America May Not Be Fast Enough to Solve Europe’s Gas Problem
In light of the gas crisis in Europe and Ukraine — the result of political tensions that rose after Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula — the U.S. and foreign bodies have been desperately looking for a way to combat the shortage and cut back on reliance to Russia’s gas industry. One solution often named has been greater exports from U.S. gas production, with opponents arguing that an increase in exports to Europe would cause greater harm to the environment and/or raise gas prices at home. Now, a new argument has cropped up — that of timelines and capability. While the Obama administration and Congress are looking at pushing more of the gas supply into exports, the timing, and the amount of gas needed, are under question.
“Expanding U.S. LNG exports is an opportunity to combat Russian influence and power, and we have an energy diplomacy responsibility to act quickly,” said House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Representative Fred Upton (R-Mich.). “The Department of Energy’s approval process for LNG exports is unnecessarily putting our allies at the mercy of Vladimir Putin. Now is the time to send the signal to our global allies that U.S. natural gas will be an available and viable alternative to their energy needs,” he said early last month.