Thomas Catenacci, DCNF,
Former Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette suggested that President Joe Biden’s recent gas deal with the European Union (EU) wouldn’t be enough to help the continent wean itself off Russian energy.
Brouillette — who served as deputy energy secretary between 2017-2019 and energy secretary between 2019-2021 — noted that the U.S. wouldn’t be able to fill the gap left by Russian energy during an interview with CNBC on Monday. He added that the EU cannot expect to consume less total energy as part of its plan to ditch Russian gas.
“Frankly, I’m not quite sure that everyone can make up that shortfall,” said Brouillette, according to CNBC. “That’s an enormous amount of gas.”
Biden and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced a deal Friday to send an additional 15 billion cubic meters (bcm) of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to the EU in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. In 2021, by comparison, Russia exported roughly 155 bcm to the EU, roughly half of the continent’s supply, according to the Columbia Climate School.
The U.S. was already among the largest exporters of LNG with its facilities operating at “full tilt” heading into 2022, S&P Global data showed, and exported about 100.8 bcm of LNG worldwide in 2021, according to data from the Energy Information Administration.
But as Brouillette commented, Biden’s deal with the EU called for an overall reduction in “gas demand.”
“When you look at the history of energy, it’s always been in transition, but it’s always been a transition of less to more,” Brouillette told CNBC.
“To maintain the economic growth that all of these countries want, that the United States wants, it will take more energy, not less,” he added. “That’s the transition that we should focus on.”