Biden Announces US/EU Effort to Reduce Dependence on Fossil Fuels; ‘Can’t Just Flip a Switch,’ Congressman Says
(CNSNews.com) – President Joe Biden, speaking in Brussels Friday morning (around 5 a.m. Washington time), announced a joint U.S./European task force to reduce Europe’s dependence on Russian fossil fuels and fossil fuels in general.
Biden said the task force has two primary goals: (1) “helping Europe reduce its dependency on Russian gas as quickly as possible” by sending Europe more liquefied natural gas from the United States; (2) Reducing Europe demand for natural gas overall and boosting the use of renewable energy.
Biden, describing goal number one, said, “We’re going to work to ensure an additional 15 — one-five — 15 billion cubic meters of liquefied natural gas, LNG, for Europe this year.” The White House said that amount would rise to 50 billion cubic meters at least until 2030.
Biden said Europe will expand its capacity for storing LNG across the continent. “This buildout will occur in a way that is consistent with — not in conflict with — the net zero climate goal that we are shooting for,” Biden said.
“It’s going to take some time to adjust gas supply chains and infrastructure that was built…before the last decade, so we’re going to have to make sure that families in Europe can get through this winter and the next while we’re building infrastructure for a diversified, resilient and clean energy future.”
“At the same time — this crisis also presents an opportunity,” Biden continued:
“It’s a catalyst, a catalyst that will drive the investments we need to double down on our clean energy goals and accelerate progress toward our net zero emissions future. That’s what the second part of this initiative is all about.
“The United States and European union are going to work together to take concrete measures to reduce dependence on natural gas period and to maximize the availability and use of renewable energy. We’re going to accelerate widespread adoption of energy efficient technologies and equipment like smart thermostats, then work to electrify heating systems all across Europe.
“We’re going to invest in innovative solutions and technologies to make the switch from fossil fuels. And together we’ll advance the use of clean and renewable hydrogen to reduce our carbon emissions.
“These steps will increase energy security, economic security and national security.”
Biden said the joint task force will be co-chaired by representatives from the White House and the European Commission.
Addressing Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, Biden said: “Madam president, I know, I know that eliminating Russian gas will have costs for Europe. But it’s not only the right thing to do from a moral standpoint, it’s going to put us on a much stronger strategic footing.”
‘That’s going to take time’
Reacting to the president’s announcement, Rep. Greg Steube (R-Fla.) told Fox News, “it’s interesting that, again, it’s all about the climate and not about the national security interests of the United States.
We need to be energy independent in this country…and that’s not the direction that they’re going,” Steube said.
“And if we’re going to be shifting resources to … Europe, that’s going to take time for LNG transfer stations and all those types of capabilities to be put into place. And they’re still focused on shifting from fossil fuels — obviously it’s still the green new deal/climate agenda-type things, and you can’t just flip a switch on solar, or wind or other alternative sources of energy when the states and the countries are not prepared for that.
“People are going to have gas and energy to run their homes and heat their homes, you can’t just make that turn in that quick period of time.”