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BAKER: An Export Terminal for Natural Gas is Essential in Southeast PA

When I was in the Senate of Pennsylvania, representing Chester County years ago, and serving as xhairman of the labor and industry committee, we became aware of the Marcellus Shale, the massive natural gas play that spans a sizeable portion of Pennsylvania.  At the time, we did not realize its full potential, although we knew it was something good for our state and wanted to know more about it.

Fast forward to today, when Pennsylvania is the second top producer of natural gas, behind only Texas. The policy decisions made so many years ago are now hitting us squarely as a region, state and nation.

Our future depends on our ability to take the product of the Marcellus Shale, natural gas, and get it to those who need and want it.  In its liquefied form, or LNG, can be shipped stored and used for production. Although Pennsylvania is a major producer of natural gas, exporting LNG to Europe and other distant markets is not happening within the state. To do this efficiently, we need a Southeast Pennsylvania LNG shipping depot, and on a scale that’s capable of serving the world.

We need bipartisan cooperation to make this happen, however, and there is a lot to say favorably about the current governor and the General Assembly’s intent. Earlier this year, a Philadelphia LNG Export Task Force was formed with bipartisan support to come up with concrete aims and suggestions that will be captured in a final report expected later this year.

As my friend Jeff Kotula, president of the Washington County (near Pittsburgh) Chamber, major drilling source in the state, likes to say, about Pennsylvania, “The power to prosper is under our feet!” Only Texas has more natural gas than we do, and when you add our two states, only Saudi Arabia has more than the US.

Pipelines are valuable to get the drilled gas from its production areas in Ohio, West Virginia and Western Pennsylvania.  The west to east pipeline is invaluable.  In fact, pipelines are more efficient than trucks or railroad cars, which are also used to ship gas.  Additional pipeline capacity may be needed to move natural gas to the southeast region of Pennsylvania to ship overseas.

Having an LNG export facility will help address the need for energy as the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues and rebalancing of energy supplies occurs. Like the beginning of the shale revolution, we must have reasonable policies in place to encourage natural gas drilling and infrastructure for transporting exporting LNG from the southeast. Developing and shipping our resources will make Pennsylvania even more prosperous.

YAW: Philadelphia: Don’t Miss the Big Picture on LNG

Late last year, the Pennsylvania Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee held a hearing in Philadelphia about the city’s critical role in boosting liquified natural gas exports – and the positive geopolitical and climate impacts that come along with it.

Nobody knew, however, because no reporters in the region bothered to show up. Aside from a few costumed protestors who would clearly favor Russian domination over the global energy market and the continued pollution and warmongering their LNG offers, no one came to hear what labor unions, gas companies and European business and climate experts had to say.

This is strange considering the overwhelming support for aiding Ukraine and stopping Russia’s totalitarian advances. It’s even more unusual considering the overwhelming scientific evidence illustrating a direct correlation between LNG and lowered greenhouse gas emissions worldwide over the next decade.

But that’s okay. I’ll tell you what they had to say. EQT, the nation’s largest producer of natural gas, told the committee they are just 26 months away from net zero status. This is critical since the energy crisis – looming over us for years, but exacerbated by inflation, the invasion of Ukraine and the sabotage of the Nord Stream pipeline – will reverse, at an unprecedented level, two decades of emissions decline.

You see, the United States doesn’t exist in a vacuum and so, every investment in wind and solar energy we’ve made since 2007 proves insufficient to offset even one year of fossil fuel emissions from the rest of the world. Boosting American LNG exports – of which a Philadelphia port makes entirely possible – has the potential to reduce these harmful emissions at a rate equivalent to electrifying every car in the country, installing solar on every home and doubling our wind capacity, combined.

We’ve seen it firsthand stateside. From 2005 to 2019, 61 percent of our emissions reduction came from our cleaner, more efficient production of natural gas. Our gas transition reduced more pollution than the other top five countries combined. It’s simple to extrapolate from there.

