The United States and Europe both require stable sources of energy in massive quantities. This necessity for energy is also a vulnerability for the West.

The OPEC oil embargo of 1973 was the weaponization of oil by Arab nations to control the actions of the United States in the Middle East. Those oil-controlling nations were angry with the support of the United States, South Africa, and Portugal gave to Israel during the 1973 Arab Israeli War. To punish those nations, OPEC cut the supply of oil and manufactured chaos in the domestic markets of their civilian consumers.

In the United States, there were gasoline shortages and rationing. The U.S. government reacted by encouraging domestic energy production and conservation measures. Those required solutions took a long time to deliver, but today the country is in strong shape to resist energy blackmail.

That is not the case for Western Europe today. They are in a similar position to Russia that the U.S. was with OPEC in the 1970s.

Rep.William Keating of Massachusetts is the new chair of the House subcommittee that handles European and Russian energy issues and how they impact America. In this capacity, he has introduced a bill to strengthen the bond between the Atlantic allies of NATO along the lines of energy production and consumption.

Russia has long weaponized its grip on energy through Europe,” said Congressman Keating. “In the face of growing threats to our security and that of our allies, we need to stand together as part of a strong and unified coalition. This bill is a major step forward in helping our European partners lessen Russian influence over the energy sector while also fostering EU-US cooperation, private investment, and low-carbon pathways. Winning solutions for our allies, our economies, and our climate are available, and this bipartisan, bicameral legislation works to advance them.”

In the tradition of American foreign policy, the bill is a bipartisan effort and was introduced by Democrat Congressman Keating in partnership with Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger of Illinois.

As the Russians attempt to strategically increase their share of the European energy market, it is important for the United States to counter their moves. This bipartisan effort by the House is good for Europe and good for America.

Chris McCarthy is the host of The Chris McCarthy Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @Chris_topher_Mc. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author. 

More From WBSM-AM/AM 1420