BRIEFING: Europe’s dependence on US fracked gas – environmental & social impacts revealed


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Brussels – 24 April: A recent analysis by Food & Water Action Europe and Gas No Es Solución Network reveals a concerning trend: The overwhelming majority of liquefied ‘natural’ gas (LNG) imported to Europe from the United States in 2023 was sourced from fracking operations. According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), 88% of fossil gas extracted in the U.S. in 2023 came from fracking. Applying this percentage to the total volume of US LNG imports into the EU, American fracked gas met over 17% of the total gas demand in the EU-27 in 2023.

The report titled “LNG – LIQUEFIED FRACKED GAS: Unveiling the Toxic Truth Behind Europe’s LNG Obsession,” brings to light the environmental and social costs associated with this reliance. Fracking and LNG operations not only worsen the climate crisis but also inflict a heavy toll on frontline communities in the U.S. residing near fracking sites and LNG terminals, where environmental injustices are rampant.

From 2021 to 2023, US LNG imports tripled, with last year’s imports into the EU-27 totaling 64 billion cubic meters (bcm), comprising nearly half of the bloc’s total LNG imports. The Netherlands, France, and Spain emerged as the leading importers, collectively receiving over 38 bcm of gas, which represents over 60% of all US LNG imports to the EU. Notably, the majority of fracked gas originated from export terminals in the Gulf Coast region, particularly Texas and Louisiana. 

The EU’s voracious appetite for LNG comes at a grave cost to human rights, perpetuating environmental degradation and exacerbating social inequities. By locking ourselves into long-term LNG contracts and investing in new gas infrastructure, we betray both our climate commitments and the imperative to transition away from fossil fuels,” said Food & Water Action Europe’s Gas Campaigner Enrico Donda.

While the Biden Administration’s decision to put a pause on new LNG projects is a step forward, it won’t halt ongoing construction or reduce current LNG export capacity. Despite this, there are troubling efforts from fossil fuel companies and certain decision-makers on both sides of the Atlantic to paint LNG expansion as crucial for energy security, all while ignoring the disproportionate harm faced by affected communities and brushing aside mounting evidence of future massive LNG overcapacity. It is worth noting that in 2023, EU LNG terminal utilization rates were below 60%.

The report also exposes the paradox of EU countries: While six out of thirteen EU LNG import countries have banned fracking domestically due to environmental and health concerns, they continue to import fracked fossil gas. As the EU rushes to secure gas imports, it turns a blind eye to human rights violations and supports authoritarian regimes through new gas contracts. The solution to high energy prices and the cost of living crisis lies in a rapid just transition to 100% clean energy, not further deepening our reliance on dirty fossil fuels, which only worsen social injustices and climate change while enriching the fossil fuel industry. 

“We need to move away from fossil fuels fast, fair and forever in order to achieve climate and social justice. And especially European countries that ban gas extraction through fracking on their territories – as the Spanish state – must ban imports of this gas from third countries, so as not to externalise its serious impacts.” Marina Gros Breto, activist of the “Gas No es Solución” Spanish network.


Contact: Enrico Donda (English/Italian/French/Portuguese) – [email protected], mobile +32 (0) 485 187 523

Greenlighting Greenwashing – Energy Priority List Greenlighted by MEPs today Resembles Fossil Fuel Industry Wishlist


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Brussels 12 March – Today, MEPs greenlighted the 6th PCI list during the Strasbourg plenary votes. The PCI list (Projects of Common Interest List, or Union List) is a collection of large energy infrastructure projects that obtain top EU priority, a streamlined environmental impact assessment, accelerated permitting  and access to EU subsidies.

The adoption of the list flies in the face of a needed phase out of fossil fuels, as a large number of the projects featuring on the PCI list are linked to fossil fuels:

  • 68 large hydrogen projects with a combined cost of €50-100 billion (see Food & Water Action Europe’s analysis here), all of which have been proposed and will be operated by the fossil fuel industry. Many of them are designed to carry fossil-based hydrogen, i.e. hydrogen generated with fossil gas or other fossil fuels.
  • The 14 CO2 transport projects  aim to promote a Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) market in the EU. But CCS is plagued with a high number of failed and/or abandoned projects, While promoting the dubious hope that removing CO2 from the atmosphere will one day be technically feasible, the technology is mostly embraced by the fossil fuel industry as a means to prolong their climate-wrecking business-model, and is used to dismiss calls for an urgent phase out of all fossil fuels.
  • Two highly controversial fossil gas pipeline projects are featured: the contested EastMed pipeline, planned to connect gas fields in disputed waters offshore Cyprus with Greece, and the Melita TransGas pipeline between Malta and Sicily, which is linked to the murder of journalist Daphne Galizia Caruana.

