Reducing Europe's Dependence on Russian Energy

August 14, 2014

The recent crisis in Ukraine has highlighted the role of Russia in Europe's economy. While the United States and Europe are responsible for half of the world's economy, the E.U. is highly dependent on Russia for oil and natural gas. This reality, writes Mark P. Mills, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, makes clear the need for a "Marshall Plan" for energy.

The solution? Exporting American energy overseas -- something that is currently restricted under U.S. law. Mills breaks down some of the numbers regarding energy: 

  • More than one-third of oil and gas supplied to Europe comes from Russia and former Soviet Union countries.
  • If the United States shipped just 2 million barrels of oil per day to Europe, it would reduce the E.U.'s energy dependence on Russia by half.
  • The United States is the world's fastest-growing oil producer. In four years, it has increased oil production by 3 million barrels a day and natural gas production by 4 trillion cubic feet each year.
  • By substituting half of its energy purchases from former Soviet Union countries with American fuel, Europe would inject the U.S. economy with $300 billion over four years.

The United States clearly has the capability to supply Europe with oil and gas and reduce European countries' dependence on Russian energy. In addition to peeling back limits on natural gas and oil exports, Mills writes, the United States needs to improve its regulatory environment and make energy investment more desirable.

Source: Mark P. Mills, "A Marshall Plan for Energy," National Review, August 8, 2014.

 

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