Explosion at US Natural Gas Plant Raises Risk of Europe Shortages

    Photo: Reuters [via Washington Post]

    The Facts

    • Natural gas prices have surged across Europe after a Wed. explosion closed down the Freeport LNG terminal in Quintana, Texas, a key hub that processes 20% of US exports. Officials say the terminal will be offline for at least three weeks.

    • The cause of the Wed. blast isn't clear. There were no injuries reported by the company and all employees have been accounted for.

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    The explosion in Texas puts pressure on Europe. If the disruption at Freeport's LNG plant is longer than three weeks, things could get challenging in the region. This is the time when Europe is trying to boost inventory through LNG imports for next winter, anticipating potential Russian pipeline disruptions.

    Narrative B

    This disaster puts pressure on the US. Washington has tried to promote itself as among the solutions to the global energy market squeeze while the EU weaned itself from Russian oil. This explosion shows the fragility of the US strategy and vision.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    This disaster affects vulnerable communities the most. The explosion has heightened fears of pollution and other impacts in nearby communities and serves as the latest example of the threat the booming LNG industry poses to the environment. The people in nearby communities shouldn't have to live in fear just so gas executives can get rich.

    Establishment split



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