- THE PATRIOT POST - MICHAEL SWARTZ - MAR 30, 2022 -
He plans to cover the EU’s folly of reliance on Russian natural gas by supplying fuel from America.
While Joe Biden was in Europe threatening to start World War III, he somehow also managed to pull off a deal with the European Union to be a larger supplier of natural gas for the continent. But there are some provisos in the bargain that perhaps make the deal less desirable than it may seem.
Because Europe has painted itself into a corner energy-wise by falling for the long con of green energy, its options are limited. Obviously, the Europeans were hoping that Russian natural gas would cover their energy deficit, but as we’ve seen over the last few months, being at Russia’s mercy is less than desirable. That untenable situation led to a renewed pledge by the EU nations to buy American liquified natural gas (LNG).
The EU reportedly struck a deal for the U.S. to supply 15 billion cubic meters of LNG this year. That prompted European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to call the pact “an important and big starting point” to securing a reliable gas supply for the continent. The EU is attempting to phase out Russian oil and natural gas by the end of the decade, and America is thought to be a “trustworthy supplier.”
But the fine print of the deal is another thing, as it also includes “a joint task force aimed at weaning Europe off Russian energy and finding alternatives to liquefied natural gas.” Moreover, “The task force will work toward reducing green gas emissions by paring down methane emissions and using clean energy.” It’s amazing how both sides keep believing the green energy fairy is going to somehow rain down free electricity from the skies despite the failures so far.
Granted, there are some issues with America completely supplanting Russia as Europe’s natural gas supplier. For one thing, the Russians will always maintain a price advantage over American-supplied LNG, and their supply is more reliable in that there are several pipelines connecting Russia and European markets, including the Nord Stream pipelines under the Baltic Sea. (A recent controversy involves approval to use the already-built Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which would double its capacity by running alongside the original.)
More importantly, though, America must have an administration willing to allow the increased exploration for and extraction of natural gas for export to the EU, as much of our current LNG exporting is ticketed for Asian markets. (And that’s not to mention our own growing needs.) Unfortunately, the general attitude of the Biden regime is hostile to anything fossil fuel related.
Take this summary of the situation by the Wall Street Journal editorial board for example:
Europe long resisted signing long-term contracts for U.S. LNG because Russia provided cheap gas. This hampered U.S. investment in LNG export facilities and is one reason there are 13 approved terminals that could ship 258 billion cubic meters each year that still aren’t under construction. Most were approved in the Trump years.
Now Europe is finally agreeing to long-term contracts, but the Administration says it opposes long-term U.S. gas investment. Listen to no less a power player than Gina McCarthy, the White House national climate adviser, this week (who said) U.S. climate policy “is not a fight about coal anymore. It is a challenge about natural gas and infrastructure investments because we don’t want to invest in things that are time limited. Because we are time limited,” she said at an American Council on Renewable Energy forum.
Perhaps McCarthy hasn’t learned that the lifespan of solar panels and wind turbines is measured in years, not decades — and never mind we are dependent on our own enemies for much of the raw material for their manufacture, not to mention lacking in battery technology for long-term energy storage at the required scale. Regardless, it’s difficult to convince investors that fossil fuels are a good long-term investment when our regulatory climate is so frosty toward those industries and radical green groups thwart the construction and operation of the pipelines required to safely transport the raw materials.
Yet while the prospect of increased LNG exports is nice, we could be showing a little tough love of our own and encouraging our European friends to ignore the Russian propaganda and do some oil exploration and fracking for themselves instead of depending on us to do it here in America. Surely we’d be happy to lend some expertise and technology to help them build and maintain their own reliable energy industry, just like we did in other parts of the world. Rather than give them the fish, let’s teach them to catch their own.