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Moderator, Andrew Sollinger: I wanted to bring in you, Ambassador Pyatt on this because Transatlantic cooperation has been critical and key. We were discussing earlier there have been some bumps along the way and other issues around the IRA and the EVs, protectionism, but by and large a real show of strength. How is the U.S. and Transatlantic relations playing into this ability to not only solve this year’s winter but planning for next year?
Assistant Secretary Pyatt: First of all, I would say successfully, and it’s a testament to the partnership that Ditte (H.E. Ditte Juul Jørgensen, Director General for Energy, European Commission) and I are part of which really comes from the very top of both President von der Leyen, President Biden and all the efforts that have been made.
But I want to come back to something really important which Maksym said which is the idea that Putin’s weaponization of energy did not begin in February. It began years ago and in many ways Ukraine was the first victim of that. In some ways Ukraine’s energy grid is today the front line of European security which is why we have worked so hard together in the G7, with our European partners, with Japan, with others in order to give the Ukrainians the resources they need to restore the integrity of their grid, to build back better as you alluded to, Andrew.
I would also flag from my own return to Kyiv last month, just something that was implicit in Maksym’s remarks which is just how deeply impressive the resolve and determination of the Ukrainian people is. The energy workers, the civil society, the politicians, it’s really quite profound to see.
I think as we look ahead, Fred (Frederick Kempe, President and CEO, Atlantic Council) made the point in his opening remarks that we are living through a remarkably dynamic and challenging moment in the geopolitics of energy and it’s important to remember that Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and the weaponization of energy has not just affected Europe. Having lived in the European Union, in the Euro Zone for the first three months of the war, I know how concerned citizens and companies and political leaders were.
But look at the global south. Look at how the invasion of Ukraine and the weaponization of energy resources has disrupted global food security, has disrupted the cost of fertilizer, has disrupted the plans of governments in Africa, in South Asia, in East Asia, and beyond.
I think in the European case, in the Transatlantic case, Ditte did a good job of charting all of the progress that has been made. I would just emphasize the commitment on the U.S. side to continuing that as we head into next winter and the years beyond.
The IAEA has pointed to a 30bcm gap in global gas supplies as a result of the decoupling of Europe and Russia. And I think that decoupling is permanent. There is going to be no return to business as usual with Russia on issues of Europe and oil and gas, and that’s a welcome development.
U.S. LNG producers are a big part of that story. The fact that we more than doubled the supply of U.S. LNG to Europe last year is a tribute to the dynamism and the effectiveness of our producers.
But we also need to keep working on the energy transition together, recognizing that the surest source of energy security is a successful transition to new and renewable sources.
I think to finish up, you alluded Andrew to some of the issues around the IRA. I think President Biden has made clear our commitment to work through those. But I think what has been missed in some of the conversation is the extraordinary opportunities that are going to open up in the United States. What happens when you put $36 billion a year over ten years into the sector. The opportunities that’s going to create for European companies to invest in wind and solar and storage and hydrogen, all of the novel technologies that are going to be part of the energy transition, which I expect Europe and the United States will lead together, both because of the innovative character of our economies but also because of the trillions of dollars of goods and services that flow across the Atlantic every year.
Moderator, Andrew Sollinger: It sounds like there’s some great unity there, and you’re right, the inspirational story of the Ukrainian people and what we can learn from them has caused us all to rally together and cooperate which is wonderful.