Yet another reason to work toward local sustainability. US foreign policy failures loom large on our energy future.
The commitment of Turkmen gas to Russia has broader implications. For one thing, the fate of the US-supported proposals for a trans-Caspian pipeline and the Nabucco pipeline depended significantly on the availability of Turkmen and Kazakh gas. Their future is now up in the air. That, in turn, means Europe is increasingly left with only one serious option for diversifying its gas imports – Iran.
In May, Putin struck a second time when he visited Vienna and in a dramatic breakthrough drew Austria into a key energy partnership, placing that country as a base for Gazprom’s future expansion into EU territory. The agreements signed in Vienna on May 23 outlined Gazprom’s plans to build a Central European gas hub and gas transit management center, the largest in continental Europe, at Baumgarten near Vienna; expansion of Gazprom’s market share in Austria; delivery of gas directly by Gazprom to Austrian consumers – for the first time in Europe; and plans to use Austria as a transit corridor for Russian gas exports aspiring to capture new EU markets.