The European Union is seeking assistance from the United States in breaking its dependence on Russian natural Gas. When President Joe Biden visits Africa this week, though, he will be limited in what he can promise. The European Union’s main need is for more liquefied natural from the United States, whose output has increased dramatically in the last five years. However, American Gas exporters are exporting LNG almost as quickly as they can, with little new capacity expected to come online in the next two years.
Furthermore, Biden has no control over the activity of private oil and Gas corporations, which normally sell their products wherever they can get the best price. As a result, the US may not be able to do much to help European countries which are attempting to reduce their natural Gas imports from Russia by two-thirds this year in response to Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. In 2020, Russian Gas shipments to Europe totaled 5.5 trillion cubic feet, up more than 25% from a decade prior.
The energy crisis affecting America’s transatlantic partners is still requiring a policy adjustment for the Biden administration, which campaigned on a promise to accelerate the move away from fossil fuels and toward sustainable energy. Republicans and European officials are urging the White House to leverage American energy production to aid Germany.
When Biden travels Europe on Thursday for a NATO summit and a European Council meeting, the subject is expected to be a hot topic. Amos Hochstein, the White House’s senior adviser for energy security, is slated to accompany him, as are representatives of the State Department’s Bureau of Energy Resources, according to a source familiar with the planning.