Bernie's Greener New Deal: Putin's Dream

Anyone looking at Bernie Sanders's $16.3 billion greener new deal, touted so respectfully in the pages of the New York Times, ought to have his head examined.

Not only is it insanely expensive - effectively amounting to a government takeover of the U.S. economy when combined with Sanders' other schemes as John Merline noted at Issues & Insights, here.

It's also exactly what Vladimir Putin has always been hankering for for the U.S.

Such a strategicly useful gift, coming from the man who spent his honeymoon in the old Soviet Union. It's as if that old Soviet-lust still burns within him.

Because right now, Russia's biggest strategic challenge is the U.S. fracking revolution. That's the very thing Sanders is targeting in favor of "publicly owned" "cleaner" energies under his new proposal. Fracking is what Sanders has in his gunsights with his greener new deal and the U.S. just happens to be the number one producer of energy worldwide because of it. Not Russia. Not Saudi Arabia. The king of energy production now is the U.S. and for Putin, that stings.

Worse still, this fracking revolution has made the U.S. energy-independent and set the stage for its current buoyant economy. The U.S. is now the largest oil and gas producer in the entire world. Gone are the days when Putin's favorite pawn, the late Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, could roil markets by threatening to cut off oil to the U.S., or the old Soviet Union's Arab allies could put out an embargo to raise oil prices, as they did in the 1970s. Based on fracking, that can't happen now. Today, Venezuela imports U.S. petroleum products. The U.S. now exports to others and next year will be a net exporter, holding the leverage that the petrotyrants of the aughts once held and flaunted. The U.S. doesn't need its oil, or anyone else's. It all makes fracking the glory of the U.S. economy,  upending the reign of the petrotyrants and making the U.S. call the shots.

Which brings us back to Bernie and what he's really trying to accomplish. His greener energy scheme is a godsend to the likes of Putin, who longs to restore his country's energy dominance. His energy of course is the real kind -- oil, gas, coal -- not the green schemes, which are spectacularly inefficient, hugely costly, and deeply reliant on real energy to keep them afloat - whether through backup generators when the wind dies down or the sun fails to show, or through coal and natural gas plants that must supply green vehicle-charging stations. Green energy can only stand on a foundational barrel of oil and it still does. Fracking threatens Putin's monopoly on it by putting him out of business. Green schemes amount to a gift. No wonder Putin has poured millions of dollars into green activist groups in Europe to ensure that they promote that green focus in order to detract the continent from its need for authentic energy self-sufficiency that oil guarantees and stay dependent on buying oil from Russia. These flimsy schemes have that virtue-signalling aroma, but they always fail - and drive up real energy prices, leaving Europe cold in winter, hot in summer, and, utterly dependent on the kindly good will of Russia to sell. There's no reason to think he wouldn't like that here - and might even be pouring money into green groups to ensure it happens. 

At a minimum Bernie's doing what Putin wants with his green scheme - proposing to destroy the oil industry in favor of green failures -- and leaving the U.S. once again dependent on petrotyrants.

It's frankly a gift to Putin, who dreams of restoring the old Soviet Union. No wonder so many Soviet nostalgists in that country have such a soft spot for Bernie. They did in 2016, and they sure as heck do now. 

Image credit: DonkeyHotey, via Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0

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