By Brook A. Simmons
America’s oil and natural gas industry made history last month, marking the first time the U.S. supplied more natural gas to Europe than Russia.
Vladimir Putin has weaponized his nation’s most important export, slashing natural gas shipments flowing into the Old Continent in an effort to neutralize European nations’ response to his quest in Ukraine.
Putin’s energy blackmail has thrust Europe into an ever-worsening crisis that could spell greater trouble for the upcoming winter when demand for energy to power and heat Europe’s historic cities surges. Without adequate natural gas supplies, 40% of which traditionally have come from Russia, America’s allies would undoubtedly face a winter of woe.
Hopefully, relief will come from the American oil and natural gas industry. Imports of U.S. liquified natural gas have risen steadily in Europe since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the European Union has agreed to take an additional 15 billion cubic meters of U.S. natural gas for the year in an effort to displace Russian energy supplies.
U.S. leaders should embrace the industry European leaders are now turning to for salvation.
You already know the story of the American shale revolution that unlocked vast new energy resources across the United States, including right here in Oklahoma. But the same shale revolution that launched a new era of American energy also launched a new era of anti-oil and gas propaganda (much of it funded by U.S. opponents) that has driven the politics of the left for more than a decade.
In their rush to demonize the energy sources that made America great and prop up unreliable and intermittent energy sources like wind and solar, far-left elected officials ignored the strategic power American energy independence affords.
European nations that served up the blueprint for America’s green energy folly now are seeing the impact of those decisions first-hand, and in late June, Germany, Italy, Austria, and the Netherlands announced they would restart old coal power plants as they grapple with shrinking natural gas supplies and hyperbolic prices.
Putin has launched an energy war, a war that may be won in the oilfield as much as on the battlefield.
— Brook A. Simmons is president of The Petroleum Alliance of Oklahoma