Avoiding The European Trap

European energy policy has made Europe dependent on foreign energy, for both oil and natural gas.

Europe relies heavily on oil imports from Russia, Africa and the Mideast, while producing only around 20% of its oil supply, primarily from Norway and the UK.

Europe’s largest foreign suppliers, as an approximate percentage of total oil usage are:

  • Russia 28%
  • Mideast 14%
  • Libya and Algeria (North Africa) 11%
  • Nigeria 5%

Europe imports approximately 30% of its natural gas from Russia, with the Baltic states importing 100% from Russia, and with other Eastern European countries also getting most of their natural gas from Russia.

Russian NG Eports from EIA

Europe is in the unenviable position of getting approximately 30% of its energy from one supplier, Russia.

This most certainly influences Europe’s political decisions, and restrains any actions it might take to counter Russia’s expansionist policies.

The Baltic states have large ethnic Russian populations, with ethnic Russians comprising approximately 25% and 30% of the populations of Latvia and Estonia respectively, and 10% of Lithuania’s.

This creates a ready excuse for Russian expansionism, such as was the case in Georgia and Ukraine.

The Baltic states are a part of NATO, which creates a dangerous issue for Europe if Russian expansionism targets one or more of the Baltic states. Would NATO react in the face of Russia’s ability to cut off a large portion of Europe’s energy?

In addition, Iran is a Russian ally, so Europe will likely think twice before taking steps to prevent Iranian expansionism and Iran’s support of terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah.

Europe has invested heavily in wind and solar, but they are of no use at night. Some European countries have encouraged the development of battery powered cars, but there are too few to offset any decrease in oil supplies.

Germany is eliminating nuclear power, which further restricts energy options.

And Europe, with the exception of the UK and a few East European countries, has refused to utilize fracking to develop natural gas resources.

In general, Europe has adopted policies promoted by Greenpeace and other Green organizations, and these policies have left Europe weak and ineffective on the world stage.

In essence, with its policies to cut CO2 emissions, prevent fracking and eliminate nuclear power, Europe has made itself vulnerable to outside pressure and eliminates its ability to protect its interests.

Slovakia, Bulgaria and Hungary, each of whom get over 80% of their natural gas from Russia, along with the Czech Republic, that gets 60% of its natural gas from Russia, have asked the United States to speed up its export of natural gas.

Europe has taken some steps to mitigate any cutoff of Russian gas by reversing pipeline flows and adding connections from the West that can help supply Eastern European countries with some natural gas.

The United States can avoid the European trap and avoid dependence on foreign energy.

Policies that support the exploration and development of energy resources in North America can keep the United States energy independent and strong.

In addition to large oil reserves, North America has huge natural gas reserves that can produce electricity, provide oil liquids, and can even be used to power cars and trucks.

While it’s impossible in a global market to prevent oil prices from rising, the production of domestic and Canadian oil can help increase supply and lessen the effect of price increases, while allowing the United States to act without fear of its oil supplies being cut.

Sound energy policies that ignore the supposed threat of climate change from CO2 emissions, can keep America strong and safe.

Developing, producing and using energy in a free market economy is good for America.

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