Punish Russia, Increase Energy Exports – AMAC
A huge political problem confronts the Biden White House. It concerns energy. Here is the problem in a nutshell. It is serious, for all of us, and it indicates only one solution.
Russia invaded Ukraine, creating global fear that – without meaningful sanctions against Russia – a new norm would be set, allowing the violent conquest of neighboring states, possibly followed by China.
To prevent this new norm from spreading, short of engaging in a hot war, Western sanctions must be imposed. They must be serious, have teeth, hurt Russia enough for this invasion to be seen as a massive mistake, operationally crippled, the concept of invasion delegitimized and ultimately reversed.
How are you doing that? The only meaningful sanctions against Russia, an economy built around oil, must be on oil. So while Biden and Western leaders have not hitherto targeted the oil sector, they have to.
To avoid the downstream effects of appeasement – which led to World War II – the West must unify and impose sanctions on Russia’s oil sector. It seems almost inevitable, if the message is to stick.
This must happen despite Europe’s dependence on Russian oil and gas, despite Biden’s preoccupation with climate change, and despite his reckless decision to rob America of its energy independence in 2021.
The problem is that, if European countries decide to accept and sanction Russia by boycotting oil and gas, it will require another part of the globe to meet their oil and gas needs, because some of these countries 70% dependent on Russian oil. energy and together they depend on Russia for just under half of their energy needs. See, for example, https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/25/business/economy/russia-europe-sanctions-gas-oil.html; https://www.Reuters.com/business/energy/us-sanctions-russia-not-likely-disrupt-energy-markets-state-dept-official-2022-02-22/.
How then can we help Europe move forward, by meaningfully punishing Russian leadership and illegality? We need to find a source of oil and gas that could be tapped quickly, to export to European allies what they need now, and tap into currently untapped production. See, for example, https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2022-02-25/as-the-ukraine-crisis-mounts-can-the-us-claim-energy-independence.
What is this source? The United States of America, to be blunt. We can do what Trump initiated and what previous presidents have advocated, increase our production of fossil fuels, complete and open the Keystone pipeline, restart hydraulic fracturing, allow drilling, start massive exports to our allies, for the save – and in the process save the integrity of the oil sector sanctions against Russia.
Can the Biden administration and the American private sector do this? Yes. Will we do this? That remains to be seen. So far, no serious sanctions against the Russian oil sector from Biden exist, although they should. So far, fear of rising oil and gas prices and the impacts of climate change seem to be wagging the dog.
The truth is that self-reliance, energy independence, using the God-given oil and gas we have to help support allies, save lives, support human rights, restore law, punishing Russia and creating jobs in the United States just seems like common sense.
Hopefully restarting energy production in the United States will solve Biden’s huge problem. Stepping it up to help allies and secure world peace — is the next step Biden and others are taking. It should be. But if one thing is clear at this point, common sense in the Biden White House is in short supply. Hopefully this is the exception that proves the rule.
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