The European Union is working with the United States to expand fracking operations and exports, according to a trade agreement document that leaked today.
The text, revealed today by the Huffington Post, is an early draft of the energy policy to be included in the upcoming Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership between the US and the EU. It was released in advance of negotiations that took place last October. US policy treats all trade agreement negotiation documents as classified.
The agreement, which has yet to be ratified, is aimed at making trade between the two economic centers easier. It proposes that all “energy goods” – which it defines as “coal, crude oil, oil products, natural gas, whether liquefied or not, and electrical energy” would automatically “comply with any conditions and tests foreseen in the Parties’ respective legislation for the granting of export licenses.”
If approved, that could mean a guaranteed source of energy for Europe, and a guaranteed customer for America. The text states that in addition to easing trade policies, the two parties would formally recognize “the importance of having viable and internationally competitive raw materials and energy sectors,” and therefore ensure each others’ mutual benefit.
Additional provisions address such matters as encouraging mutual development in hydrocarbon-producing areas, determining accident management procedures, and developing third party access to transport methods.
The US has banned the export of crude oil and other fuel sources since 1975, when an energy crisis necessitated stockpiling reserves. Recently, however, lawmakers have renewed discussion around ending these moratoriums. They say replacing European reliance on Russian energy will weaken the superpower’s stranglehold on the region.
They also cite the economic benefits for a country with more oil and natural gas than it can use or sell.