As President Biden enters the Nord Stream 2 conundrum, asserting the pipeline is a "bad deal" for Europe, Gazprom has begun a public campaign extolling the virtues of a pipeline that will help Russia and Europe to meet its most ambitious climate goals.
Elena Burmistrova, head of exports at Russian gas giant Gazprom, said pipeline gas accounted for far fewer emissions than the sea-borne liquefied natural gas, defending Gazprom's main way of exporting gas as it faces increasing competition from super-cooled gas.
Burmistrova said furthermore that it was impossible to ensure the security of Europe's energy system without natural gas. Gazprom accounts for about a third of gas supplies to the European Union. Gazprom Chairman Viktor Zubkov, also reiterated the need to expand the role of gas as a motor fuel for vehicles.
Meeting the most ambitious goal of the 2015 Paris climate agreement -- that CO2 emissions must be reduced to net zero by 2050 -- little room is left for use of fossil fuels, including, of course, natural gas.
The State Department is expected to issue a report to Congress soon on the companies helping Gazprom complete the project, which could add pressure to firms to drop out. Some companies, including Zurich Insurance Group and Norway's risk management and quality assurance firm DNV GL, have dropped work on the project.
Biden opposed Nord Stream while serving a Vice President under Barack Obama. Now, with the stakes considerably higher, Biden has become bolder in his denunciation of the project.