Since becoming Special Envoy for Eurasian energy in 2009, Richard L. Morningstar has had a lot on his plate. He has been making a business argument for many of the big energy projects in Europe, during a time when money has been dwindling because of the global recession. Morningstar realizes that it’s all about economics. To create an efficient way to transport energy throughout Eurasia there must be a way for businesses to make a profit, he explained in a speech given last year. Big projects are overwhelmingly expensive. Energy markets are uncertain. The full impact of the financial crisis is still unfolding. Finding financing for projects will be more difficult than ever.

“And that implies, in the short to mid-term, that the smart approach to energy security, particularly for specific countries or regions, may be local and incremental: an approach that focuses on getting the most out of existing infrastructure and opportunities,” he said. Secretary Clinton appointed Morningstar to support the United States’ energy goals in the Eurasian region, including key energy issues relating to Europe, Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, Central Asia and the Caucasus. Since his appointment he has provided the Secretary with strategic advice on policy issues relating to development, transit, and distribution of energy resources in Eurasia.

His previous job was working on regional energy issues during the Clinton Administration. He also served as United States ambassador to the European Union from June 1999 to September 2001. He received his B.A. from Harvard in 1967 and J.D. from Stanford Law School in 1970. In addition, Morningstar is pushing for cooperation on key energy issues through the newly-created EU-US Energy Council. Two of these strategic issues are: security of supply and advancing clean energy technologies and efficiency programs. He is also focused on connecting existing gas and electric power networks and building gas storage capacity, which needs very little new investment. Meanwhile, the EU has committed several billion euros to investment in these facilities. The EU is also moving forward on greening its economy through improving energy efficiency, investing in renewables, and liberalizing energy markets. Yet demand will outstrip supply if new infrastructure isn’t built. Large, dedicated pipelines are needed, he said. And with over a dozen projects in the offing it seems as though there will be many more pipelines. The key will be for the U.S. and Europe to look out for each other’s energy security - our economies depend on it.