Joint US-EU  Statement on LNG

President Obama met with leaders of E.U. nations in Brussels earlier this week and issued a joint statement. The White House website contains the joint statement: Click Here. That portion relevant to LNG exports reads as follows:

9. Energy is a key component in the transition to a competitive low-carbon economy and achieving long-term sustainable economic development… We welcome the prospect of U.S. LNG exports in the future since additional global supplies will benefit Europe and other strategic partners. We agree on the importance of redoubling transatlantic efforts to support European energy security to further diversify energy sources and suppliers and to allow for reverse natural gas flows to Ukraine from its E.U. neighbors. We are working together to foster competitive, transparent, secure and sustainable international energy markets. (Emphasis added.)

In addition to the joint statement, President Obama and the E.U. leaders appeared at a press conference during which the president said: “[E]nergy is obviously a central focus of our efforts… And the United States is blessed with some additional energy sources that have been developed in part because of new technologies, and we’ve already licensed, authorized the export of as much natural gas each day as Europe uses each day. But it’s going into the open market; it’s not targeted directly.

It’s going to private companies who get these licenses and they make decisions on the world market about where that energy is going to be sold. The question is whether through our energy ministers and at the highest levels we’re able to find ways in which we can accelerate this process of diversification, and this is something we’re very much committed to. We think it would be good for Europe. We think it would be good for the United States. It’s not something that can happen overnight, but what I think this entire crisis has pointed to is the need for us to get moving now with a sense of urgency.”