Fueling The Flame: Russian Energy

When President Trump left office, thanks to his realistic, positive, pro-American growth oil and natural gas policies (among others) the United States of America was energy independent.  On his first day in office, to much bravado and fanfare, President Biden, purely out of big-boy self-aggrandizing, jealousy-based, myopic political posturing, slammed that increased production door shut, and from that day forward insured that our nation would become energy de-pendent.

Along with cancelling the southern wall construction, opening our border there wide open to a flood of migrants from around the world (pro-terrorism types likely included), and his disastrous, politically-driven, seemingly ‘instant’ departure from Afghanistan, immediately handing that nation over to the Taliban, the Biden administration’s detrimental anti-America fossil fuel policies have also humbled the nation, eroding our world leadership and respect standing, so that now we find ourselves increasingly politically and economically out-maneuvered, if not in some ways dominated, by both Russia and China, and let’s add Iran to that worrisome mix, while North Korea continues to fire off long-range missiles in ‘test’ after test thankfully, so far, hitting noting of value.

To keep American homes and manufacturers operating, in short order, we have gone from self-sufficient fuel-supplier-nation status, to foreign fuel supply customer, supplementing our own politically-diminished output with fuel from Russia, yes, Russia, the Middle East OPEC nations, and likely others, in this totally unnecessary national power-generation embarrassment.

You’ll recall on Mr. Biden’s first day, anxious to remove the lingering odor and alure of energy success created by President Trump, he outright canceled the Keystone XL pipeline, while side-stepping (passively agreeing with) Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline (primary future customer: Germany), and effectively stopped additional productive oil and natural gas leases on federal land and within federal waters.  Recalled South Dakota’s Republican Governor Kristi Noem: “When he (Biden) cancelled the Keystone pipeline on day-one of his presidency, he sent a clear message to Putin: You go ahead. Develop your energy supply; make sure that the rest of Europe and the United States is more unstable.  From the very day he got into the White House – he gave Putin all the power.”

And speaking of power, fossil fuel power, take a look at Russia’s stout supplies of its own oil, gas, and coal.  “Russia mines 800-million tons of coal each year, but uses (internally) only 300.  Russia produces 11-million barrels of oil per day, but only uses 3.4-million; and over 700-billion cubic meters of gas a year, but only uses around 400-billion.”  And that’s how, reportedly, “Russia ends up supplying about 20% of Europe’s oil, 40% of its gas, and 20% of its coal.”

European Union-wide, by 2021, almost 47% of the natural gas needed and used by those nations came from Russia!  And how, then, did Western European nations end up becoming so dependent on power-plant fuel sources from Russia?  Well, with leftist joy, they got sucked into the whole green energy uber-alas pipe-dream-machine, the same Progressive charade to which vulnerable souls in America are tragically succumbing. Or as one writer put it: “Those countries (European) are in the grips of a delusional ideology (‘green’) that makes them incapable of understanding the hard realities of energy production.”

In Germany, for instance, the energy dominoes began to fall when that nuclear-power-heavy nation began shutting down its nuclear facilities in favor of unreliable renewables like solar and wind, after which reality hit, and they began to rely more and more on Russia for help in supplying their basic power needs.  “In hindsight, that decision by Germany appears both foolish and ironic.  Foolish because Germany has lost its negotiating power (pun intended) with Russia for which it relies.  It’s ironic because the country already had ‘clean energy’ but now must turn back to dirty energy to avoid blackouts.” By the way, American oil and natural gas are considered to be the ‘cleanest’ versions of those two power sources vs. what’s being exported today from other world countries. And, it bears reminding and repeating, that nuclear power is the only sensible, efficient, and reliable source of ‘clean energy’ available in today’s world.  But, of course, erroneously, nuclear power is never on any decision-maker’s power-choice chart, despite the fact that far more feasible (cost and space needed) modular-sized reactors are now commercially available.

”Greens, as you know, claim, erroneously, that we don’t need nuclear, and we don’t need fracking.”  Except that we do!  You won’t soon forget apparent one-track-mind, John Kerry, America’s official climate monitor who, as Russia began its invasion of Ukraine, warned and worried the most that the world’s attention would shift from climate issues to, well, imagine that, concern about loss of life, destruction, and when/where will the Ukraine combat end, when Kerry’s chief concern was that climate change must remain top of mind and not be overshadowed by…oh, combat!

That noise you hear, Mr. Kerry, is reality knocking. While the Russian invasion continues, and the remaining world worries about our future, with Putin now raising the nuclear weapon prospect, understandably, any and all climate worries take a well-deserved back-seat to international real-world concerns, as they should. The so called ‘carbon footprints’ have, by force of brutal reality, given way to footprints imprinted in blood on the ground by both murdered combatants and innocent civilians, alike.

