America’s Great Game as energy superpowers

What’s missing in the coverage of the last night internet sensation Ken Bone is the question he asked.
He asked to social media stardom as the unknown guy with a bright red sweater during a harsh second presidential debate
But the topic he talked and raised – energy policy – will have lasting important for the next president and the country. That’s mostly because of American jobs lost and won in the energy sector, which is often the focus during election time.
It’s also because the US is mostly using oil and gas as a part of foreign policy, deep its involvement in a high-value game of pipelines making from Russia to Israel to Turkey and even Syria.

An Energy Superpower

The picture of energy as a matter of security, not just economic fight, is not new in Washington. But it was Hillary Clinton who gave an important boost to energy diplomacy across the world.
When she took charge as Secretary of State in 2009, her European rivals were reeling from a heavy battle in an energy war with Russia.
Moscow had to cut gas to Ukraine over a payment problem, shutting off its main supply to Europe in between the middle of winter.

Mrs. Clinton made a bureau within the State Department to deal with international energy problem in 2011. From that time a domestic boom has changed the US into the world’s largest maker of natural gas, and the US has changed from starting a major importer of natural gas products to a new exporter.
“Currently we have a seat at the table on energy problem around the world in a way that we didn’t 7 years before, says Amos Hochstein, the State Department’s special representative for international energy department.
Because of the oil and natural gas revolution in the United States, and to some point because of our reusable energy revolution… We’re not only an energy superpower, we are the world’s energy superpower.”
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A new Cold War

The original power struggles in energy are still with Russia, at a time when relations between both countries having reached their lowest point since the Cold War happened.
Energy experts have been talking about new problems since Moscow annexed Crimea in 2014 and close down gas supplies to Ukraine for the 2nd time.

This is a war fought not by army means, says Mr. Hochstein, but “with economic problems”.
Washington is more concentrated on helping its European friendlies their energy sources away from Russia, a hard task since Moscow gives a third of Europe’s gas, with seven states almost totally dependent on it.

The Obama government strategy having to peddle US gas, as the Vice-President Joe Biden did with enthusiasm on a current trip to Latvia and Sweden in August, calling North America the “energy center for the 21st Century”.

It also involves heavy lobbying against Russia’s done Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which would redesigned gas near around Ukraine by making bigger the existing Nord Stream 1, which oprates under the Baltic Sea to Germany.

In Stockholm, Mr Biden says Nord Stream 2 “a basically bad deal for Europe” that would “lock in bigger reliance on Russia and… destabilize Ukraine” by depriving Kiev of lucrative transit fees.