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Commentary: 'Send Message to Putin With Trans-Atlantic Energy Pact'

Bruno Maçães, Portugal's secretary of state for European affairs, writes in the Wall St. Journal that "energy has always been central to creating a trade and investment bloc through the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. If a TTIP agreement can reduce wide differences in energy prices between Europe and the U.S., Europeans will pay less for energy, while American energy producers will finally be able to profit from the recent energy boom by selling at competitive market prices. Trying to artificially hold down prices has heavy costs for domestic producers, encourages consumption, and dampens energy production over time."  

"Yet recent events in Ukraine and Russia have made clear that creating a trans-Atlantic energy market is about more than economic efficiency. Energy cooperation has become an indispensable pillar of the Western security community, which has played a central role in maintaining peace in Europe for more than 60 years."  

The piece continues: "Given recent events in Ukraine, we don't have time to wait for the full trade agreement. Instead, Europe and the U.S. should begin work immediately on a separate charter setting out the main steps for creating a trans-Atlantic energy market. This energy charter could be agreed on and signed in months, having a quick impact on the increasingly critical security crisis."

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