In a piece published today in Real Clear Energy, Major General James ‘Spider’ Marks (Ret.) highlights how Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has exposed Europe’s energy security concerns, and advocates for the U.S. to help further support Europe’s energy sector. Marks writes, “just as the Marshall Plan rebuilt Western Europe after World War II, the U.S. should establish a similar initiative, focused on rebuilding Europe’s energy sector by encouraging domestic investments in energy exports.”
As European countries halted energy imports from Russia last year, energy prices on the continent were sent into a frenzy due to many of those nations’ overreliance on Russian energy. The U.S. was able to step in to help our allies and export a record amount of liquid natural gas across to Europe. Natural gas imports from the U.S. helped prevent European countries from reverting heavily to coal and other dirty sources of fuel, but more should be done.
To continue our support, the U.S. must invest in our domestic energy infrastructure. Increasing our capacity to produce and transport LNG to Europe will further strengthen the economic bonds between Europe and North America and reduce foreign influence on their energy markets.
Marks writes, “To achieve this, the country [the U.S.] must increase its domestic production significantly by investing in and expanding natural gas infrastructure, such as pipelines and export terminals – again, an energy Marshall Plan.” The U.S. needs to recognize the position, and opportunity, it is in. In Defense Post last year, Marks illustrated how energy security is directly related to national security, as petro-authoritarians like Vladimir Putin wielded their nation’s energy as a weapon. Just as the Marshall plan rebuilt Europe’s economy after the second World War, a similar energy plan can ensure its security: “Europe gets secure energy sourced from a reliable ally, while exports help support American jobs and our energy industry.”