Pennsylvania produces roughly 22 percent of all domestic natural gas production and could replace nearly three-quarters of Russian gas currently imported into Europe. China, as it makes its own gas transition in the coming decade, would likewise turn to us for LNG, further immobilizing Russia’s war machine and any further turmoil President Vladimir Putin may cause.

That’s what central and eastern Europe need most, Ivo Konstanitov told us. He’s the U.S. Office Director for the American Chamber of Commerce in Bulgaria and knows firsthand the devastation of weaponized LNG. He advocated for America – particularly Pennsylvania and nearby states – to extend necessary infrastructure to share its plentiful natural gas supply with Europe.

This aid alone, he said, would better protect Ukraine and other vulnerable countries from tyrannical governments. Fortunately, last year, the Biden administration said it will send an additional 15 billion cubic tons of LNG to Europe to see it through at least the end of 2022, staving off the worst impacts of Russia turning off the proverbial tap. Unfortunately, it’s clear Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is continuing.

So is record inflation and, as Konstanitov told us, demand for energy – both domestically and globally. That’s where Pennsylvania – rich in natural gas, pipelines and the necessary workforce – comes into the picture.

President Biden is going to need help if the United States is to continue propping up the European energy market. An LNG terminal in Philadelphia would connect Pennsylvania LNG to the world, fully unleashing the potential beneath our feet and restoring energy independence to this country.

Last session, state Rep. Martina White (R-Philadelphia) authored legislation, House Bill 2458 (Act 133 of 2022), that would create a task force to study making the Port of Philadelphia an export terminal for LNG. The task force, which includes members of the General Assembly, natural gas industry, Philadelphia building trades and other leaders in the region, is expected to produce a report by November 2023.

Jim Snell, business manager for the Steamfitters Local 420, serves on the newly created task force. He told us recent international affairs have silenced some LNG opponents, many of whom once allowed their ideology to blind them to the reality that a rush to renewables creates: higher prices and weakened domestic and international security.

And although building infrastructure to meet this demand won’t be easy, Snell said, the several hundred members of Steamfitters Local 420 have the expertise and skills necessary to do the job. They already service Pennsylvania’s existing pipeline distribution system and the organization, itself, boasts nearly 120 years of experience constructing, installing and maintaining mechanical systems.

The union believes so much in the power of LNG that it offered to host our Senate hearing last year. Snell said himself there could be no more appropriate venue than it’s Philadelphia headquarters. It’s not just the steamfitters that have jobs tied to LNG expansion.

EQT estimates building out our infrastructure would create an additional 200,000 high-paying jobs across Appalachia, generating both global decarbonization and an economic boom bolstered by tens of billions in royalty payments to landowners. All of that could be achieved without costing taxpayers a single dime. So now you know what’s at stake and how solutions exist that don’t require more government spending and regulation.

Now you know that carbon neutrality and the renewable revolution can’t be reached without an LNG transition. And maybe, just maybe, the institutions responsible for sharing the bigger picture won’t get sidetracked by the narrow lens through which they view progress.

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Philadelphia Rep. Martina White to Chair the Liquefied Natural Gas Export Task Force

State Rep. Martina White (R-Philadelphia) has been selected to chair the Philadelphia LNG Export Task Force.

“This is a special honor as Pennsylvania must better use the ports in Philadelphia and Southeast Pennsylvania to ship the state’s natural gas resources to the rest of the world,” White said.  “This will not only create good-paying jobs throughout our region but help make us the leading energy exporter.”

The task force is charged with creating a report and recommendations to be presented to the General Assembly and the administration, including any actions that should be taken to facilitate those recommendations. It includes members from the General Assembly, the natural gas industry, Philadelphia building trades, and the Philadelphia Port. It is expected to deliver the report to the legislature and governor by Nov. 3, 2023.

“Natural gas is the cleanest-burning hydrocarbon, producing around half the carbon dioxide and just one-tenth of the air pollutants of coal when burnt to generate electricity,” White said. “This has the potential to reduce near-term CO2 emissions and air pollution by using gas instead of coal.”

