The truth about Russia’s war: Our addiction to oil gives Putin power

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is alarming and wrong — recognized by governments across the political spectrum as a dangerous assault on peace and stability.

How sad, then, that some columnists here in the United States are using it as an opportunity to spin up a partisan attack on the Biden administration’s energy policy.

Instead of recognizing the reality that the world’s addiction to fossil fuels empowers Putin, these columnists are making the bizarre claim that more clean energy is somehow to blame for Russian aggression.

But facts are stubborn things. The truth is, U.S. oil production is near record levels — which did nothing to stop Putin. For better or worse, the Biden administration has issued new permits for drilling on federal lands at a faster clip than the notoriously pro-oil Trump administration.

Oil and gas are no longer profitable to produce

If you’re not satisfied with the current level of U.S. oil and gas production, blame investors, not the Biden administration.

At the end of 2020, more than half of the already-sold federal leases are sitting untapped by the domestic oil and gas industry because even at the recent global price spike of $100 a barrel, it’s not profitable for oil and gas companies to significantly ramp up production. The bottom line is that most investors lost money on U.S. oil and gas development over the last 10 years, and they’re not enthusiastic about losing more.

The truth about Russia’s war: Our addiction to oil gives Putin power Click To Tweet

So let’s not pretend that the pain Americans are currently feeling at the pump (I paid $4.35 a gallon just yesterday) is due to anything other than a senseless and illegal war and market economics at work.

Biden is speeding our energy independence

How many times must we experience the geopolitical havoc that dependence on oil plays on our nation’s economy before we begin to seriously consider whether it’s time to use electricity to power our cars and trucks instead of oil?

Electric vehicles are coming into the market to satisfy virtually every ground-based transportation need, from family-friendly SUVs to pickup and delivery trucks. The Biden administration and congressional leaders are working to significantly increase purchase and manufacturing incentives that will bring down costs and ramp up domestic production, including domestic production of the minerals necessary to keep this progress going.

In the past, we were forced to deal with the problems of global oil supply. No longer. That’s real energy independence!

With a switch to EVs, Putin’s leverage is lost

Accelerating the transition to electric vehicles won’t immediately help with the price spike we’re experiencing today, of course, but it sure as heck can make a big difference in the years ahead.

Today, Russia provides 10% of the world’s oil. You want to make that oil worthless? Show Putin you don’t need it. That’s what accelerating the transition to a clean energy future will do — and it’s exactly what this administration has been championing from Day One.

It’s the right course of action for our long-term national energy security, the climate and our environment.

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