Germany Bows to Trump Criticism – to Build Terminal for U.S. Natural Gas
Another foreign policy victory for President Donald Trump was won this week when it was announced that the German government would be investing in the construction of a shipping terminal that would hold natural gas from the U.S.
Germany primarily gets its gas from Russia. 50 percent of Germany’s gas imports are from Russia.
“Over breakfast this month, the chancellor told a small group of lawmakers her government had decided to co-finance the construction of a €500 million ($576 million) liquefied natural gas shipping terminal in northern Germany, according to people familiar with the meeting,” writes the Wall Street Journal.
The construction project to build the LNG terminal has been on hold for a year since there was no support from the German government. But now, the project has been revived.
This is all going according to Trump’s plan.
“Mr. Trump has intensively lobbied Europe to buy significant amounts of LNG as part of his campaign to rewrite the terms of trade relations. German and U.S. officials said Berlin hoped embracing U.S. gas might help solve a protracted trade dispute and possibly even defuse threats by Washington to sanction Nord Stream 2, an unbuilt German-Russian gas pipeline that would double Russia’s existing gas export capacity to Germany,” write the WSJ.
“We’re creating jobs and we’re also deepening the trans-Atlantic relationship. The U.S. is totally committed to bringing U.S. LNG to Europe and to Germany,” said Richard A. Grenell, U.S. Ambassador who has been leading up the lobbying efforts.
Trump has repeatedly criticized Germany for relying so heavily on Russia for its energy supply.
“U.S. LNG is mostly mined from underground rock formations, turned into liquid and shipped in 300-meter-long tankers. It requires special terminals for unloading, storing and converting it back into gas. The complex process means it remains around 20% more expensive than Russian gas, which is delivered straight to Germany mainly via the Nord Stream pipeline,” writes the WSJ.
“LNG is a personal priority for the president and a policy priority for the government,” said Dan R. Brouillette, U.S. Deputy Energy Secretary.
On Monday, Trump said the German LNG project is “good news for Texas,” which is the state that produces the most natural gas in the country, and that Germany “will now purchase massive amounts of LNG, which is great news for your state.”
Russia will evidently be unhappy with the news.
Trump also said this week that the U.S. was pulling out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty after accusing Russia of violating the missile system ban.
“The Russians have been violating INF for years, making this deal unsustainable. We need durable arms control agreements,” said Edward R. Royce, California Republican and House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman.
Author’s note: This is mainly because of Trump’s influence. Germany relies too much already on Russia for energy. Another German-Russian gas pipeline would have given Russia huge leverage over Germany.