The emergence of the United States as an energy superpower in the last decade has reshaped the geopolitical landscape for the better. Our relatively newfound ability to support our allies around the globe by providing necessary fuel has allowed us to deepen and strengthen relationships with nations equally as committed to the pursuit of a safer, freer, and more prosperous world. There are few clearer examples of this than our growing bond with Poland – a partnership that is mutually benefitting the United States and the whole of Eastern Europe.
Last year, the United States and Poland celebrated a century of diplomatic relations. Poland has long been a vital NATO ally and defense partner, and together we stood shoulder-to-shoulder in Afghanistan and Iraq. More recently, our economic ties have been reinforced by the expansion of energy trade, forged in a shared belief that independence and sovereignty are made possible by the realization of true energy security.
Like us, Poland is pursuing an “all-of-the-above” energy agenda, one which recognizes that energy security is made possible through energy diversity – of fuel types, of sources for that fuel, and of delivery routes. The diversity of United States’ energy industry is vital to provide energy resources and support for infrastructure projects and diversification efforts, particularly given Poland’s geographic position between Russia and Germany, and Europe’s expressed desire to lessen its dependence on Russia for fuel imports.
Likewise, ensuring the energy security of European nations is crucial to achieving our shared goals of – preserving free markets, upholding democratic values, and creating an even brighter future for generations to come.
It is because of this that the Department of Energy – and the entirety of President Trump’s Administration – is so committed to its unique friendship with Poland, proud of what that friendship has accomplished so far, and hopeful for what lies ahead.
Today, President Trump and Secretary Brouillette met with Poland’s President Duda in the White House to discuss our nations’ cooperation on civil nuclear energy projects. These talks are part of a continuing dialogue that was furthered last summer through the signing of a Nuclear Cooperation Memorandum of Understanding, signaling our long-term partnership to develop Poland’s civil nuclear program and jointly pursue the peaceful use of nuclear energy.
The development of Poland’s civil nuclear program is vital to the country’s long-term energy security, further allowing diversification of fuel sources for electricity generation. As a clean, safe, and reliable source of energy, nuclear energy facilitates the resilience of electric grids, providing consumers’ access to uninterrupted, affordable power.
Another important – and successful – facet of our energy partnership with Poland is that of liquefied natural gas, or LNG, trade. As a result of a series of recent commercial agreements between Poland and American companies, Poland increased its imports of American LNG by over 1,000% between 2018 and 2019.
Through these shipments, Poland has steadily been able to decrease the amount of natural gas it imports from Russia. While Russian natural gas will remain part of the European energy portfolio, the increased diversity with the inclusion of American natural gas is a net positive for the region. And here in the U.S., Poland has become a valuable customer for our natural gas, driving tens of millions of dollars in revenue back into our country.
Energy Infrastructure & Cyber Security
Without extensive and secure infrastructure, true energy independence for the entire region remains unfinished. That is why the United States is supportive of Eastern European infrastructure projects like the Baltic Pipe, the Bulgaria-Romania-Hungary-Austria (BRUA) interconnector, and the expansion of the LNG terminal in Świnoujście, Poland.
Likewise, we are opposed to the development of the Nord Stream 2 and TurkStream pipelines, which will increase Europe’s dependency on Russian natural gas and potentially leave certain Eastern European nations, including Poland, vulnerable to malign efforts to use vital energy resources as a political lever during critical times.
In addition to these activities, the United States and Poland are working together to share expertise that will protect critical energy infrastructure from cyber-attacks, advance the use of smart grid technology, and promote greater cooperation between Polish and American companies on strategic fuel storage and transmission logistics.
Taken together, this work positions both of our nations to continue a partnership that is benefitting the American and Polish people, growing our economies, and strengthening global energy security.