Marcellus Shale Coalition president David Callahan said, “Pennsylvania’s fortunate to have both world-class natural gas reserves and a deep-water, international shipping port in Philadelphia. By leveraging these assets, we can drive economic growth and environmental progress here at home and abroad.

“Rep. White recognizes the significant opportunity southeastern Pennsylvania plays in our energy economy and we look forward to supporting the task force’s efforts to understand, identify and attract potential liquefied natural gas export opportunities for the region,” he added.

A report released Thursday from the Progressive Policy Institute said, “In particular, the U.S. should prioritize efforts to provide pipelines and other infrastructure to bring low-cost Appalachian gas to domestic and international markets, helping to limit inflation. All of this suggests that along with unprecedented U.S. incentives for other forms of cleaner energy passed in major bills over the last two years, American policymakers should now add the climate change benefits of expanding U.S. gas production and exports to the already strong geopolitical and domestic economic case for greater gas production in the near-term.”

Natural gas is also cheaper to produce than other forms of energy. The most efficient gas-fired plant has investment costs of $1,100 per kilowatt compared with $3,700 for the most efficient coal-fired plant, White said.

“That will dramatically reduce costs for our families,” she added.

White noted that the Russian invasion of Ukraine highlighted the reasons the task force must work with urgency.

“Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine made it clear the world needs to become less reliant on Russia for its energy needs,” White said. “Pennsylvania has the resources to help rectify this situation, and that will improve our national security.”

The Delaware Valley Journal asked about funding for the project.

White said, “The Philadelphia LNG Export Task Force is responsible for developing recommendations for making the Port of Philadelphia an LNG export terminal. Any decision regarding a potential use of state funds for this or any project in our commonwealth is up to the General Assembly.”

Asked whether Gov. Josh Shapiro is on board with a possible LNG terminal, White said, “I am hopeful that Gov. Shapiro will read the final report and strongly consider the recommendations made by this task force.

“During his campaign, Gov. Shapiro pledged to “support Pennsylvania’s natural gas industry and harness the commonwealth’s role as a national energy leader. Whether he plans to stick by his campaign promises is a question only he can answer,” White said.

“Members of the task force include two representatives of the oil and gas industry. These members were appointed by former Gov. Tom Wolf from a list of names jointly submitted by the Speaker of the House and President pro tempore of the Senate. Their industry experience and expertise are a valuable asset to the task force and will help inform our recommendations.

“Each member of this task force brings something valuable to the table and will contribute to the development of our final report,” said White.

Serving with White are Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Bradford/Lycoming/Sullivan/Tioga/Union); Sen. Anthony Williams (D-Delaware/Philadelphia); Toby Rice, CEO of EQT Corp.; Stephanie Catarino Wissman, executive director, American Petroleum Institute-PA;  Jim Snell, Business Manager, Steamfitters Local 420; Jeff Theobald, executive director & CEO, PhilaPort; Seth Shapiro, CEO, Philadelphia Gas Works; Mayor Jim Kenney, or a designee from the mayor’s office;  and the chairman of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission; secretary of Transportation; secretary of Environmental Protection; secretary of Community and Economic Development; and the director of the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency.

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Wolf Signs LNG Terminal Task Force Bill

A liquified natural gas (LNG) export terminal could be coming to southeast Pennsylvania.

Gov. Tom Wolf signed House Bill 2458 last week. Passed by the General Assembly on October 25, the legislation creates a task force to study how to develop such a terminal in the area.

American Petroleum Institute (API) Pennsylvania called it a critical step to attracting a major job-creating energy project to the region.

“As the second-largest producer of natural gas in the nation, Pennsylvania has the potential to help address the increasing global demand for affordable, reliable natural gas and aid our allies overseas by exporting LNG,” says API PA Executive Director Stephanie Catarino Wissman. “We applaud policymakers for embracing this opportunity to strengthen Pennsylvania’s standing as a leading energy supplier and attract significant new investment to the state.”

DVJ reached out to gubernatorial candidates Josh Shapiro and Doug Mastriano for comment. Shapiro declined to respond, but Mastriano supports the LNG plan.

