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A group of US senators on both sides of the aisle is set to introduce a bill that will seek to sanction the Nord Stream II gas pipeline, according to Reuters citing an anonymous source close to the matter.
The group of senators, which includes Republican Senator Ted Cruz, may submit the legislation today, and will target companies that are involved in the pipeline’s construction.
Nord Stream II has been the subject of much debate in the United States, and the US has warned several companies involved in its construction that they could face sanctions.
Nord Stream is possibly the single most politically polarizing pipeline project of all time, and that’s saying a lot, what with all the controversy surrounding the Dakota Access Pipeline, Enbridge’s Line 5, and Trans Mountain. The issue with Nord Stream, however, is not one of climate concern, but of geopolitical concern, as it could position Russia to bypass the Ukrainian Gas Transmission System and, the United States argues, would make the EU scarily dependent on Russian gas.
But Nord Stream II will offer cheap gas to Europe, and it’s hard to argue against cheaper gas.
While the legislation may be introduced today, it is a far cry from done, as it will need to pass the House and the Senate, and then must go before the President for his rubber stamp.
The companies currently involved in financing the pipeline include Uniper, Wintershall, Shell, OMV, and Engie, according to Reuters.
The United States has been eager to offer Europe its own LNG as an alternative to the Russian LNG that will be transported through Nord Stream II, and the EU has already promised to double its intake of US-supplied LNG over the next five years, reading 8 billion cubic meters in 2023.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for Oilprice.com, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.