Monday, March 24, 2014

US exporting gas?

      Last Wednesday a bill was introduced that would allow the US to export natural gas to the Ukraine, in hopes that it would lessen the hold Russia has over the country. Russia is the number one exporter of natural gas, but with the use of fracking technology the United States has become the number one producer of natural gas. About 80% of gas exports from Russia pass through the Ukraine. The country could freeze without its oil, so with more control of Gazprom (the Russian gas company) comes more control of the Ukraine. Currently, natural gas export points are still under construction in the United States and wouldn’t be useful until at least 2015.
     Carlos Pascual is a former American ambassador to Ukraine, who leads the State Department’s Bureau of Energy Resources. He has claimed that serious efforts have already been made to lessen Putin’s hold on the Ukraine. His team worked to help European countries lessen their dependence on Russian natural gas by finding reserves in Africa. They also helped countries build up a storage of natural gas in Europe, as well as exploring Poland and the Ukraine for gas reserves. Pascual claimed that the US sending gas to the Ukraine “sends a clear signal that the global gas market is changing, that there is the prospect of much greater supply coming from other parts of the world."
     Without the technology at the moment to send natural gas overseas, I believe more work should be done to lessen Ukrainian dependence on Russian gas through other means. More research into European gas reserves and possibly putting more funding into renewable energy resources could lessen the Russian hold. Chevron and Shell have already been licensed to explore for gas in the Ukraine. Since the process of approving natural gas exports is going so slowly, this might have a more immediate effect. Gas exportation may be a good long term goal, but for now the Ukraine should focus more on domestic and renewable energy sources.
--Bonnie Griesemer

***This is the last post for which you are responsible on the first blog quiz.***

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