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Biden Admin Withdraws Support From Israel-Europe EastMed Gas Pipeline

Biden Admin Withdraws Support From Israel-Europe EastMed Gas Pipeline

The move strengthens Russia and Turkey’s stranglehold on Europe’s energy supply

The Biden White House has withdrawn U.S. support from a pipeline project designed to deliver Israeli natural gas to Europe, reversing a decision taken by President Donald Trump’s administration.

The 1,180-mile undersea pipeline project from Israel to southern Europe, set to be completed by 2025, will ease Europe’s dependence on Russia and Turkey. These two countries have a stranglehold on the continent’s energy supply.

“The United States is no longer supporting the construction of EastMed gas pipeline project as Washington’s interest is now switching to renewable energy sources, according to a State Department statement,” the Euractiv, a Brussels based news website, reported recently.

By rescinding the U.S. backing for the Israel-Europe pipeline, the Biden administration is bowing down to the pressure from Turkey’s Erdogan regime, which has been angered for being left out of the lucrative energy project. “Several Greek media reported that Joe Biden’s move politically winks at Turkey, who since the beginning has opposed the EastMed deal as it was bypassing it,” the European news outlet noted.

On Wednesday, Israeli TV channel i24News reported the Biden White House decision:

Washington no longer supports the proposed EastMed gas pipeline from Israel to Europe, according to a Jerusalem diplomatic source.

The Biden administration reportedly informed Israeli, Greek, and Cypriot officials in recent weeks of its change in attitude.

“I believe this is related to Turkish domestic politics. The United States is showing that it is attributing huge significance to Turkey,” Dr. Hay Eytan Cohen Yanarocak, an expert on Turkey at the Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security, told i24NEWS.

Turkey urges that it should be part of the pipeline project amid claims over natural gas in the east Mediterranean.

“This is an open-check for the next potential government in Turkey which may replace [President Tayyip Erdogan] in 2023, which means the US is… calculating the next steps which they will have to deal with in the day after Erodgan.”

Erdogan welcomed the Biden administration’s move, reinforcing his position as a power player in Europe. The Turkish president thuggishly declared that any future eastern Mediterranean “gas project must include Turkey,” the Greek newspaper Kathimerini reported. “This business cannot be done without Turkey. Because if [gas] is to be transferred to Europe from here, it will only happen through Turkey,” Erdogan said Tuesday.

Vladimir Putin’s Russia is another beneficiary of President Biden’s decision. Moscow is about to finish 760-mile Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which will allow direct Russian gas supply to Germany and other western European countries. More than 40 percent of gas exported to European Union countries comes from Russia.

In July 2021, President Biden approved the Nord Stream 2 project — co-owned by German energy giants and Russian state-run companies, overturning another strategic Trump-era policy. The move was hailed as a significant diplomatic victory for outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

President Biden’s decision comes as Europe faces an ever more belligerent Russia. Moscow has “almost completed” the military buildup of around 127,000 troops that could invade Ukraine, the Ukrainian government warned earlier this week. On Thursday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken agreed with the Ukrainian assessment, admitting that Russia could attack Ukraine “on very short notice.”

With the lion’s share of European energy supply firmly in the hands of Putin, Europe has so far failed to stand up to the ongoing Russian military build-up, further emboldening Moscow.

It is worth recalling President Trump’s warning at the 2018 NATO summit in Brussels when he called Germany ‘captive’ to Russia over the gas supply. “Germany is captive of Russia because it is getting so much of its energy from Russia,” Trump said, referring to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. “They pay billions of dollars to Russia and we have to defend them against Russia,” he prophetically added.

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Comments

The Leviathan and Tamar gas fields have made Israel energy independent. They are huge fields, totaling around 10 tcf if memory serves. Leave it to this clusterfark administration to screw the operator, Israel and western Europe in their Quixotic and insane quest to deny the utility and dominance of hydrocarbons for the foreseeable future.

