Right after I had started my own business in 2011 I started thinking about ways how to support the establishment of LNG as a fuel in my own home country Austria. In quite a chaotic, disorganized way I must confess.
In 2017, I teamed up with a friend and energy trader and together we founded LNG Austria, a non-profit citizen collective that works to help the introduction and expansion of LNG as a fuel in and around Austria. It was the successor of “energy Austria 2020”, a private initiative that I created in 2013 for a very similar reason but which at the time did not have legal personality.
The other reason for the name change was that energy Austria 2020 mixed political ambitions with the overall LNG objective due to some founding members background. I was never comfortable with that as I never vied for politics but only wanted to engage with politicians of all stripes to further my objectives. It was time to give this effort a proper legal structure and also adapt the mission using the experiences from the years prior to LNG Austria.
It was not all easy going but the expertise we won in the meantime is priceless. And we have made decision-makers in politics, the press and the economy aware of the potential for LNG use and almost got the excise tax rate lowered to CNG level but then the Austrian government collapsed due to the biggest political scandal of the Second Republic.
Now the hard slog starts in earnest as we help lawmakers reform their partly nonsensical laws and regulations. A time-consuming process that’s fraught with numerous pitfalls. And in order to make sure that we are fully independent of any undue outside influence, we have changed the structure of LNG Austria to an organization that does not accept corporate money od any kind. Only private citizens may apply for membership and they all have to comply with a strict set of rules guaranteeing absolute independence. This allows us to apply maximum pressure to any government and also any corporate entity if that is what is required.
LNG Austria is a true to form frontline fighter and won’t shy away from uncomfortable situations if this is what we need to go through to fulfill our objective.