In light of his decision to ban fracking in the UK, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s plan to increase imports of American natural gas has been dubbed “expensive hypocrisy.”
Rishi Sunak and President Joe Biden announced the UK-US Energy Security and Affordability Partnership last week, in which the US will seek to export at least nine to ten billion cubic meters of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) to the United Kingdom over the next year.
The agreement was reached in the hopes of preventing energy blackouts in the UK and further reducing reliance on Russian gas.
In a joint statement ahead of the official announcement, Biden and Sunak said per the Daily Mail: “During this global energy crisis, brought on by Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, it is more important than ever for allied countries to deepen their cooperation to ensure resilient international systems which reflect our shared values.”
“Together the UK and US will ensure the global price of energy and the security of our national supply can never again be manipulated by the whims of a failing regime,” Prime Minister Sunak added.
“We have the natural resources, industry and innovative thinking we need to create a better, freer system and accelerate the clean energy transition. This partnership will bring down prices for British consumers and help end Europe’s dependence on Russian energy once and for all.”
The agreement has been criticised because the vast majority of the American gas that will be delivered to the UK was extracted from the ground using fracking, and Sunak used one of his first acts as prime minister to reinstate the ban on domestic fracking.
According to government estimates, the natural gas deposits at Bowland Shale in the UK could provide 50 years of energy at current consumption; however, the gas will remain underground as the Conservative government pursues green projects at home while importing fossil fuels from abroad.
On this side of the Pond, the Biden Administration is hell-bent on squeezing out the shale industry. It has made its anti-oil and gas stance a central point of its energy policies, and declared its intention to squeeze the U.S. oil and gas industry as it prioritizes the transition to low-carbon forms of energy. To allow it to be sold abroad while the US is paying epic prices for energy is heartless and hypocritical.