ATHENS – The 2nd Annual Prometheus Energy Lecture of the Graduate Program in Energy: Strategy, Law & Economics of the University of Piraeus was presented recently by Amb. Richard Morningstar at the Laskarides Foundation in Piraeus.
Titled 21st Century Energy Security: The United States, Europe, and Greece, Morningstar’s presentation provided an overview of energy issues and developments in the Balkan region, especially regarding the pipelines under various stages of construction. The talk was situated in the context of U.S. and European interests in the diversification of the latter’s energy supply and the reduction of its dependence on Russian products.
Morningstar noted that the TAP pipeline which transits Greece is 99% complete and that the first liquefied natural gas from the U.S. to Alexandroupolis was delivered last December.
Though acknowledging the United States has economic interests in promoting the sale of its gas, he noted it nevertheless contributes to European energy diversification – an important U.S. national security interest as it strengthens key allies – since LNG from the United States constitutes an additional non-Russian source that will also put downward pressure on the price Europe pays for energy.
U.S. Ambassador to Greece Geoffrey R. Pyatt, who offered some remarks, noted about Balkan and East Mediterranean energy markets that “Greece is a key player; no one should forget that.”
The Chairman of the Department of International and European Studies and the Director of the energy program, Aristotle Tziampiris, delighted the guests who packed the Foundation’s elegant library with a geopolitical re-telling of the myth of Prometheus. The fire he stole from the Gods is a metaphor for the energy sources and ambitions that drive the modern world.
Professor Angelos Kotios, Rector of the University of Piraeus, presented Ambassador Morningstar with an impressive statuette of the titan Prometheus holding the fire. He is the second recipient of the award – Ambassador Pyatt received the first in 2018.