US Energy End Game in EU
Editor’s Note: The author is Dr. Mehmood Ul Hassan Khan, Executive Director of the Center for South Asia & International Studies (CSAIS) Islamabad and Regional Expert on China, CPEC & BRI. The article only represents the views of the author, and not necessarily of Gwadar Pro.
Most recently, the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres chastised the global energy companies (mostly the US energy companies) and termed their endless race to make more and more profits from the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict.
However, the US LNG companies have already been transporting more and more gas to Europe in recent months at higher prices, thus they are not the “savior” of the Europe continent's energy crisis as depicted in the US mass media outlets.
It seems that global energy vultures and some regional middle powers are encircling the Russia-Ukraine conflict and creating all kinds of hurdles to reach out to any negotiated truce. So the US energy tycoons are pulling away Ukraine from any peace settlement. Energy power politics is the result of prolonged proxy in Eastern Europe i.e. Ukraine.
Most recently, the US power/profits thirty energy companies and corporate conglomerates initiated numerous lobbying tactics to force the Biden administration to safeguard their vested interests under the disguise mantra of ensuring energy security, tax incentives to oil & gas industries, investments, the permission of new energy infrastructure and last but not least, reduction of legal and regulatory layers to pump-out their own profit margins. Thus the US is not the savior but the systematic troublemaker for the EU energy crisis by manipulating cycles of energy demand-supply.
It seems that “the US energy end game” has just reactivated a new chessboard game in the European Union (EU) due to which its energy sector has become a money-minting machine.
The US schemed another military war (Ukraine-Russia conflict) to sell out its arms and energy resources at its high prices. Now the EU is inching towards a winter without any substantial and secured supplies of gas from Russia and they are at the corporate mercy of the US energy suppliers to fill the widening gaps.
Many international research studies and reports have already confirmed a windfall for the US oil and gas industry because of the Russia-Ukraine conflict. In this regard, the US largest exporter of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) stock has been earning abnormal profits since the eruption of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
The EU energy crisis has already produced negative impacts on its manufacturing, logistics, and other services sectors. It may reduce the EU GDP by 1 to 2 percent and may even lead to an imminent political crisis.
On its part, the EU has desperately initiated some collective measures to lessen the US proxy war of Ukraine. But it seems that they are still in a state of denial and acting blindly on the good wishes of the US government and military establishment.
Unfortunately, their pomposity about "cripple Putin's war machine" following "European path" and showing so-called diehard spirited association with Ukraine and last but not least, supporting the NATO Eastern expansion in the Black Sea have not achieved any strategic cushion but put themselves in the blind alley of chilled winter.
The complete discarding of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline on the political heaviness of the US has created a violent thunderstorm in the European continent due to which is slowly but surely inching towards winter of discontent and discomfort this year. Thus the political price of following the policies of the US is acting like falling skies on the EU member countries because unfortunately, there is no easy or quick fix solution to its energy crisis. Moreover, the benchmark natural-gas prices surged by 30 percent last week.
Most recently, the European Central Bank (ECB) has further increased interest rates to combat inflation due to which economic recession is imminent. Therefore, the prospect of political uncertainty and disputes among member states looms ahead.
It is high time for the EU bloc to think beyond the US political jugglery and militaristic jungle indoctrinations to achieve its desired goals of socio-economic progress and political stability. Otherwise, blind submission to the US wishful thinking may trap it into the Iceland of avalanches.