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A Transatlantic Agenda for Natural Gas Supplies

A Transatlantic Agenda for Natural Gas Supplies

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Published by: StreitCouncil on May 04, 2011
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A Transatlantic Agenda for Natural Gas Supplies: Energy Politics, Market Transformation and New Technologies Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies Center for Transatlantic Relations May 3, 2011 Johns Hopkins University held a day-long conference at its Washington DC campus yesterday. Discussants addressed the impact of shale gas on the United States economy and the global geopolitical effects growing demand for natural gas would play in the future. One question, for example, asked whether reserves in Turkmenistan and Iran would embolden those suppliers to attempt to take more forceful diplomatic routes. And while most of the panel, consisting David Goldwyn, Vaclaw Bartuska, Ross Wilson, and moderator by Kurt Volker, dismissed the idea that Iran and Turkmenistan would play spoilers to the wishes of the international community, the question exemplified many of the issues surrounding natural gas supplies. Also under discussion was a transatlantic shale alliance proposed by David Koranyi and Mark Olsthoorn, who argued that such a mechanism would allow for greater shale development on both sides of the Atlantic. Hyrdofracturing, which is the primary method for extracting new shale reserves, have come under fire because of reports that pollutants were seeping into the groundwater after chemicals were improperly disposed of, and such a Shale Alliance, the authors argue, would be designed to establish scientific of the environmental impacts of shale gas. The authors also assert that such an alliance would promote environmental stability, and work with the more reticent European Union member states to promote sustainable natural gas practices that will increase European energy independence. Panels also addressed the energy independence of Baltic and Visegrad countries, whose public disputes with Russia over natural gas supplies has helped shape both internal and EU politics in recent years. David Koranyi and Andris Spruds argue that although the Baltic and Visegrad countries will never be totally energy independent, they can pass market reforms, engage in energy diplomacy, and support

regional cooperation, which will make them much less susceptible to the occasionally mercurial Russian energy suppliers.

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