Since 2021, according to a recent Forbes Magazine report, “Russia is the United States top source of imported gasoline and other refined petroleum products.” But why are we importing when we have enormous fossil fuel resources in the ground within our own nation?  For instance, one massive oil field in America is estimated to have over 500-billion barrels below the surface, and that’s just one of our several drilling sources. This specific area (western 2/3 of North Dakota + western South Dakota, + extreme eastern Montana) is known as the Bakken, “the largest domestic oil discovery since Alaska’s Prudhoe Bay and has the potential to eliminate all American dependence on foreign oil.” Read that last powerful, futures quote again: Eliminate our dependence on foreign oil.  Taking us back to the type of fuel status that President Trump was delivering.  And one more incredible statement: “We have more oil inside our borders than all the other proven reserves on Earth.”!!  Official estimates: 8 times as much oil as Saudi Arabia, 22 times as much oil as Iran, etc.

So, then, why can’t we increase our drilling and get back to the goal of being energy self-sufficient, which will never come from current renewables (except perhaps nuclear)?  Answer: Progressive political pressure on the White House.  OK, then why can’t we stop buying Russian oil, given that country’s senseless invasion of free, independent Ukraine? Progressive political pressure, and mostly, on this one, it appears, political pressure within the White House itself. Rumors that Russian may actually be involved in U.S. nuclear power treaty negotiations with Iran. Which is certainly troublesome, if true.

Sit down for this one.  Reportedly, “we currently pay Russia in the vicinity of $70-million per day for oil imports”!!!  “In 2021, the U.S. imported an average of 209,000 barrels per day of crude oil, and 500,000 barrels per day of other petroleum products from Russia.”  In response, said Arkansas Republican Senator Dan Sullivan: “If Canada can ban imports of oil from Russia, and if the citizens of Ukraine can stand up to Russian tanks, President Joe Biden can buck the left flank of his party that opposes increasing domestic energy production and increase the production of energy in the United States, and block the importing of oil from Russia. We need to produce more American energy and we shouldn’t be importing any Russian oil right now.”  Echoed West Virginia’s Democrat Senator Joe Manchin: “You cannot be the superpower of the world if you have to depend on other nations to produce your energy.  We have to have energy independence.”

“Those who want to shut down every (U.S.) coal and natural gas plant ignore that fossil fuels supply 60% of America’s electricity.”  Reinforcing that reality and the potential for energy independence once again, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) has just introduced a bill in the Senate, the Energy Freedom Act, with the goal of returning America to energy independence.  “In the past year, with Joe Biden as president, the United States has lost its status as a net petroleum exporter, after achieving that goal in 2019 for the first since 1949,” said Cruz. He continued: “This bill won’t cost taxpayers a dime, but it will provide the United States with billions in revenue in the coming years, by expediting permitting, leasing safe new pipelines, and exports, and providing much needed regulatory certainty.  It would put a stop to the Biden administration’s sabotage of the American energy industry, and Congress should take it up without delay.”

Hopefully Congressional reality can override the political brick wall, currently existing both there among myopic Progressives, and within the White House, to both cease our embarrassing purchase of Russian oil at this critical time (when doing so further finances and enables the Russian invasion flame), while also moving aggressively to return the United States to power-generation self-reliance, when it comes to satisfying our own national energy requirements.

UPDATE:   With European Union nations having swallowed the ‘Green’ kool-aid, shutting down their dependable nuclear power resources in favor of non-dependable renewables, on top of now pulling away from Russian oil and natural gas, they are being driven back, in part, to the ‘dirty fuel”… coal!  The advantage is that, reportedly, natural gas-powered energy plants can fairly easily transition back to coal.  The disadvantage, since Russia is also a major coal supplier, is that the European nations may now have to rely on far away Australia, “one of the world’s top exporters of coal,” for the emergency fuel needed to power many of their energy plants (shipping costs!!).  Quite an ironic-turn-around, going from the cleanest renewable (nuclear), to coal, one of the least desirable fuels in today’s seemingly Progressively-dominated world.


(Noem quote via breitbart.com, Trent Baker, 2-23-22; Russian annual mining and drilling production figures, supply to European nations, & quotes via dailymail.com, Michael Shellenberger, 3-1-22; Shutting down Germany’s nuclear plants quote via breitbart.com, Penny Starr, 2-28-22; Russia top source of U.S. gasoline imports via foxbusiness.com, Michael Lee, 2-27-22; Oil resources within our borders quotes via U.S. Geological Survey Releases Oil and Gas Assessment, usgs.gov, Staff, 2-27-22;  Fossil  fuels dominant source of U.S. power quote via realclearenergy.org, Matthew Kandrach, 3-1-22;  Amount of oil imported and cost per day from Russia via breitbart.com, John Nolte, 3-1-22; Senator Sullivan quote via breitbart.com, Ian Hanchett, 3-3-22; Senator Manchin quote via breitbart.com, Ian Hanchett, 3-2-22; Senator Cruz Energy Freedom Act quotes via breitbart.com, Hannah Bleau, 3-4-22).  UPDATE:  “Unloved Coal Enjoys a Resurgence” data/quote via The Wall Street Journal, Rhiannon Hoyle & Joe Wallace, 3-5-22.