Over 60 civil society groups from across Europe have called on EU parliamentarians to reject the PCI list: These projects risk becoming stranded assets while helping the fossil fuel industry to stay rich by selling false solutions.” 

These PCI projects do not support a just transition, quite the opposite: They deliver a pretext for the fossil fuel industry to continue polluting while claiming to move to ‘clean’ hydrogen and to projects allegedly capturing CO2. The planet is plagued by increasingly violent impacts of climate change – it is shocking how MEPs fall for false solutions proposed by the fossil fuel industry, which will lock Europe into continued fossil fuel dependence”, says Frida Kieninger, Director of EU Affairs at Food & Water Action Europe.

John Beard from Port Arthur, Texas, community leader who lives at the frontline of climate change and the epicenter of US Liquefied ‘Natural’ Gas (LNG) export, is meeting MEPs in Strasbourg this week to talk about the human face of the LNG boom. The US is the biggest exporter of LNG to the EU, with Port Arthur LNG having supplied 28% of the total volumes of US LNG that reached EU shores in 2023.

It is disheartening to see EU decision makers agreeing once more to a lock-in of the EU into dirty fossil fuels infrastructures. The lives and health of long suffering communities already overburdened by the petrochemical industry, are being sacrificed by the industry.

We are the sacrifice.

This decision will lock in the EU’s fossil fuel dependency and therefore, pushing for continued fossil gas demand. A big part of this gas will be exported from the US, directly from impacted communities like mine in Port Arthur.” says John Beard, Founder of the Port Arthur Community Action Network (PACAN).

“For you LNG might represent a simple energy source, but for us it means more illness and death from high cancer rates, human rights violations, and more racial injustice”.

It is a death sentence, just another nail in the coffin.

The adoption of the PCI list in the form of a delegated act means that the last obstacle to its entering into force has been removed. The projects can now apply for Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) money and benefit from the advantages that come with PCI status.

MEPs rejected the objection to the 6th PCI list with 131 voting for, 431 voting against it and 35 abstaining.


EU Lawmakers Rubber Stamp Top EU Priority List for Energy Infrastructure


Fossil FuelsClimate

For immediate release: 22 February 2022

Contact: Frida Kieninger (EN, DE, ES, FR), [email protected], mobile: +32 (0) 487 24 99 05

Brussels – MEPs in the EU Parliament’s Energy Committee today voted with a large majority in favor of the Union List of Projects of Common and Mutual Interest (commonly known as the PCI list), a move that could lock in continued fossil fuel dependence. 

The PCI list is a top EU priority list for energy infrastructure, drafted by the EU Commission with considerable influence from the fossil gas transport industry (ENTSO-G). 

This 6th PCI list is the first list under renewed rules since the updated Trans European Networks for Energy (TEN-E) Regulation entered into force, which was allegedly crafted to exclude fossil gas projects from eligibility.

Ahead of the vote, close to 60 civil society groups from across Europe have called on EU parliamentarians to reject the PCI list: “These projects risk becoming stranded assets while helping the fossil fuel industry to stay rich by selling false solutions.” 

Projects on the 6th PCI list voted today include large-scale hydrogen projects that would transport fossil-based hydrogen. The projects were approved for inclusion even though they lack an analysis of life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions as well as an assessment of infrastructure needs for priority uses of hydrogen. All 68 hydrogen projects have been submitted by the fossil fuel industry.

The list also includes more than a dozen CO2 transport projects to boost a European carbon capture and storage (CCS) market. CCS is a technology that has been widely criticized for repeated failures to actually permanently store CO2 or reduce climate pollution. CCS has been strongly supported by fossil fuel companies that  claim industry emissions can eventually be removed in the future.

MEPs backed two particularly problematic fossil gas pipeline plans on the PCI list: the Melita TransGas pipeline between Malta and Sicily, as well as the multi-billion EastMed pipeline from offshore Cyprus to Greece.

