Murkowski: U.S. Stands Ready to Help Diversify Europe’s Energy Supply

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today chaired a hearing to examine the role of U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) in meeting European energy demand. Expert witnesses shared their views on the economic and geopolitical implications of a stronger U.S.–EU energy relationship, as well as what actions may be needed to maximize the benefits of LNG exports to our nation and our allies.

Murkowski opened the hearing by highlighting Europe’s vulnerability given its dependence on Russian gas.

“As we’ve seen all too often, Russia has used its much-needed natural gas resource as a geopolitical weapon, cutting off supplies to Ukraine in 2006 and 2009, halting deliveries to Europe,” Murkowski said. “According to the International Energy Agency, gas imports to Europe are expected to rise almost 20 percent by 2040. Our nation is well-positioned to assist our allies in diversifying their energy supplies and achieving a greater level of energy security.” 

In his testimony, Kevin Book, managing director of ClearView Energy Partners, considered how U.S. LNG exports can connect dramatic changes in energy facts on the ground here in the U.S. to end-users overseas.

“I believe our nation is on track to play a major role in global gas markets by the early years of the next decade,” Book said. “But getting there, in my view, will require considerable investment, not just financial investment in energy infrastructure, but also the intellectual investment in sound energy policy that this committee continues to make.”

Department of Energy (DOE) Assistant Secretary for Fossil Fuel Energy Steven Winberg discussed the national security and geopolitical benefits of LNG exports to Europe.

“The United States has the natural gas supplies to spread freedom throughout the world by giving our allies a safe and reliable energy supply, and we look forward to working with our European allies to bring more U.S. natural gas to the continent moving forward,” Winberg said.

Murkowski is chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. An archived video and testimony from today’s hearing are available on the committee’s website. Click here and here to view Murkowski’s questions for witnesses.

Related Issues: Energy