“An LNG export terminal will allow Pennsylvania to export our valuable natural gas to the rest of the nation and the crucial international market,” said Mastriano. “Thousands of new jobs will be created, especially for those in the building trades.

In addition, Mastriano said new revenue from the exports will be reinvested into the Pennsylvania economy. As a result, Mastriano viewed it as a win-win for everyone.

Retiring state Sen. Bob Mensch (R-Bucks/Montco) says the LNG plan is needed to counter anti-energy-development policies of the past.

“I want to add my voice and approval for HB 2458 which will provide a much-needed avenue for the export of PA produced natural gas,” Mensch said. “Decisions over the past several years at both the federal and state level have intended to debilitate the natural gas industry in PA.  I’m pleased the governor signed the bill realizing 37 Senators voted for this important economic development action.”

Not every Delaware Valley legislator is on board, however. Rep. Greg Vitali (D-Havertown) said the U.S. will never reach carbon neutrality if it keeps building fossil fuel infrastructure like LNG terminals. Instead, Vitali said we should be devoting our resources to producing carbon-free energy and energy conservation.

“The war in Ukraine will long be over before an LNG terminal could be operational in Philadelphia,” says Vitali. “Exporting LNG overseas increases the price of natural gas to customers in Pennsylvania.”

Vitali adds that LNG terminals should be built in remote locations, not high-population areas like Philadelphia, to avoid the risk of catastrophic loss of life and property in the event of a leak or explosion.

Vitali is not alone. In April, Rep. Mary Isaacson (D-Philadelphia) told DVJ she did not support House Bill 2458.

“It is unfortunate that bill author and Rep. Martina White (R-Philadelphia) didn’t consult with representatives who actually represent the constituents on the waterfront – the Pennsylvanians who would be most affected by this,” said Isaacson.

For example, Isaacson said there is no mode of transportation to import the fuel that would not impact people in Philadelphia.

“They and their representatives should have been consulted about this type of task force being created,” Isaacson said. “While this bill and task force is being falsely presented as a positive step forward for Pennsylvanians, it is actually expediting the placement of a dangerous environmental hazard in their backyard.”

Export terminal opponents may face an uphill battle. Even President Joe Biden is on record as saying he is not opposed to LNG and LNG infrastructure.

In March, the Biden administration and the European Commission on European Energy Security issued a joint statement saying they were “committed to reducing Europe’s dependency on Russian energy.” The March statement mentioned a Task Force on Energy Security.

“The Task Force will strive to ensure, including working with international partners, additional LNG volumes for the EU market of at least 15 bcm in 2022 with expected increases going forward.”

Meanwhile, the Biden administration said it was “committed to maintaining an enabling regulatory environment with procedures to review and expeditiously act upon applications to permit any additional export LNG capacities that would be needed to meet this emergency security objective.”

API said it is prepared to help.

“According to a recent study commissioned by API and conducted by Rystad Energy, although U.S. LNG is already flowing to Europe at record levels, significantly more will be required to fully rebalance European gas markets in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the resulting energy crisis,” said API PA. “The study found that in the absence of Russian gas, Europe’s demand for LNG would increase 150 percent from 2021 to 2040.”

The task force will be composed of legislators, the natural gas industry, Philadelphia building trades, and PhilaPort. Members will study the economic feasibility, financial impact, and security issues involved in making the Port of Philadelphia an LNG export terminal.

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OPINION: American Natural Gas-Driven Energy Security

Amid returning to post-pandemic normalcy, a horrific war and an energy supply crunch have had devastating effects on consumers across the globe, all against the backdrop of historical inflation.

It’s essential to understand American natural gas’s critical role in ensuring the world has access to affordable, reliable, clean energy and underpinning our national security.

Europe’s economic and energy policies fostered an environment that resulted in deep and dangerous reliance on Russian energy. The continent is now faced with soaring energy prices and significant reliability concerns. As our strategic allies desperately seek solutions, America’s energy producers are focused on safely increasing supplies to loosen Russia’s chokehold, including routing liquefied natural gas to Europe and signing strategic long-term LNG supply contracts.

