An Effort by Biden, Europe to Lessen Dependence on Russian Energy

President Joe Biden, with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, unveiled on Friday the formation of a new “task force” to lower the continent’s dependence on Russian oil and natural gas.

The announcement comes on the heels of a United States ban on all Russian energy imports, as well as previous European commitments to phase out the intake of Russian natural gas.

Biden, also promised that by 2022, the United States would send 15 billion cubic meters of oil and natural gas to Europe.

The President’s Statement

In his speech, Biden said the Russian energy industry is the “engine” driving Russian President Vladimir Putin’s conflict in Ukraine.

They were launching a “groundbreaking” collaboration to resist Russia’s aggression and achieve clean energy goals through the new joint endeavor.

“The focus of this project is on two fundamental challenges. One is to assist Europe in reducing its reliance on Russian natural gas as rapidly as feasible.”

“Second, reducing Europe’s overall demand for natural gas,” he remarked during a bilateral discussion with von der Leyen in Brussels, Belgium, earlier this month.

“The European Commission will collaborate with member states to boost gas storage capacity throughout the continent, expand LNG infrastructure, and take actions to improve the efficiency of gas,” the commission said.

He said, “we’ll have to make sure that households in Europe can get through this winter while we’re putting in place infrastructure for a diverse, robust, and clean energy future.”

“During this catastrophe, however, there is an opportunity. We are on the verge of making the investments. We must double down on our clean energy ambitions and continue to progress toward our mid-zero emissions future,” says the president.

According to Biden, the United States will supply at least 50 billion cubic meters of LNG to Europe by 2030.

Objectives of the Task Force

The task group will also strive to achieve specific objectives, such as lowering the “intensity” of greenhouse gas emissions from LNG infrastructure and pipelines.

Regulatory frameworks should be updated. Participate in discussions with key stakeholders to “lower overall gas demand by expediting the market implementation of clean energy initiatives.”

In addition, the task force aims to increase the demand for “smart” energy-efficiency solutions, such as thermostats and heat pumps, as the economy improves.

Furthermore, it wants to increase the speed with which new renewable energy projects, such as offshore wind and renewable hydrogen, are approved to reduce reliance on fossil fuels.

According to White House sources, the task force will be co-chaired by a White House official and a delegate from the European Union. Its goal will diversify Europe’s LNG supply per climate objectives. 

The earlier the task force can implement its goals, the earlier we can end Putin’s reign of terror.