Standing Up to Putin Means Ditching Net-Zero, by Rupert Darwell

The green agenda forces nations that adopt it to run their economies and defense capabilities with one hand tied behind their back. From Rupert Darwell at realclearenergy.org:

Vladimir Putin’s inflammatory speech, in which he set out his aim to reconstitute the Russian empire and blamed Lenin for its demise, and his decision to back this up with a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, signals the return of geopolitics. Until now, Western leaders have been saying that the biggest threat to the world is climate change. Now comes Putin armed with nuclear weapons, tanks, and thousands of troops declaring his intent to overthrow Europe’s post-Cold War order. The dilemma for the West: you can’t win a geopolitical conflict lasting years or decades with an economy powered intermittently by wind turbines and solar panels.

From the start of the Biden presidency, tensions existed within the administration between geopolitical realists, notably Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and climate hawks led by the president’s climate envoy John Kerry, who saw friendly relations with China as an essential ingredient for any global deal on the environment. Although Blinken’s position that Chinese expansionism is the biggest threat to the interests of the United States now has the upper hand, the administration’s anti-fossil-fuel policies will progressively degrade America’s capacity to prevail against its geopolitical adversaries.

Expanded pipeline infrastructure is critical to American energy security. One of the Biden administration’s first actions was cancelling the license for the Keystone XL pipeline. Thanks to inadequate infrastructure connecting New England to the rest of the country and the century-old Jones Act – requiring that all goods moving by water between American ports travel on ships built, owned, and manned by Americans – the winter of 2018 saw Russian liquefied natural gasbeing brought ashore in Boston Harbor. Currently, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is mulling a climate disclosure rule. The intent is to strengthen the hand of Wall Street and woke institutional investors to impose, in effect, an embargo on investment in domestic oil and gas production. The logic appears to be that domestically produced oil and gas incurs climate risk, whereas imported energy from beyond Wall Street’s writ does not. And just last month, the Pentagon released a net- zero plan for the army, which would see it relying on an all-electric, non-tactical vehicle fleet by 2035.

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