Guest essay by Larry Hamlin
The actions being proposed by British Prime Minister Theresa May against Russia for its recent chemical weapons attack on British soil have escalated the political reality of the consequences Europe will face because of its still growing dependence on Russian natural gas for its present and future growing energy needs.
Britain has become increasingly dependent on imported energy to meet its energy needs as has the rest of the Europe.
Instead of embracing the lower cost energy, availability and reliability of increased oil and natural gas that can be achieved through fracking technology Britain has been slow to change its energy course from its climate policy mandates for costly and unreliable renewables.
Prime Minister May’s government is now exploring alternatives that can be undertaken to decrease the countries increasing reliance on Russian natural gas.
All of Europe is facing growing needs for additional supplies of natural gas with Europe and Britain’s long standing energy policies focusing on climate change and renewable mandates further exasperating these growing and serious energy and political problems.
Natural gas provides the largest portion of Britain’s electrical energy with imports being a significant source for this energy fuel.
Britain imports about 44 per cent of its gas from Europe and Norway with Europe importing about 35 per cent of its gas from Russia.
Additionally Britain bought a shipment of liquefied natural gas from Russia to cope with severe cold weather at the end of February.
The UK has become increasingly reliant on gas imports because of declining gas from the North Sea and closure of storage facilities that supplied at peak as much as 70 per cent of its gas storage.
According to the Financial Times a U.S. liquefied natural gas tanker ship has now been diverted from its planned route and is now headed toward the U.K. which provides yet another indication of the severity of the natural gas energy and political problems associated with Europe and Britain’s increased reliance on Russian natural gas supplies.
These energy problems of Europe and Britain stand in stark contrast to the energy and climate policies of the Trump Administration which has positioned the U.S. to be an energy independent giant which is in full control of its present and future energy supply as well as being able to provide exports to a world which through poorly conceived energy and climate policy has become increasingly dependent on the Russians for meeting both present and future energy needs.