President Obama has approved a $1.1 trillion spending bill that unlocks America’s energy potential by reversing the 1970s ban on domestic crude oil exports. Of note, according to multiple energy experts speaking at an energy forum on December 1, deploying America’s growing energy reserves abroad will result in significant benefits for our allies, including modernizing the energy infrastructure of the European Union.
The Alliance for Innovation and Infrastructure (AII) hosted the policy discussion on Capitol Hill earlier this month to examine the infrastructure connectivity of the European Union and its resulting implications on U.S. energy policy. The event was kicked off by AII Chairman Brigham McCown who stressed the need for U.S. intervention as Europe grows increasingly dependent on energy imports.
“EU imports more than half of the energy it consumes. As such, there is a great opportunity here for the United States to assist in strengthening EU’s infrastructure through its own abundant resources, ultimately bolstering this region’s energy outlook and security,” said McCown.
The event then turned to a panel of energy experts—including two former U.S. ambassadors—who all underscored America’s role in strengthening EU’s energy market through the use of energy exports.
“There is a significant demand for energy resources in the EU that the administration and U.S. policymakers must recognize. The question here is what the U.S. can do to help strengthen EU’s infrastructure. The answer to that question is allowing policy that greenlights U.S. exports o including oil and natural gas,” said Richard Kauzlarich, former U.S. Ambassador to Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and current co-director of the Center for Energy Science and Policy at George Mason University.
Others on the panel also underscored the security implications of allowing U.S. exports of crude oil and gas.
“U.S. oil and gas is a strategic asset for the EU and a very important element of security. America must take a role in making the EU less dependent on resources from threatening regions including Russia,” said András Simonyi, former U.S. Ambassador to Hungary and current managing director of the Center for Transatlantic Relations at Johns Hopkins University. “The Secretary of Energy and this administration must recognize that sensible energy policy can help the EU, and especially eastern European countries, finally break free of the corrupt energy practices of Russia.”
Full remarks of AII’s policy discussion can be viewed here.