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  • Energy Dependence Threatens Europe's Security

    18 countries ranging from large European Union members, including Germany to small ex-Soviet Moldova, have been affected by Russian quasi-governmental gas giant Gazprom’s cut in natural gas supplies to Ukraine. Gazprom has become synonymous with energy intimidation and has specifically targeted former Soviet states such as Ukraine as it seeks to carve out a Russian-dominated sphere of influence in its near abroad.

    Heritage Senior Policy Analyst Sally McNamara looks at steps Europe must take to prevent future incidents:

    Although Russia has, until now, tended to be a reliable energy supplier to Western Europe, Europe cannot afford to stand idly by and hope that Moscow will play fair in the future. This is all the more pressing considering first, that Europe’s energy dependence on Moscow is growing, and second, that Moscow has a head-start on Europe in negotiating pipeline deals that will tighten its grip on East-West transit routes.

    Europe cannot allow itself to be boxed into a corner when dealing with Moscow on important foreign policy questions (such as NATO enlargement) because it is scared of Russia turning off the energy taps. The EU’s obsession with making ever-bolder promises on cutting carbon emissions has resulted in a European energy policy that is far too focused on unrealistic targets to address climate change at the expense of seriously addressing energy security. Europe must now diversify its supply routes and seek reliable alternate sources of energy such as nuclear power. It must also coordinate a policy toward Russia that confronts, rather than accommodates, an increasingly aggressive Moscow.

    Heritage Senior Research Fellow Ariel Cohen recommends a U.S. course of action:

    • Support European diversification of energy transporta­tion routes in Eurasia. Specifically, the U.S. should support the construc­tion of the Nabucco pipe­line which would bring gas from the Caspian basin, via Azerbaijan and Georgia, to Europe. The U.S. should oppose any excessive dependence of its allies on Russian energy exports and should encourage application of the European anti-trust legislation against Gazprom.It will also be necessary to encourage EU members to establish and implement a joint policy on their dealing with Moscow in the energy sector.
    • Encourage Europe to construct more liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals, importing gas from Qatar, Algeria, and Nigeria, thus diversifying the sources of gas. Moreover, Germany, Italy, and other countries in Europe should be encouraged to develop coal, nuclear power, and competitive renewables as sources of affordable electricity.
    •  Support Ukraine’s efforts to modernize its energy sector, including reforms to increase transparency and energy efficiency, privatize and liberalize oil and gas sectors, depoliticize management, and decisively remove middlemen in energy transactions.
    Posted in International [slideshow_deploy]

    3 Responses to Energy Dependence Threatens Europe's Security

    1. rtchard traxler wei says:

      Be afraid, America, be very afraid. What Rusia has done to most of Europe, opec can do to us.

      If we don't want to freeze with a lack of fuel, then we had better drill here and drill now.

      We also must invest in nuclear power now.

      If we continue to let Democrats get away with blocking all attempts for the US to become energy independent, we will very soon be freezing in our own homes, just as millions of people are freezing in their European homes. WAKE UP AMERICA BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    2. Spiritof76, New Hamp says:

      Gee, I thought Europeans are so smart that they are investing in the so-called renewable energy sources to become independent unlike the ugly American capitalists. What happened to all those great wind farms going up all over Europe? Isn't that what we are told by our media which is always socialist-loving? Doesn't Obama plan for energy independence is through "green" energy-solar, wind, bio-mass, ocean waves etc.?

      I sincerely hope that the Russians call their bluffs. The American socialists who are against any thing that can produce real, usable and affordable power are the ones that need to wake up and get out of the way. Until people freeze due to lack of power and until food prices become exorbitant, Americans can be lead around their noses with fairy tale energy sources.

      Stupid is what stupid does!

    3. Mike Sheahen, Hickor says:

      And, as Comrade Obama's chosen "energy czars" agree, "We must figure out how to get fuel prices up to levels in Europe"?

      The insane Socialist inmates really are about to plunge us all down into their Socialist Black Hole!!!

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