Primary Energy in The European Union and USA Compared

Primary Energy in The European Union and USA Compared

by Euan Mearns

 

 

 

 

 

 

Discussion

On the surface and in the media it may seem that the EU and USA have similar energy policies designed to reduce CO2 emissions, pandering to several climate treaties. But in reality the approaches have been very different. The USA has pursued the mantra of drill baby drill and the shale oil and gas miracle has almost delivered energy independence. This is in large part down to the structure of mineral rights in the USA where on non-federal lands, landowners also own the mineral rights and are therefore motivated to exploit them. Most European governments have dithered, contemplating the closure of nuclear whilst being at best lukewarm on fracking. Meanwhile, the North Sea will resume its decline in a couple of years and coal appears to be well and truly out of favour. European governments, directed by Brussels, seem content to believe that wind and solar will do the trick and are prepared to simply become increasingly reliant on imported energy.

With the USA close to energy independence, it will be interesting to see how this impacts foreign and defence policy. A Google search throws up a number of articles on this topic but none I have found are up to date or are very informative. In particular most, written a few years ago, talk of US energy independence in 2030. On current trend this will happen much sooner, by the early 2020s. I will speculate that energy independence in the USA will make that country much less likely to get involved in conflict in areas like the Middle East and North Africa. We have already had a taste of this with blowing Libya into oblivion left to the UK and France. It seems likely that the USA will expect Europe to play and pay for an increasingly large part of defending its energy supplies.

 

For the full article:  Primary Energy in The European Union and USA Compared

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