American Energy Is Derailing Russia’s Stranglehold Over Europe, Official Says

Tim Pearce | Energy Reporter

Liquified natural gas and coal from the U.S. is beginning to erode Russian influence in Europe as countries look away from Russian President Vladimir Putin to secure their energy needs, according to Deputy Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette.

The European Parliament took steps to distance itself from Russia. In particular, an agreement between Germany and Russia to build a pipeline to transport Russian natural gas between the two countries is under increasing scrutiny for the leverage it would provide to Russia.

“We are starting to see the European Parliament, in particular, take action,” Brouillette told the Washington Examiner.

The parliament voted to support a resolution Dec. 12 that said the German-Russian pipeline, known as the Nord Stream II, “poses a threat to European energy security.”

President Donald Trump criticized Germany over the pipeline during a NATO meeting in July, saying, “Germany is totally controlled by Russia, because they will be getting from 60 to 70 percent of their energy from Russia and a new pipeline.”

The U.S. House of Representatives followed suit several months later, condemning the Nord Stream II pipeline project in a Dec. 12 resolution.

U.S. President Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel attend a meeting during the G20 leaders summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina December 1, 2018. REUTERS/Luisa Gonzalez

U.S. President Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel attend a meeting during the G20 leaders summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina December 1, 2018. REUTERS/Luisa Gonzalez

Since taking office in 2017, Trump called on Europe to cut energy ties with Russia to increase its energy independence and weaken Putin’s power and influence. Trump repeatedly said the U.S. and its vast reserves of natural gas and coal can take the place of Russian energy. (RELATED: Trump Notches A Big Win Against Russia After Merkel Folds On US Gas Imports)

Trump’s international campaign against Russian energy is yielding results, according to Brouillette.

“They [Europe] are starting to recognize the threat more and more,” Brouillette told the Washington Examiner. “There has been one announcement already that Germany is going to fund an LNG import terminal in the northern part of Germany” to purchase gas from the U.S. and others.

Poland already signed deals with U.S.-based energy companies. Poland signed a 24-year deal with Texas-based gas supplier Cheniere in November and another 20-year deal with San Diego-based energy firm Sempra on Wednesday.

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