I wonder, for all the prog NPC’s who parroted the “Trump is a Russian shill” bullshit for so many years, does the cognitive dissonance cause skull crushing headaches, or what?

    henrybowman in reply to Paul. | January 20, 2022 at 4:19 pm

    Clearly we have a Russian asset in the White House.
    Now.

    Milwaukee in reply to Paul. | January 20, 2022 at 10:38 pm

    “…does the cognitive dissonance cause skull crushing headaches, or what?”

    No.
    The get to cognitive dissonance they need a level of intellectual maturity necessary for self-reflection. Being shallow and narcistic, they will probably never get there. But if they do, they will also develop massive guilt and depression.

This is odd. The administration clearly says they would rather do “renewables” which has been a consistent (albeit idiotic) aspect of Biden admin policy, and all the big heads say that it’s about Turkish politics.

I find it difficult to believe that the children running the Biden front organization understand or care about those political considerations.

It sounds to me as if they need to try applying larger bribes.

Sounds like Hunter is working for a Turkish company now.

Why does a pipeline between Israel and Europe need approval from the US? Is it because American companies are involved?
If so, are they now prohibited from working on it?

    Eagle1 in reply to mrzee. | January 20, 2022 at 2:43 pm

    Loan guarantees from the US which make financing the project feasible I’d imagine.

      The Gentle Grizzly in reply to Eagle1. | January 20, 2022 at 3:25 pm

      Like student loans?

        No, the Israelis would pay it back.

        No, loan guarantees. These don’t cost the USA anything, since the loans are sure to be repaid. Israel has never defaulted on a loan, and it’s inconceivable that it ever will. But the US guarantees lower the interest rate Israel has to pay.

          stevewhitemd in reply to Milhouse. | January 20, 2022 at 4:06 pm

          That being the case, the investors should suck it up and pay the market rate for the interest. Alternately, other sovereign powers with good credit (e.g., Germany) could guarantee the loans. Makes sense for Germany to do so, since it will benefit substantially from another pipeline.

          The Europeans need to see that this pipeline is in their interest, and act accordingly.

          The Gentle Grizzly in reply to Milhouse. | January 20, 2022 at 5:29 pm

          I was being my customary smart-alecky self but I see your point.

          Barry in reply to Milhouse. | January 20, 2022 at 11:47 pm

          The germans will likely freeze to death before helping the Israelis build the pipeline. Yes, they are that damn stupid.

    The_Mew_Cat in reply to mrzee. | January 20, 2022 at 5:24 pm

    It must pass undersea and through NATO countries subject to heavy US influence. It might also have to pass through US military bases in Greece.

Look, most natural gas pipelines are financed over 30 years. To be honest, even if only new electric-based stoves, hot water heaters and furnaces are installed in Europe starting today, there is still enough natural gas demand in Europe to amortize the pipeline over the next 30 years. The US does not set European energy policy, we just try to avoid creating vulnerabilities.

Comanche Voter | January 20, 2022 at 2:36 pm

lawgrad (and I’m one as well–and spent much of my career working on energy infrastructure deals) answer a question for me. The Biden administration has said that the Nordstream natural gas pipeline–carrying Russian natural gas to Europe is hunky dooky. Of course that means that the Russkies can turn off the gas if they want to. So how does withdrawing support for a natural gas pipeline from Israel to Europe “create a vulnerability”? Sounds like it creates competition to me—and also weakens the Russkies ability to extort Europe.

For a guy who was going to ‘get tough on Putin,’ Joe Biden can’t stop giving the Ws to Putin. Yesterday, he ceded Ukraine and now he’s protecting Russia’s natural gas hegemony over Europe.

AnAdultInDiapers | January 20, 2022 at 3:15 pm

Erdogan’s insistence on having control over Europe’s supply of natural gas from the Middle East is, all by itself, all the reason you need to avoid routing via Turkey.

That and their illegal invasion and occupation of Cyprus, and the genocide they’re perpetrating there. But genocide seems to be a speciality of the Turks.

