On Mon. Nov. 14, seven ambassadors from Central and Eastern Europe sent joint letters to congressional leaders, calling on them to “continue working towards the goal of enacting LNG legislation still in 2016.” The effort was spearheaded by the Embassy of Poland and the letters were signed by ambassadors from the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Slovak Republic. The text of the letter follows:
“As envoys from Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), we strongly appreciate the cooperation with the United States on energy security in Europe. The conflict in Ukraine confirmed the role of Europe’s energy security and especially the CEE region as an important pillar of transatlantic relations. The cooperation with the United States is crucial to ensure the long-term energy security in Europe. We also welcome the fact that the position of V4 and B3 countries and the U.S. on a number of energy issues is alike and we see a need for Washington’s further engagement in the CEE region.
“We are pleased that liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the United States is now being exported from Louisiana and that the first U.S. LNG cargoes have already reached Europe. These exports result in greater liquidity to the global natural gas market and have the potential to provide diversity of sources, suppliers and routes thus to a greater energy security in our part of Europe, a region for long dominated by an external state-controlled gas supplier, ready to use energy as a political weapon. U.S. LNG exports will also contribute to reducing vulnerability of the CEE countries. In this regard, we are writing to congratulate the U.S. Congress for steadfastly supporting LNG exports and to communicate our continuing interest in the ongoing legislative efforts to bring greater certainty to the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) regulatory review process.
“With LNG import terminals now in operation in Świnoujście, Poland, and Klaipėda, Lithuania—and the requisite interconnectors either in place or under development—our region has the capability to receive U.S. natural gas. However the regulatory path for granting the LNG export licenses to countries, which do not have free trade agreements with the U.S., remains complex. It puts burden on U.S. companies to apply for additional licenses.
“For this reason, legislative action to expedite LNG exports to America’s European allies remains a timely and significant issue. Thus, we hope that the bipartisan effort, which has been gaining momentum steadily over the past few years, will see final resolution during the current session of Congress. We request you to continue working towards the goal of enacting LNG legislation still in 2016.
“We are convinced that the U.S. LNG exports to CEE would be a game changer for the region. It would send a strong geopolitical signal, enhancing competition on the regional market, while at the same time decreasing dependence on the dominant gas supplier and thus increasing the energy security of the CEE.
“Thank you for your continuing interest in the energy security of Central and Eastern Europe.”
To download the signed letter: Click Here