Baker Institute experts: US can help make Europe’s gas market more competitive by increasing supply diversity, competition


David Ruth

Jeff Falk

Baker Institute experts: US can help make Europe’s gas market more competitive by increasing supply diversity, competition

HOUSTON – (Aug. 3, 2018) – The United States faces a narrowing set of strategic choices as Russia’s Nord Stream-2 (NS2) gas pipeline project edges closer to becoming a reality, according to experts in the Center for Energy Studies at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy. Options may include imposing sanctions against European companies that are supporting the line, capitulating or finding a way to offset the pipeline’s potential utility as a Russian tool of geopolitical influence, the experts said.

Russian gas giant Gazprom is building the Nord Stream-2 pipeline

Russian gas giant Gazprom is building the Nord Stream-2 pipeline. Credit: University

Gabriel Collins, the Baker Botts Fellow in Energy and Environmental Regulatory Affairs at the Baker Institute, and Anna Mikulska, a nonresident fellow in energy studies, outlined their insights in a new article published in the National Interest, “Here’s How America Can Counter Russia’s Nord Stream-2 Gas Pipeline.” They are available to discuss their insights and related issues with the news media.

In the article, Collins and Mikulska examine the successful execution of steps that could significantly neutralize NS2’s potential geopolitical benefits to the Kremlin.

“America now has a window of opportunity in which to intensify its gas diplomacy and support gas geoeconomics projects to help its partners lock in a decadeslong hedge against Russian energy coercion in Europe,” they wrote. “Doing so would accord with a long- standing, bipartisan tenet of U.S. foreign policy and national security strategy – ensuring the free flow of energy supplies to key markets and allies.

“Coupling gas geoeconomics projects with the new price and volume dynamics NS2 will bring to Europe would enable Washington to maximize Nord Stream-2’s commercial benefits to Europe while undermining Moscow’s ability to weaponize the pipeline’s gas flows,” they wrote.


For more information or to schedule an interview with Collins or Mikulska, contact Jeff Falk, associate director of national media relations at Rice, at or 713-348-6775.

Related materials:


Collins biography:

Mikulska biography:

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Founded in 1993, Rice University’s Baker Institute ranks among the top three university-affiliated think tanks in the world. As a premier nonpartisan think tank, the institute conducts research on domestic and foreign policy issues with the goal of bridging the gap between the theory and practice of public policy. The institute’s strong track record of achievement reflects the work of its endowed fellows, Rice University faculty scholars and staff, coupled with its outreach to the Rice student body through fellow-taught classes — including a public policy course — and student leadership and internship programs. Learn more about the institute at or on the institute’s blog,

About Jeff Falk

Jeff Falk is associate director of national media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.