“The PCI list is supposed to represent our common interests, but this is a fossil fuel industry wishlist of false solutions and failed technologies like hydrogen and so-called carbon capture,” said Frida Kieninger, Director of EU Affairs at Food & Water Action Europe.   

“PCI projects will benefit not only from eligibility for EU tax money but also from faster permitting procedures and environmental impact assessments. And some of them are explicitly fossil fuel projects; two particularly problematic and contested fossil gas projects in Malta and Cyprus – the EastMed and Melita TransGas pipelines – have  been greenlighted by decision makers.” 

The objection to the 6th PCI list has been dismissed by ITRE MEPs, with 50 MEPs against, 11 MEPs supporting the objection and 2 abstentions. During the March 11-14 session in Strasbourg, a PCI list objection will be voted on by the EU Parliament plenary.

EU Commission publishes ‘PCI List’ with hydrogen infrastructure costing over €50 billion

Important climate, supply and demand questions remain unanswered 

Brussels, 28 November – The EU PCI list published by the EU Commission today is heavily titled towards large-scale hydrogen transport projects backed by the fossil fuel industry – raising serious concerns about the high costs and limited climate benefits of the projects due to leaks, fossil-based hydrogen and failure of the CCS technology which is needed to generate ‘blue’ hydrogen. 

The PCI list, also called ‘Union list of projects of common interest and projects of mutual interest’, includes 68 hydrogen transport and storage projects, which is in stark contrast to only 17 electrolyser projects that would generate hydrogen. 

All of the hydrogen transport projects on the list were submitted by the fossil gas industry. This comes as little surprise, given the revised TEN-E regulation failed to address the blatant conflict of interest built into the selection rules for Projects of Common and Mutual Interest (PCIs and PMIs). According to the regulation, ENTSO-G, the European network of the fossil gas transport industry, has a central role in assessing the projects and generating scenarios for infrastructure needs. Over three quarters of the projects on the final draft list were submitted by ENTSO-G members, the very same organization involved in making the PCI List selection rules.

Projects included on the PCI list are considered ‘top EU priority’, benefit from accelerated permitting procedures and might receive public funding.

A Food & Water Action Europe analysis based on industry information from the latest Ten-Year-Network-Development-Plan for gas shows that building the 68 hydrogen transport projects on the list alone would cost at least €50 billion, with further €22 billion operation costs in the next 20 years. Given a third of the projects have been submitted without public cost figures, the cost for building and operating all 68 hydrogen transport projects could amount to up to €100.

These costly projects have not been subject to any independent climate impact assessment, nor to a detailed assessment of infrastructure needs for scarce, costly hydrogen flows to priority uses only. 

The EU risks supporting the build-out of an oversized, inefficient and unneeded hydrogen grid at the request of the fossil gas lobby. Instead of helping the gas transport industry sustain their business model via hydrogen, we need an infrastructure plan adapted to realistic uses and supply of hydrogen, and to exclude all projects transporting fossil fuel-based hydrogen”, said Frida Kieninger, Director of EU-Affairs at Food & Water Action Europe.

The PCI list will now be submitted to the EU Parliament and the Council for scrutiny in the form of a delegated act. The Council and the European Parliament can tacitly or explicitly approve the delegated act, or reject it, which will happen in early 2024.

Fossil fuel lobbyists undermining energy crisis measures across Europe


Fossil FuelsClimate

Brussels, 25 October 2023 – Lobbyists for the fossil fuel industry have successfully pressed governments and the EU to undermine measures meant to reduce household bills, protect people from energy poverty and tax windfall profits during the energy crisis, new research from the Fossil Free Politics campaign and national partners shows. 

Case studies from Italy, Spain, the Czech Republic, the UK and at the EU level in Brussels has revealed that the oil and gas companies profiting from the energy crisis have lobbied to weaken and delay windfall taxes, scupper protections for households struggling to pay, and even get clearance for new drilling.

Chloé Mikolajczak, Fossil Free Politics coalition co-ordinator said: “Europe’s addiction to fossil fuels has created this energy crisis, and the companies most responsible are lobbying to claw even more profit from it at the expense of households struggling to pay the skyrocketing bills. Asking oil companies to advise on this crisis is like asking a fox to consult on henhouse design. Politicians have a responsibility to protect people – from climate breakdown, and from corporate greed – so they have to put a firewall between their decisions and the companies behind this destruction.”

