The US vitality secretary is pressuring refiners to cease exporting extra gas to European allies in dire want
It’s beginning to seem like it’s Europe’s flip to study what Washington’s guarantees are value. (Spoiler alert: Not a lot.) In a letter that the Wall Avenue Journal editorial board has described as “bullying,” US Vitality Secretary Jennifer Granholm calls for that the nation’s essential vitality refining firms chorus from growing gas exports at a time when America’s allies in Europe are in deep want. “Given the historic stage of US refined product exports, I once more urge you to focus within the close to time period on constructing inventories in the USA, moderately than promoting down present shares and additional growing exports,” Granholm wrote, citing “traditionally low stock ranges of gasoline and diesel in components of the nation.” In different phrases, America first. Who’s shocked? Europe definitely shouldn’t be – regardless of what it could have been led to consider.
Granholm’s posture is a far cry from the joint assertion issued by the EU and the White Home on June twenty seventh, citing cooperation in “working collectively to search out methods to additional cut back Russia’s energy-derived revenues within the coming months.” The Western allies claimed “vital strides in direction of decreasing the European Union’s dependence on Russian fossil fuels by reducing pure fuel demand, cooperating on vitality effectivity applied sciences, and diversifying vitality provides.”
The place’s that cooperation now? The reality is that the US merely doesn’t have the infrastructure and capability to satisfy Europe’s huge wants, and faces environmental strain at residence that complicates its development. It’s the identical rationale that prevented Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau from promising Canadian liquified pure fuel to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz throughout his go to to Ottawa earlier this month.
The White Home said that it was “partnering to diversify vitality provides to Europe” and that “the USA and different producers have stepped up.” Besides that now the US vitality secretary is telling US vitality suppliers to cover behind the sofa and faux to not be residence because the EU runs round worldwide knocking frantically on doorways.
It’s comprehensible that US President Joe Biden and the Democrats could be looking for their very own political pursuits forward of the November midterm elections. They definitely wouldn’t wish to threat a gas scarcity at residence that would hand a victory to the Republicans.
It’s additionally removed from inconvenient for Washington that Brussels is struggling with out its low-cost Russian fuel. Effectively earlier than the Ukraine battle, Washington sanctioned the Nord Stream 2 fuel pipeline because it neared completion and was set to move Russian fuel into Europe by way of Germany. Washington’s concern-trolling argument was that it was unhealthy for Europe to be so depending on Russia for its vitality. So beneath the guise of defending Europe from itself, Washington did its greatest to throttle the mission. The tip end result, after all, is a much less economically viable Europe, to Washington’s international aggressive benefit.
Russian fuel flowing by the Nord Stream 1 pipeline is what turned Germany into the financial coronary heart of the European Union – and, by extension, enabled the EU to compete globally on par with Washington. Reliance on it has by no means been an issue for the EU till now. And it’s solely a problem now as a result of the EU unilaterally minimize itself off from its personal provide, and is now attempting to spin it because the fault of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Blaming Putin and convincing Europeans that it’s all Russia’s fault is about the one probability that European officers have at redirecting public outrage away from themselves amid document excessive vitality payments, shortages, blackouts, rationing, manufacturing shortages, and deindustrialization. Failure to efficiently defuse this ticking time bomb of anger may imply civil unrest at residence.
It’s not like EU member states didn’t have choices. Hungary has been proving that it’s totally attainable to reject anti-Russian vitality sanctions when it’s deemed to not be in the most effective pursuits of 1’s personal individuals and business. Not solely has Hungary secured new vitality offers with Russia for the reason that outset of the battle, nevertheless it has additionally now green-lit the development of recent nuclear reactors to be constructed by Russia.
Hungary has proven the braveness to avoid wasting itself, whereas the remainder of the EU is imposing larger management on their residents’ vitality use whereas telling them to brace for austerity. As a lot of the world has already realized, when America makes guarantees of a greater future after destroying what beforehand existed, Europe is on the verge of being the massive loser in all this. Washington is all the time looking for its personal pursuits, initially, as Granholm’s letter confirms. The EU ought to contemplate doing the identical earlier than it’s too late.
The statements, views and opinions expressed on this column are solely these of the writer and don’t essentially symbolize these of RT.