Politico published a good op-ed on the geopolitical implications of U.S. natural gas exports. The authors, Neil Brown and Marik String, whom both served on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, argue that allowing more LNG exports has the potential geopolitical benefits of reducing the leverage that Russia has over Europe and also undermines Iran. Europe depends on Russia for about one-third of its natural gas imports (for Central and Eastern Europe, that share is much higher), and Iran brings in hundreds of millions of dollars worth of natural gas by exporting to Turkey, in particular. The authors argue that more U.S. LNG exports will provide more sources of energy for Central and Eastern Europe, bring down prices, and undermine the political influence of hostile nations.
This comes on the heels of the much-anticipated decision by the Department of Energy to approve an LNG export facility that would transport LNG to a country without which the United States has a free trade agreement. The oil and gas industries are calling for blanket approvals of remaining permit applications, but the administration appears to be taking them on a case-by-case basis.
Marik String, one of the authors of the Politico op-ed, spoke at an event ASP hosted in April called “The Geopolitical Implications of U.S. Natural Gas Exports.” You can read a summary of the event by clicking here.
ASP also published a report by the same name, which you can read by clicking here.