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Friday, August 19, 2022

How to fuel a global crisis

GREGORY RUSOVICH
Guest Writer
Rusovich@lbknews.com

Russia commits savagery in Ukraine; Iran launches missiles toward a US Consulate in Iraq; Venezuelan dictator Maduro gloats as the US begs him to provide oil; and China encourages the conflict and chaos and threatens Taiwan. We have entered a new era of global conflict pitting freedom and sovereignty against tyranny and hegemony. As history demonstrates, shrewd policies, solid alliances, and true grit can lead to victory, but the enemy’s wickedness should not be underestimated.

Let’s start with some needed policy prescriptions. The war in Ukraine has demonstrated Europe’s dangerous reliance on Russian energy, as well as our own global energy dependence. Putin’s government provided a whopping 40% of the European Union’s natural gas supplies last year. The U.S. has the capability to become Europe’s primary natural gas supplier, but the Biden Administration must unshackle the industry. Currently, the Federal Regulatory Commission (FERC) has made it nearly impossible to build new LNG pipeline capacity in the U.S. The cancellation of the Keystone Pipeline highlights this shortsighted and ideologically driven hostility toward the oil and gas industry by the Administration. Safely unleashing LNG pipeline permits and construction could break Europe’s dependence on Russia and provide a reliable partner for our natural gas exports. And it would be another step toward returning to energy independence for team U.S.A.

It’s no secret that team Biden is bellicose toward the oil and gas industry. In addition to placing a chokehold on new pipelines, the Administration recently put a halt to all drilling on federal lands. Having strangled oil and gas production at home, the Biden Administration has turned to malevolent actors abroad including Iran and Venezuela to fill the gap. Even the United Nations has accused the Venezuelan government under Nicolas Maduro of crimes against humanity. These systemic abuses included arbitrary killings and the ongoing use of torture. Maduro runs Venezuela with a communist iron fist and is virulently anti-American. His allegiances are with fellow tyrannical regimes in Russia, China, Iran, and Cuba.

And while the Biden diplomats negotiate with Iran in Vienna, the mullahs fire missiles toward our U.S. Consulate in Iraq. Part of the new deal being negotiated reportedly includes the U.S. purchasing oil from Iran. To demonstrate the alarm on the Hill over this prospect, the Republican Study Group (RSG) unveiled new legislation to block the U.S. from purchasing oil products from the regime. Our longstanding allies in the Arabic world have also been upended as Iran provides missiles to the Houthis in Yemen which are then launched against civilian populations in Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E. The relationship with our longtime friends has deteriorated so precipitously that leaders of Saudi and the Emirates both snubbed phone calls from Biden. Wouldn’t even take the call!

Meanwhile in Asia, Xi Jinping and the Chinese Communist Party has transitioned China back to a totalitarian state over the last decade. Xi’s illegitimate crackdown of Hong Kong, mass imprisonment of the Uighurs, ongoing military threats against Taiwan, and an insatiable appetite for global domination renders yet another imminent threat to peace and freedom.

Xi knew in advance of Putin’s brutal invasion of Ukraine and decided to issue an unequivocal statement of support for his comrade’s pending actions. “Friendship between the two States has no limits, there are no ‘forbidden’ areas of cooperation,” touted the dictators. So, Xi is a willing accomplice in the current brutality against the Ukrainian people.

We have entered a new phase of global conflict. Ensuring energy independence among free nations can provide a vital national and economic security platform. The latest Rasmussen Reports finds that 70% of Likely U.S. Voters believe the U.S. government should encourage increased oil and gas production. It’s safer and cleaner to explore and produce in America than in Venezuela, Iran or other despotic regimes which could care less about the environment. And the Biden Administration must demonstrate coherence and strength in maneuvering through this new world of global conflict. Any perception of weakness on the part of our current administration emboldens members of the despotic and opportunistic alliance.

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