I’m not the first person to note that whatever Democrats accuse their opponents of doing, it is they, in fact, who are doing it. If you are puzzled why the Biden Administration scotched the Keystone Pipeline but gave a thumbs up on the Russian Nord Stream 2 pipeline to Germany, perhaps this explanation will help. Under the banner of “green energy” to control emissions, Germany began shutting down the cleanest emitting power stations: nuclear. In 2000, nuclear had a 29.5 percent share of its power generation mix. In 2020 that share dropped to 11.4 percent and next year every one of its nuclear plants is scheduled to be shut down.
Where will the lost energy generation come from? Russia. Do you think that this will place Germany increasingly at the mercy of Russia? I do, and it’s not just Germany.
Platts Analytics said Russian pipeline gas supply to northwest, central and eastern Europe, and Italy would rise from around 130 Bcm/year in 2020 to around 150 Bcm/year by 2040.
Does it look to you as it does to me, that the green energy/climate change movement is but a means to increase the political fortunes of China and Russia while weakening the West?
For years the U.S. has fought construction of this pipeline.
In December 2019, then-president Trump approved sanctions against any company assisting in the development of this pipeline into Western Europe. Congress included those sanctions in the defense bill, agreeing that this is a security risk.
In January, President Biden pulled the permit for the Keystone XLPipeline from Canada to the U.S., killing 10,000 mostly unionized building trade jobs.
The move certainly created bad relations with Canada but it made green proponents happy:
Even with the possibility of strained international relationships and possible legal challenges, Biden’s move made environmental activists ecstatic. The drive to kill the pipeline, which would have transported oil from Western Canada to refineries in the U.S. Midwest and Gulf Coast, became a defining issue for a new generation of environmental groups. Pipeline activists, along with Native American tribes and landowners angry over pipeline developer TC Energy’s plans to route the pipeline through their property, had been fighting the project since almost as soon as it was unveiled.
This week, Biden waived sanctions against firms constructing the pipeline in Germany.
The rationale for doing so is so absurd on its face that analysis of it seems unnecessary:
Secretary of State Antony Blinken opted to waive sanctions against the Russian-owned company behind the pipeline, Nord Stream 2 AG, as well as its German CEO, Matthias Warnig, and other corporate officers, because sanctions "would negatively impact U.S. relations with Germany, the EU and other European allies and partners," said the State Department report, which was obtained by NBC News.
Warnig, a longtime ally of Putin's, is a former East German Stasi intelligence officer who has served on the supervisory boards of major Russian companies.
The State Department report said "close cooperation" with Germany, the European Union and other European countries will be critical for U.S. efforts to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic, promote a global economic recovery, fight climate change and address other challenges, including countering "malign behavior by Russia and China."
Robbie Jaeger, writing for the Medium, has a more believable explanation -- money from a Nord Stream 2 lobbyist to Democrats.
According to FEC records, Vincent Roberti -- one of D.C.’s most powerful lobbyists, and owner of his own firm, Roberti Global -- has donated nearly $545,000 to Democratic Party institutions and candidates since 2017, while also bundling nearly $250,000 more. During that same timeframe, Roberti has been paid over $7,700,000 by Nord Stream 2 AG -- a Swiss-based company that is 100% owned by Gazprom, the Russian state-owned oil giant in charge of the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline project (which the Biden administration will reportedly waive sanctions on).
According to OpenSecrets.org (Center For Responsive Politics), Roberti donated $512,680 exclusively to Democratic institutions such as the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) and candidates such as Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Rep. Eric Swalwell, and numerous others from 2017 to 2020 -- and continues to do so this year, where the K-Street powerhouse has already spent $31,900 funding Democrats up for re-election in 2022, most notably maxing out ($5,800) Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
During the 2018 midterm election cycle, Roberti, who started lobbying for Nord Stream 2 in July 2017, donated $72,300 to the DCCC, and $17,475 to their Senatorial counterpart, the DSCC. Roberti also donated the then-maximum $5,400 to Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Rep. Eric Swalwell. In the run up to the 2020 election, Roberti stepped his game up: he donated $171,000 to the DCCC, $71,000 to the DSCC, and $46,100 to Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s “Victory Fund”. Roberti also made the maximum individual contribution to Pelosi’s campaign and leadership PAC, as well as roughly a dozen other Democratic candidates.
How odd that the press made so much of the nonexistent Russian Collusion fable respecting Trump has spent no time on the connection to Biden’s ignoring national security issues respecting Nord Stream 2.
Perhaps an investigation might also show that Burisma’s corruption had a connection as well. As long as Ukraine energy was bottled up there, Nord Stream 2 was a more urgent need for Europe. Burisma holds 35 licenses for hydrocarbon production in Ukraine’s main oil and gas basins but produced just 1.3 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas in 2018, up from 0.1 bcm in 2010. Ukraine’s total gas reserves have been estimated at 5.4 trillion cubic meters and I assume the majority of it is under license to Burisma.
Ukraine gas production is underperforming, though slightly improving, and it’s importing 80% of its gas from elsewhere.
I suppose there could be many reasons for this low production -- including embezzlement, lack of resources for development, loss of Crimea to Russia, and incompetence -- but one worth investigating is whether contributions to Ukrainian and Burisma officials were made a while ago to limit production. The Ukrainian petroleum industry is “rife with corruption.” It’s speculation on my part, of course, but it doesn’t seem that would be a first time here or there.
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