Tue. Jul 5th, 2022

Regarding your article about boosting US gas exports to Europe (ReportMarch 25) replacing Russian natural gas in Europe will be a hard problem to resolve in the short term but it can be solved in phases.

First should be a continent-wide effort to improve the energy efficiency of buildings through better insulation, replacing old windows, changing gas hot water tanks with tankless systems and changing heating sources for homes from gas furnaces to electric heat or heat pumps. Industrial users should explore using alternative sources of energy. This can be funded by tariffs on Russian oil and gas that can fund government grants or tax credits to reduce energy demand. Also, utility companies should offer energy audits to identify ways to reduce energy demand and be given funding to offset the loss in revenue. These steps can be taken now in preparation for next year.

The second phase, over the next few years, envisages that the EU and the UK work with Israel, Egypt, Cyprus, Turkey and Greece to develop the large natural gasfields in the Mediterranean Sea and build LNG plants and pipelines to replace Russian gas with gas closer to Europe. Third, over the next 20 years, replace oil and gas with wind power and solar power. Solar power plants would be a natural product for export by North African countries such as Morocco, Algeria and Libya to replace their production of fossil fuels.

It takes a lot of money and imagination, but Europe can eliminate their dependence on Russian oil and gas.

Stan Athens
Dallas, TX, US

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