Why Putin loves the American green

US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — Democrats have made harsh statements against Russia since the moment Donald Trump won the presidential election. But when it comes to challenging Moscow, other progressive priorities seem to always prevail, writes The Wall Street Journal.

Last week, the Danish government unexpectedly quickly issued permission to complete the installation of Nord Stream 2, a pipeline of 1,200 kilometers in length, through which Siberian natural gas will be delivered through the Baltic Sea to the bottom of Germany. This decision refutes the stereotype that Europeans are “green” obsessed with regulation and control. Although the United States wants to sell more of its gas to Europe, Russian fuel is simply cheaper. And a significant share of the blame for this lies with the left, who are waging a regulatory and legal war against American mining companies.

The United States and many European countries oppose the construction of Nord Stream 2, but Berlin has placed its economic interests above collective security. This, in turn, helps Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose domestic position has been shaken by the covid-19 pandemic and falling oil prices. In addition, it gives Putin more opportunities to influence European democracies. According to official data from the European Union, in 2019, Europe received 38 percent of natural gas imports from Russia. The capacity of this new string is 55 billion cubic meters per year, which will allow in the future to double the supply.

Some European countries are willing to pay a higher price so as not to support Putin. In 2019, Russia’s share in Polish gas imports fell to 60 percent, although three years ago it was 89 percent. If Poland gradually increases the volume of imports of liquefied natural gas from Qatar and the United States and abandons the use of Russian pipelines, it will be able to completely abandon Russian gas in just a few years.

The best way to attract more countries to your side is to make American gas more competitive, and this idea is popular with politicians. Joe Biden, who has long opposed fossil fuels but really wants to win in Pennsylvania, said last week that “hydraulic fracturing would not be in jeopardy.” Biden sent different signals during the democratic primaries, so the question is whether he will confront the left who cannot stop the implementation of oil and gas projects by traditional political methods. But their regulatory tactics and lawsuits against fossil mining companies have proven more effective.

After several years of resistance from the Barack Obama administration, President Trump finally approved the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. However, environmentalists challenged in court a permit received in 2017 for the US Army Corps of Engineering. In April, federal judge Brian Morris issued a nationwide order against Keystone XL, as the pipeline allegedly threatens endangered animals. This uncertainty may affect other pipelines.

In July, federal judge James Boasberg demanded the closure of the Dakota Access pipeline, which had been in operation for only three years, in order to verify permission previously issued by the authorities for compliance with environmental standards. Duke Energy and Dominion Energy recently abandoned a nearly 1,000-kilometer Atlantic Coast Pipeline pipeline project, citing ongoing lawsuits by environmentalists. And this project will not be the last. Sure, Putin is very pleased.


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