But while these international partnerships are a step in the right direction to strengthening Europe’s energy security, policymakers are faced with grim choices. Germany is one step away from rationing natural gas in response to Russia’s latest actions to curtail fuel delivery. “We are in a gas crisis,” said Germany’s economy minister, Robert Habeck. “From now on, gas is a scarce commodity.”

That’s starkly different compared to the United States, where, as the world’s top oil and natural gas producer, we are much more energy secure due to the abundance of resources beneath our feet.

Additionally, having a plentiful domestic energy supply means we can share the economic and environmental benefits of American energy worldwide. In fact, the United States recently surpassed Australia and Qatar to become the globe’s top LNG exporter.

This is great for American diplomacy, domestic job creation and the environment. Amid returning to post-pandemic normalcy, a horrific war and an energy supply crunch have had devastating effects on consumers across the globe, all against the backdrop of historic inflation.

It’s important to understand the critical role American natural gas plays in ensuring the world has access to affordable, reliable, clean energy and underpinning our national security.

Europe’s economic and energy policies fostered an environment that resulted in deep and dangerous reliance on Russian energy. The continent is now faced with soaring energy prices and significant reliability concerns. As our strategic allies desperately seek solutions, America’s energy producers are focused on safely increasing supplies to loosen Russia’s chokehold, including routing liquefied natural gas to Europe and signing strategic long-term LNG supply contracts.

But while these international partnerships are a step in the right direction to strengthening Europe’s energy security, policymakers there are faced with grim choices. Germany is one step away from rationing natural gas in response to Russia’s latest actions to curtail the delivery of fuel. “We are in a gas crisis,” said Germany’s economy minister, Robert Habeck. “From now on, gas is a scarce commodity.”

That’s starkly different compared to the United States, where, as the world’s top oil and natural gas producer, we are much more energy secure due to the abundance of resources beneath our feet.

Additionally, having a plentiful domestic energy supply means we are able to share the economic and environmental benefits of American energy worldwide. In fact, the United States recently surpassed Australia and Qatar to become the globe’s top LNG exporter.

A Pew Research poll found that voters want to see more natural gas production at home to increase exports to Europe.

As the largest natural gas-producing region with the greenest environmental profile in the country, our three states  — Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia —  have the tools to solve global energy woes.

Safety, integrity and a commitment to continuous improvement are values held deeply by the members who make up our respective organizations. We’re committed to being the driver of America’s clean energy future.

After all, technological breakthroughs in our industry brought America its long-sought net energy export status for the first time since the 1950s. Not to mention that the United States has reduced emissions faster than any country in the world, thanks to the increased use of natural gas.

However, policymakers must do more to enable this American energy progress to deliver even more benefits for our economy, our people, our allies and our environment by approving needed infrastructure, expanding export capacity and increasing domestic natural gas production.

Rather than turning to American ingenuity for support, our president would instead turn to cartel leaders to stabilize the market. “Before you visit Riyadh, we invite you to visit Reynoldsville, Pa. It’s the heart of the Marcellus Shale in the state where you were born, one of the most prolific natural gas-producing regions in the world,” the energy industry leaders wrote in a recent letter to President Biden.

“Join us in one of America’s major energy-producing areas which together launched the American energy revolution that ended decades of U.S. energy scarcity and growing dependence on foreign governments,” the letter said.

Never has it been more apparent that access to affordable, reliable and clean energy is directly tied to security and quality of life. America — led by Appalachian energy — has the opportunity to take the lead in reducing energy scarcity and helping our allies discover new energy and economic growth opportunities. That is something we as Americans should take great pride in.

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US, PA Energy Producers Cheer Biden LNG Shipments to Europe

As Russia continues to wage war against Ukraine, the U.S. and its European allies made a deal to protect the EU’s energy sector from Russian aggression, President Joe Biden announced a plan to bring massive amounts of liquified natural gas (LNG) to EU nations.

That means more demand for the natural gas produced here in Pennslyvania.

