Commentary

Evslin: call the Russian Bear’s bluff

Why hasn’t Putin cut off gas and oil to Europe?

by Tom Evslin

According to this story in the WSJ, Germany will continue to buy gas and oil from Russia.

“Germany and Europe are too dependent on Russian energy imports for power, heating and industrial production to be able to cut trade links with Moscow in the short term, Chancellor Olaf Scholz said in a statement.

“‘Europe’s supply of energy for heating, for mobility, for electricity generation and for the industry can’t be secured otherwise at the moment,’ Mr. Scholz said. Russian energy, he added, was essential for the daily lives of citizens.”

Tom Evslin

Scholz is not exaggerating Europe’s vulnerability. Why, then, hasn’t Putin responded by cutting off oil and gas to Europe or threatening to do so if NATO keeps arming Ukraine? He doesn’t hesitate to slaughter civilians or threaten nuclear war.

The only answer I can think of is that Russia can’t afford to lose the income from these sales. Russia is at least as dependent on this trade as Europe. If this is true, immediately cutting Russian oil and gas sales way back may be an effective way to get Russia out of Ukraine.

Europe has no choice but to make emergency plans for doing without Russian fuel unless it intends to surrender if Putin cuts them off. But Europe needs massive help to turn the oil weapon against Putin. Helping them is our job here in the US. We need to share their pain by sharing – and increasing – our massive domestic supplies of oil, gas, and even coal. We must find a way not to be profiteers as the world price of fuels soars but instead to be the responsible suppliers of last resort.

With our tentative new-found unity and what we’ve learned of courage from the Ukrainians, we can do this. Ending European dependence on Russian fuels within months will be painful and difficult, but not nearly as painful and difficult as the defense of Kyiv. The Russian bear that hasn’t bitten yet tells us that Putin may have to fold once it is clear he isn’t getting this revenue to prop up his kleptocracy.

The author, an author, entrepreneur, former Vermont state cabinet officer, lives in Stowe. He founded NG Advantage, a natural gas truck delivery company. This commentary is republished with permission from his blog, Fractals of Change.

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5 replies »

  1. The EU wind turbines and solar panels couldn’t keep the lights or the heat on….imagine that?

  2. Re: “Ending European dependence on Russian fuels within months will be painful and difficult, …”

    No, it won’t be difficult. It isn’t difficult.

    In fact, we had already achieved this goal little more than a year ago. All we have to do, at least all that those who voted for Biden have to do, is admit their poor judgment, and tell Federal, State, and Local administrators to reinstate all of Trump’s policies, including but not limited to:

    Reinstate the Keystone pipeline and bring back local energy production.
    Reconsider the new technology in nuclear power.
    Close the southern border. Build the wall.
    Maintain Trump’s business deregulation and tax policies.
    Keep Trump’s international trade deals.
    Tell the European NATO folks to carry their own weight.
    And stop catering to Russia, China, and Iran.

    The difficulty rests with convincing our self-righteous neighbors to stop cutting off their noses to spite their collective face. If we don’t go back to these policies, we’ll not survive long enough to offset our contribution to climate change… or what’s left of it after all hell breaks loose.

  3. The Biden Administration has yet to do anything correctly, so why, in the name of political common sense, would they start now? The New Green Deal, which is simply a globalist-secular-religion void of reason, but locked and loaded with hyperbole, has been weaponized against the USA. Global warming may be for real, but we still need to open the Keystone Pipeline to save ourselves as a nation from foreign dependency on oil. Bernie and his hatchet girls, Ocasio-Cortez, Tlaib, Omar and the rest of these anti-American traitors want to destroy us from within. And the Green Deal is right up there with CRT, BDS, BLM and all these other “untouchable” virtue signaling Trojan Horses. If you speak against them, you must be a racist and/or a Republican. Global Warming isn’t going to kill us, but these arrogant PC martinets will.

  4. Europe has bedded down with a dog and now has fleas. Only an idiot (or consortium of idiots) would ever make their country and their country’s future vulnerable to a thug like Putin. Putin almost exclusively controls energy in Europe at this point. He won’t stop with Ukraine either. Green energy hasn’t worked out so well in Europe and it won’t work here either.

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