These United States (USA) announced this Friday the creation of a working group aimed at reduce Europe’s dependence on fossil fuels from Russiabecause of the conflict in Ukraine. The US will strive to supply Europe with an additional 15 billion cubic meters of natural gas smoothie (LNG) this year.
This initiative was presented by the US president, John Biden, and the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, on the second day of the summit of heads of state and government of the community bloc in which the Twenty-seven will discuss the creation of gas reserves and Brussels options to reduce electricity prices.
Specifically, Washington wants to send 15,000 million cubic meters more to the European Union each year, which would mean raising the total annual amount to 37,000 million cubic meters, while the United States sent 22,200 million cubic meters of gas in 2021 natural liquefied to the block.
Thus, Biden has promised this Friday to do everything possible to increase exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to the EU by 66% in support of the bloc’s efforts to divest itself of Russian hydrocarbons.
“Today we have reached an agreement to protect our security in a joint and unprecedented way,” said John Biden at a press conference this Friday morning.
This agreement dates back to the end of last January, when the United States and the European Union sealed a pact to guarantee the energy supply to the community market in the face of the possibility of breaking with Russia in the midst of an escalation of tensions. Von der Leyen and Biden signed, at that time, a statement that committed to energy security and sustainability, as well as the acceleration towards clean energies. It will be ratified this Friday.
Divide between the European economies
After having participated in the G7 summit, where the world’s most industrialized countries have decided to restrict Russia’s gold sales and reduce their dependence on Moscow for energy, the president of the Community Executive has pointed out that “energy will be an important issue in the European summit”, while ensuring that “the main objective” is the joint purchase of gas in order to gain influence with “the power of the European market”, as well as the joint storage of this energy source.
This is the only measure that the Twenty-seven agree with. And it is that the European Heads of State and Government are divided on what is the ideal recipe in the short term to put a stop to the escalation of gas and electricity: Spain and the southern countries defend imposing price caps, while Germany, Holland and the Nordics maintain their frontal opposition to any intervention in the electricity market.
The Spanish Executive, which has been demanding for weeks “a common and ambitious response” to the frenetic increase in gas and electricity prices, entrusts everything to the package of measures that comes out of this conclave, since the shock plan will depend on it that he will present on March 29 to ease the discontent on the street.Speaking upon his arrival at the European Council in Brussels, Sánchez said that what he is looking for is “a solution for all” in the face of the current energy crisis, but given that ” this may take a few weeks”, what Spain and Portugal propose is that they can respond to the “particularity” of these two countries, being an energy island” and having a “minimal interconnection with the European energy market below 3% “.
The worst result would be for the decision to be postponed again, as happened in December, to the next summit scheduled for May. The leaders would thus wait for the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) to present its final report on the reform of the electricity market in April before committing to any step. In that case, the Government has confirmed that Spain would take the necessary measures in the event that the EU did not.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.