Biden Vows to Keep His Promise to Europe About Liquified Natural Gas (LNG), But Who Will Really Benefit?


President Joe Biden made a pretty big commitment to continue supplying Europe with liquified natural gas (LNG) even in the midst of this global crisis with war and supply chain issues. And he is vowing to stand by this commitment, but he is doing it through negotiations with foreign companies rather than through increasing production domestically. 

According to a joint statement released by the United States and the European Commission, they are committed to reducing Europe’s dependency on Russian energy. To do this, they have announced a new partnership. 

The United States, together with our international partners. We’re going to work to ensure an additional 15 — one-five — 15 billion cubic meters of liquified natural gas — LNG — for Europe this year,” President Biden said at a press conference. 

The president continued to describe how the new partnership will discontinue buying Russian gas before 2030, and it will attempt to ensure additional EU market demand from the United States by that year as well. Biden said that the goal of the demand will be 50 billion cubic meters of LNG from the U.S.

But for now, the White House administration is going to meet that quota by relying on foreign LNG producers, mainly from Asia, to send their products to Europe. A senior official from Biden’s administration explained that the promise of 15 billion cubic meters is there to convince companies in Asia and beyond to send their supply to Europe instead of other places. 

The terminals in the United States for LNG are just about at the capacity with which they can export their product. More terminals will not be online for up to 5 years from now, according to The New York Times. This is more of the same from the Biden administration. He has been against domestic oil and natural gas production domestically since he took office. 

In the first year of Biden’s presidency, he slowed down energy infrastructure projects and production by shutting down things like the Keystone XL pipeline. He also suspended oil lease sales in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. At the same time, Biden promised that the U.S. would build alternative energy sources like wind and solar. 

But this latest promise to fulfill the commitment to Europe is really against his commitment to clean energy. It will require more production of fossil fuels to meet the established needs. 

President Biden is still talking the same talk even though his walk is somewhat inconsistent. He put out a joint statement with the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen that reinforced their commitment to decreasing fossil fuel production while increasing clean energy. 

The statement said that the two partners will engage key stakeholders so that they can formulate quick recommendations to reduce the overall gas demand. They hope these stakeholders, many in the private sector, will increase the speed of the development and utilization of clean energy technologies in the United States and Europe. 

Some of the technologies they will focus on will be smart thermostats, heat pump deployment, and installations, clean energy equipment through innovative technologies. 

They will also look for more renewable energy projects that include offshore wind technologies. The goal continues to be to displace unabated fossil fuels and cut greenhouse emissions.

The statement also gave details about how the United States and the European Commission are “resolved to negotiate and then implement an ambitious emissions-based Global Arrangement on Steel and Aluminum Trade that incentives industrial decarbonization and lowers energy demand.”

Biden is promising to keep his commitment, but the source of the product will not be from the United States. This will likely not only benefit Europe but China as well.