. Current attempts at consolidation of oil and gas pipelines by Russia’s state-owned monopoly energy companies raise serious questions about the future of Europe’s energy security.

Invited witnesses:

Mr. Greg Manuel, Special Advisor to the Secretary and International Energy Coordinator, Department of State
Ambassador Steven R. Mann, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs, Department of State
Mr. Matthew Bryza, Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs, Department of State
Mr. Al Hegburg, Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Energy Policy, Department of Energy
His Excellency Yashar Aliyev, Ambassador of the Republic of Azerbaijan
His Excellency Mikhail Khvostov, Ambassador of the Republic of Belarus
Ambassador Keith Smith, Senior Advisor, Center for Strategic and International Studies
Dr. Pierre Noel, Research Associate, University of Cambridge

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