    That and their illegal invasion and occupation of Cyprus

    I’m surprised they never took the other half of Cyprus. Nobody would have stopped them, then or now. I think it only a matter of time before they make a move on Greece. As one of the few places liberated from Islamic rule its very existence as an independent country is a slap in the face.

      Milhouse in reply to randian. | January 21, 2022 at 11:37 am

      At the time they had no designs on Greece, or on the other half of Cyprus. Remember that it was the Greeks who broke the peace on Cyprus; the Turks went in to come to their compatriots’ rescue, and seized the half of the island where most of them lived.

      If it were Erdogan he wouldn’t have stopped, and he probably does wish he could invade Greece. But he can’t, because NATO.

A now well-established pattern for the Biden “administration:” Help our enemies (Russia, Turkey), hurt our friends (Israel, Greece, Europe).

    KEYoder in reply to Elric. | January 20, 2022 at 7:28 pm

    He learned from his master, Obama, who was desperate to make “peace in our time” with Iran. Even if no one in that administration believed the warning cries from more sensible folks, surely hindsight would show them the error of their ways? But no, they are willfully blind, because they insist on basing their actions on what they WISH the world was like rather than on the way it actually is.

      Barry in reply to KEYoder. | January 20, 2022 at 11:50 pm

      Obama was not desperate for peace. He was, and is, trying to help the iranians become the dominant faction of islam in the ME.

The only difference between this and Nordstream is that this involves “the JOOOS”, and therefore the left will do anything to stop it because if they aren’t anti-Semites themselves they are bound and determined to pander to that crowd.

American Human | January 20, 2022 at 4:12 pm

Pardon my naivete but who says Turkey “has” to be included? Turkey? So what if Israel just goes ahead with the project anyway? What will anyone do?
I say they should just give Biden the one-finger salute and go ahead with it.

    DPtarmigan in reply to American Human. | January 21, 2022 at 8:17 am

    I have basically the same question. What impacts do our winks and nods have for EU energy policy? Why do they care? They should just chant “Lets go Brandon”, and carry on.

Hard to argue after this latest move that Biden is not working against Americans every chance he gets.

There is no doubt this is Obama’s third term. All that’s missing is the bowing.

Anyone who doesn’t understand that Susan Rice is running things: you need to take a harder look.

“Turkey needs to be included” because he’s all but stated he wants Islam to conquer Europe, and a Turkish pipeline will allow him to exert the influence necessary to speed that process. The Greeks naturally object to a Turkish pipeline because Greece was under Ottoman rule for 400 years and only gained independence from them in 1830.

Who is Putin’s bitch NOW?

Israel should just work together with the other countries and do the pipeline anyway.
Biden isn’t a threat to anyone. Hand him a bribe and put it together.

The Israeli intelligence likely already has the dirt on Slow Joe as to the “grease” applied to his family palms. They are are so far ahead of the CIA and this turd who was appointed to the WH.

The loan guarantee cost America nothing but the Obongo inspired shift away from Israel and toward the extremists in the Middle East is so transparent and perhaps even a tiny percentage of Americas Jewish vote might shift to conservatives. Instead of voting 95% DemonRat they might end up as 94% DemonRat? Aw, that’s probably too optimistic.

From a Biblical perspective America must remain one of the “Young Lions” defending Israel. With all that is going on in the Middle East the end times seems to be in the not too distant future.

It’s amazing how much damage the American president can do in only one year.

Dotard Xi-den’s and the vile Dhimmi-crats’ despicable and indefensible dhimmitude continues apace and knows no restraints.

SeekingRationalThought | January 21, 2022 at 10:10 am

Of course this administration would undermine this pipeline. They would undermine anything that undermines Russia’s efforts to control Europe. Why else approve Putin’s pipeline and undermine this one? Russiagate? This is WORSE thanRussiagate. As someone says on TV ALL THE TIME, this is worse than WATERGATE!! 🙂