It’s time to go all-in on the EastMed pipeline

For Biden and Blinken to deliberately undercut European gas alternatives neither furthers national security nor combats climate change; rather, it empowers irredentists in Russia and Turkey and diminishes America’s reputation in Europe.

After a month of war in Ukraine, the world has learned that there is no substitute for energy security. Not only was curtailing American production of a vital resource shortsighted but also turning a blind eye if not encouraging growing European dependence on Russian oil was strategic malpractice.

Within the White House and State Department, that malpractice continues. Two months ago, the State Department reversed its support for the Eastern Mediterranean Pipeline that would bring Israeli and Cypriot gas to Europe via a pipeline from Cyprus to Greece. The scheme had broad diplomatic support. Cyprus, Egypt, Greece, Israel, Italy, Jordan, and the Palestinian Authority established a forum in Egypt to coordinate gas development. France also sought to join, and both the United States and European Union requested observer status. It was a masterstroke of diplomacy bringing European and Arab states as well as former rivals together for a common purpose.

Unfortunately, it occurred during the Trump administration, and so fell victim not only to the Biden administration’s hostility toward fossil fuels, but also to President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s mania to reverse any agreement the Trump administration supported without due consideration of its merits. A letter sent by Representatives Gus Bilirakis (R-FL-12) and Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY-11) to Naz Durakoglu, a former staffer to Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) who now serves as a principal deputy assistant secretary in the State Department, devastates the State Department’s stated position and the falsity of the facts upon which Blinken acted.

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