“Europeans have depended on Russian natural gas for far too long, threatening energy security and environmental progress,” the Marcellus Shale Coalition said after the deal was announced. “American natural gas is the cleanest on the planet, with a 65 percent lower methane intensity rate than Russia’s.”

Biden made the announcement during a joint appearance with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in Brussels.

“The United States, together with our international partners, they’re going to — we’re going to work to ensure an additional 15 billion cubic meters of liquified natural gas — LNG — for Europe this year,” Biden said. “And as the EU works to discontinue buying Russian gas well before 2030, it will also work to ensure additional EU market demand for 50 billion cubic meters of LNG from the United States annually by 2030.”

According to industry estimates, one billion cubic feet of LNG is enough fuel to heat about five million U.S. homes for a day.

“It’s not only the right thing to do from a moral standpoint, it’s going to put us on a much stronger strategic footing,”

The announcement was praised by energy producers in the U.S.

“We welcome the president’s focus on expanding U.S. LNG exports to our European allies during this crisis, and we applaud the administration’s continued leadership in ensuring a unified international response to maximize pressure on Russia through additional sanctions,” said American Petroleum Institute (API) President and CEO Mike Sommers.

Nearly 40 percent of the national gas needed to generate power and heat Europe’s homes comes from Russia. Europe has been the top destination for U.S. LNG in recent months. In February, Reuters reported at least half of U.S. LNG shipments went to Europe.

According to Rystad Energy’s vice president Sindre Knutsson, the agreement marks “a u-turn from previous EU purchasing decisions as many buyers had stopped negotiating with U.S. developers for LNG due to ESG (environmental, social, and governance) concerns. Now, however, it appears that energy security has trumped ESG concerns — at least temporarily.”

That is not what environmental groups like the Sierra Club want to hear.

“Allowing for the expansion of new and expanded gas export facilities would lock in decades of reliance on risky, volatile fossil fuels and spell disaster for our climate and already overburdened Gulf Coast communities,” says Kelly Sheehan, senior director for energy campaigns at Sierra Club.

Sheehan would rather see the U.S. rapidly transitioning to wind and solar, not doubling down on fossil fuels.

“It’s encouraging to see this announcement’s emphasis on clean energy and energy efficiency, and we hope to see more detail soon about plans to reduce demand and make necessary investments in more efficient technologies,” says Sheehan. “Reducing reliance on fossil fuels is the only way to stop being vulnerable to the whims of greedy industries and geopolitics.”

But it was Europe’s decision to take extreme action on energy policy in pursuit of ESG goals that pushed it into a corner Putin has been able to exploit, some analysts say.

“This is a welcome announcement and a strong partnership that should help wean Europeans’ dependence on Russian natural gas by providing more energy choices,” said Nick Loris, vice president for public policy at the Conservative Coalition for Climate Solutions (C3 Solutions). “Hopefully the Biden administration and EU take the necessary steps to streamline the infrastructure buildout necessary to end Russia’s control over European gas markets.”

And that buildout is an area of concern as the U.S. LNG export system is operating close to capacity. Beth Sewell with Quantum Gas & Power told Marketplace Friday she does not believe American producers can do much in the short term to meet European energy needs.

“LNG terminals require long-term contracts to support their financing and the LNG is sold under long-term contracts,” she explained. “This means that most of the LNG for export is already contracted for a long time to come, so shippers would face massive breach of contract litigation.”

During a press call on Friday, a senior Biden administration official said the U.S. has already doubled LNG exports to Europe over the past three to four months.

“But we also arranged, over the course of the winter months, a number of swaps from our partners all over the world, particularly in Asia, to supply more LNG to Europe during its winter. And so we’re going to continue those efforts throughout 2022 — that’s what we’re committing to do — to hit the 15 bcm target.”

Meanwhile, the European Commission will work with EU member states toward the goal of ensuring, until at least 2030, demand for approximately 50 bcm/year of additional U.S. LNG. That is equal to about a third of what they get from Russia today.

At API, Sommers says it stands ready to work with the administration to follow the announcement with meaningful policy actions to support global energy security.

