Russia has control over energy supplies and distribution systems in Ukraine and that means they control energy supplies in Western Europe.
It's made a lot of Russians rich and prevents Europe from taking any meaningful stance on Russian aggression in Crimea. Solar power subsidies are not going to be much help if Russia shuts off the power.
But if the Obama administration relaxed U.S. energy export regulations it could diminish Russia's economic leverage over Ukraine and therefore Europe. That would give America more leverage than a few words and putting sanctions on Vladimir Putin's friends. The federal government has antiquated and unnecessary restrictions on exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG) and crude oil. The US could free European energy markets and supplies by taking the lead in a broad liberalization of global energy markets.
Policy-makers have called for restrictions to be lifted on natural gas exports but companies wanting to export natural gas have to first obtain approval from both the United States Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the Department of Energy (DOE). This would be automatically authorized if the country has a free trade agreement with the United States but there are none with European countries.
"The decision to export natural gas should be a business decision, not a political one and natural gas should be treated as any other good traded around the world," writes Nick Loris from The Heritage Foundation in World Review. Opening markets would provide a diversity of suppliers and greater energy supplies for the global market. "This is likely to result in lower prices and would provide more choice for countries like Ukraine in the not so distant future. Providing that choice would diminish Russia's power. Establishing free market reforms and increasing energy supplies would help to prevent future incidents and price shocks in Ukraine and globally."
It is likely that Russia would respond to any attempt to undermine its energy dominance by cutting prices - everyone in Europe wins when that happens but it is not without risk. "Russia's ability to sell gas at artificially low prices could scare off potential importers," Loris says.
- PHYSICAL SCIENCES
- EARTH SCIENCES
- LIFE SCIENCES
- SOCIAL SCIENCES
Subscribe to the newsletter
Stay in touch with the scientific world!
Know Science And Want To Write?
- Some Celiac Disease May Be Due To Viruses
- Pubic Hair Grooming Common Among Some US Women
- How A Former Naturopath Can Help Unravel The Trickery of Alternative Medicine
- Out Of Africa: What They Do Not Tell Us
- Brain Cancer: Why Glioblastoma Is So Difficult To Treat
- Swarm Bots Kill Mass Shooter
- Can A New Rule Trigger A Second EU Referendum? Petition 4 Millon Signatures, Nearly 12% Of Total Votes Cast
- "He's just a physicist, dabbling. PS: His second reference in no way is trying to say Neanderthal..."
- "Science researchers did the CARET study, to see if vitamin A could chemo-prevent lung cancer (it..."
- "Whether or not a conclusion can be used for bad purposes should never be the reason to shut down..."
- "This is a shockingly racist, repulsive, pseudoscientific article. It is so depressing to find it..."
- Vaccine against Zika virus tested successfully in mice
- The irony of awkward
- Aussie innovation changing how we experience the Tour de France and Rio Olympics
- An anti-apoE4 specific monoclonal antibody counteracts the pathological effects of apoE4 in vivo
- Thousands on one chip: New method to study proteins