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Liam Denning

The EU Should Buy American to Wean Off Russian Gas

The U.S. cannot entirely fill Europe’s needs, but of all the world’s LNG exporters it can expand capacity fastest.

An LNG facility can’t be built in a day.

An LNG facility can’t be built in a day.

Photographer: Craig Hartley/Bloomberg

It is hard to differentiate a commodity, which is kind of what makes something a commodity. Every now and again, though, something happens that makes one molecule somehow worth more than another. Today, that thing is the war in Ukraine and the molecule in question is methane — specifically, U.S. natural gas.

The European Commission recently unveiled a proposal to slash the European Union’s gas imports from Russian pipelines by about two-thirds by the end of this year and completely by 2030. The proposal is, to be kind, ambitious and, to be kinder still, preliminary in detail. Yet, faced with a murderously revanchist Russia, breaking Europe’s dependency on Siberian gas isn’t merely a choice. It’s an imperative.