The research comes as the calls for a firewall between the fossil fuel industry and climate and energy policymaking become louder. Members of the European Parliament, from four political groups, today launched a new pledge for fossil free politics in Europe, with the aim of gathering more signatures towards the elections, and over 100 civil society organisations and trades unions published a declaration calling for the same. This comes after 100,000 signed a petition to kick the fossil fuel industry out of politics.

Key findings of the research

In Italy, where the government has appointed a fossil fuel lobbyist as an advisor, oil and gas giant ENI has used the crisis to secure more drilling and new liquified gas terminals. 

In the Czech Republic, energy giant EPH used public threats, a powerful media empire and ties to the ruling political party to delay and weaken the windfall tax on excess profits. 

In the UK, fossil fuel lobby group Offshore Energies UK used privileged access, parliamentary receptions and special advisory groups to ensure the windfall tax is weakened and full of loopholes. 

In Spain, energy companies Endesa, Naturgy and Iberdrola have used a complex web of political, legal and PR manoeuvres, including a series of employees moving to or coming from Spain’s top legal civil servants, to fight measures that curb their profits and to make vulnerable families bear the financial burden instead of them. 

At EU-level, oil and gas lobby group International Association of Oil & Gas Producers has lobbied – and been invited to advise – the European Commission, pushing for more fossil gas and other technologies to extend gas’s lifetime like unproven carbon capture or hydrogen infrastructure, advice that will keep bills high and Europe hooked on fossil fuels.

Follow Fossil Free Politics at: 

Fossil Free Politics is a European-wide coalition which campaigns for a firewall between the fossil fuel industry and climate policy. It is coordinated by Corporate Europe Observatory, Food and Water Action Europe, Friends of the Earth Europe, Global Witness and Greenpeace EU.

EU Transparency Register: 461250348032-23

Fossil Fuel Industry Steps Up Pressuring to Weaken Methane Rules


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As the EU legislative process moves on, polluters push to undermine progress 

Brussels, May 5, 2023 – Ahead of the European Parliament’s plenary vote on the EU Methane Regulation due on May 9, climate activists are denouncing the fossil fuel industry’s fierce campaign to weaken proposed European Union rules addressing methane pollution.

The European Commission’s proposed regulations were watered down before a vote in December. Now the European Parliament prepares to cast votes, the polluters’ lobby has been working to make sure the rules remain weak.

Among the main players were Eurogas, an EU fossil gas association, which has repeatedly stressed the need to weaken key aspects such as provisions related to monitoring methane emissions, leak detection and repair (LDAR), and thresholds for venting. More information about lobbying activities on the EU methane file can be found on the Influence Map’s Methane Platform.

These attempts to weaken the text of the regulation are now in danger of once again being reflected in the amendments tabled by MEPs on the right side of the European Parliament ahead of the plenary vote. Additionally, a  recent article published by der Standard documented how the amendments presented by some Member States before the adoption of the EU Council position in December corresponded almost exactly to the demands formulated by large energy companies. 

Of particular concern are the measures related to cutting methane emissions associated with coal. On this point, the Polish coal industry succeeded in heavily diluting the methane legislative proposal. The joint report adopted by the European Parliament’s ITRE (Energy) / ENVI (Environment) committees on April 26 is weaker on coal than the European Commission’s initial proposal. 

As a result of lobbying activities by the Polish coal industry, the European Parliament is proposing to relax the Commission’s proposal allowing coal mines to release additional greenhouse gas emissions. Polish mining companies, owning several mines (some of which are not emitting methane), could easily comply with the regulation through accounting tricks rather than any actual methane reductions.

Enrico Donda, Gas Campaigner with Food & Water Action Europe, released the following statement:

“Corporate interests are working hard to undermine what could be real progress on reducing methane pollution. Although the committee vote was a step in the right direction, climate advocates are concerned about these coal rules, in addition to the fossil fuel industry’s lobbying to further weaken the text in the next legislative stages”. 


“The EU bloc is among the largest fossil fuel importers in the world. It is estimated that between 75-90% of the methane emissions caused by EU fossil fuel consumption occur outside our borders. So we cannot afford to implement feeble provisions and half-baked solutions. An ambitious final text – not one with the fossil fuel industry’s fingerprints all over it – is vital to give us a chance to limit near-term warming while focusing on the need to phase out fossil fuels”.  



Enrico Donda, Gas Campaigner, Food & Water Action Europe (FWAE) [email protected], +32 485 187 523