“That includes further addressing the backlog of LNG permits, reforming the permitting process, and advancing more natural gas pipeline infrastructure.”

Sen. Pat Toomey  (R-Pa.) says the plan isn’t aggressive enough.

“The joint task force’s timeline for reducing Europe’s dependence on Russian energy is too long to cripple Putin’s war machine in Ukraine,” he said via Twitter. “In order to effectively sever his revenue stream, we must cut off Putin’s oil and gas sales globally by imposing secondary sanctions on the entirety of Russia’s financial sector.

“The time to take action is now—while the demand for gas has lessened and American companies and others can help replace supplies ahead of next winter,” Toomey said.

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CALLAHAN: Unleash American Energy’s Strength & Security

Access to affordable, clean and reliable energy is at the center of the crises unfolding across Europe and the events leading up to Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.

For far too long, Russia’s leadership has weaponized their energy resources, inflicting pain on regional nations to gain political and economic influence. These vulnerabilities have been exacerbated by unrealistic policies focused on a rapid transition to renewable energy.

Given the urgency to support our European allies and the brave people of Ukraine, we must act swiftly to put in place mechanisms to combat Russia’s aggression – including leveraging America’s abundant natural gas resources.

Our European allies, who have become reliant on Russia for more than 40 percent of their natural gas due to short-sighted policy decisions, are facing supply shortages and reliability challenges which, together, are causing deep economic pain to the region. In fact, natural gas prices in Europe broke record highs this week. This dependency not only de-stabilizes Europe, but it directly funds Russia’s the war machine.

As the world’s largest producer and exporter of natural gas, America – and Pennsylvania in particular – is uniquely positioned to do even more to support our allies and their efforts to counter Russia’s hostility. We are fortunate to have such abundant resources that can meet domestic consumer demand and aid European allies.

Some progress is starting to take place in earnest. Germany, for example, is advancing infrastructure investments to enhance natural gas trade and imports from allied nations in order to weaken Russia’s grip on their energy and economic security – yet much more can and must be done, and the U.S. is well-positioned to lead.

Here at home, export facilities along the East and Gulf Coasts are shipping record levels of LNG to Europe, helping our allies access the world’s most responsibly produced natural gas. Currently, more than half of American LNG exports are Europe-bound – but we can do more.

The strength of America’s shale revolution has created the ability for us to act swiftly to help our European allies while improving the global environment and our overall energy security. This is a proven fact. Consider, other strategic U.S. allies with few natural resources of their own – such as Japan and South Korea – have been top recipients of clean U.S. LNG for the past several years. Our support has helped these countries shore up their own energy security while advancing our own national security here at home.

From a policy perspective, elected officials must prioritize solutions that boost the security of our allies as well as the climate benefits inherent to domestic natural gas. This means de-bottlenecking approvals for necessary infrastructure and working collaboratively to reduce obstacles to maximizing the development and deployment of our natural gas resources. With the right level of commitment from policymakers, we’ll make certain Russia’s ability to inflict pain is short-lived.

In fact, recent polling shows nearly three-quarters of Americans – on both sides of the political spectrum –believe natural gas should be part of our country’s energy policies.

And there’s no debate that American natural gas is the world’s cleanest and most strongly regulated. As an example, the Clean Air Task Force notes that Russian natural gas has a 65 percent higher methane intensity rate compared to ours. Furthermore, Appalachia-produced natural gas has lowest methane intensity across the entire U.S.

Some question whether America has the political will to make the right policy decisions to prioritize modern energy infrastructure. We don’t need to look to Europe as an example of how short-sighted policy has negative consequences, we need only look to New England, where state politicians have banned critical pipeline infrastructure, resulting in significant economic hardship for consumers. Their policies have directly led to a growing dependence on importing foreign natural gas – including, just a few years ago, from Russia.

Pennsylvania’s clean, abundant natural gas resources cannot alone solve Europe’s energy crisis or Russia’s malicious aggression toward allies. However, our energy resources can assist the long-term needs of Americans and our allies, providing stability to global energy markets all while improving our global environment.

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