A senior Trump administration nominee for the U.S. State Department has come out against Russia’s US$10-billion Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which would carry Siberian natural gas under the Baltic Sea to Germany.
“The project, led by Russia’s state-run Gazprom PJSC, is intended to bolster German confidence that it has enough gas to underpin an unprecedented transition from coal and nuclear plants, which are being closed, to a future dominated by renewable energy,” Bloomberg reported last year. But it has generated pushback against German Chancellor Angela Merkel for promoting implementation of the Paris agreement while simultaneously locking in new fossil infrastructure that Germany might never need.
- Be among the first to read The Energy Mix Weekender
- A brand new weekly digest containing exclusive and essential climate stories from around the world.
- The Weekender:The climate news you need.
The Trump administration’s concern, to be sure, has more to do with geopolitics than decarbonization. But Francis Fannon, the former reality TV star’s nominee for Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources, still came down against Nord Stream 2.
“The United States’ position, it is my understanding, is to strongly oppose that pipeline,” he told his U.S. Senate confirmation hearing, adding that he would “continue to advance alternate ways” to decrease Europe’s need for Russian energy.
Reuters notes that the U.S. sees the pipeline as a threat to European (fossil) energy security. “Poland, Ukraine, and Baltic states fear the pipeline would increase Europe’s dependence on Russian gas and provide the Kremlin billions of dollars of revenue to finance a further military build-up on Europe’s borders,” the news agency explains. “But Germany and Austria have focused on the commercial benefits of having more cheap gas, arguing there could be little harm from an additional pipe.”
Leave a Reply