Sunday, July 11, 2021

Which Side Are They On?

Which side are they on?

That has become a big question as I look at what Joe Biden and the Democrats are doing.

Democrats spent four years trying to argue that Donald Trump was a Russian agent.

It was a ridiculous claim but they persisted in repeating it for the entirety of Trump's Presidency.

Consider that oil and gas revenues are absolutely critical for Russia's economy.

I wrote about this in 2017 when the Democrats were making the Russian collusion claims about Trump early in his term. I pointed out a few key facts that did not support the narrative at that time.

50% of Russia's federal budget comes from oil and tax revenues.

68% of Russia's exports are from oil and gas.

Russia's GDP is 7% of the GDP of the United States.

To put that in context, the United States has more student debt ($1.7 trillion) than the entire GDP of Russia ($1.6 trillion).

Do you think that the price of oil and gas is important to Russia and the political fortunes of Vladimir Putin?

I then posed some questions that led to the obvious answer that Donald Trump was Russia's worst nightmare if you looked at the facts. There was no way that Putin would have preferred Trump over Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Considering everything above, what is the most important factor for Russia's long-term economic well-being?

Higher oil and gas prices.

Of the two candidates running for President, which of the two candidates was more likely to initiate policies that would lead to increased oil and gas prices?

Was it the candidate who wanted to build the Keystone pipeline, lift the Obama moratoriums on drilling on federal lands, lift the restrictions on new drilling technologies, rescind Obama-era EPA rules on drilling and coal and end the excessive regulations of fossil fuels?

All of these positions of Donald Trump would serve to lower oil and gas prices by increasing U.S. and global supply.

Hillary Clinton's policies would have done the exact opposite. In fact, she was on record during the 2016 campaign as saying that "we need to move away from coal and all the other fossil fuels as energy sources".  That was about the same time she was saying she would put all of the coal workers in the United States out of work. She might have thought those statements were in her own self-interest in order to play to her liberal left base of voters. However, it could not have been further from our nation's economic self-interest.

At the same time, if you were sitting in Vladimir Putin's chair, wouldn't those positions be music to your ears? What could be better for Putin than a U.S President who wanted to exorbitantly raise the prices of fossil fuels in order to make green energy projects more viable?

If you reviewed the entire Russian influence story based on simple logic, economic facts and self-interest, why would Vladimir Putin and Russia have any reason to prefer Trump over Clinton?

It just didn't add up in any shape or form when you looked at it from that perspective.

Of course, we now know that the Trump Russian collusion story was a complete fabrication that had its origins with a dossier that was manufactured and paid for by the DNC and the Clinton campaign.

I called the attempts to smear Trump with the Russia collusion story the real Russian scandal in April, 2017 by just looking at facts, data and using some common sense. 

We are now seeing the effects of the policies that Clinton and the Democrats wanted in 2016 before Trump got in the way.

Who is benefiting more from all the restrictions on fossil fuels in the United States right now?

The American people or Russia?

This graphic shows what has happened to gas prices at the pump since the 2020 election.

There is no doubt that some of the oil price increases have been due to increased demand from economic activity picking up as we have come out of the pandemic.

However, the market has unmistakably reacted to the new policies that inhibit the exploration, drilling and transportation of oil and gas.

When Trump left office the United States was actually exporting more oil and gas than it was importing.

A decade ago experts said that this was impossible. We were going to be forever dependent on foreign oil.


Under Biden we are quickly reversing that progress.

United States oil production has fallen by 1.7 million barrels/day since last year at this time.

Who has been the largest beneficiary?


For example, in April, 2018 we imported 7.3 million barrels of oil from Russia.

In April, 2021 (the most recent month reported) we imported 20.6 million barrels from Russia--a three-fold increase from what is was 3 years ago.

Energy analysts predict this trend will continue.

To make matters worse, at the same time that Biden was shutting down construction of the Keystone XL pipeline between Canada and the United States, he was removing sanctions against Russia's Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline from Russia to Europe.


Various sanctions had been put in place by the Trump administration in order to prevent completion of the pipeline that would make Europe more dependent on Russia and also weaken Ukraine.

“Nord Stream 2, if completed, would give Russia the means to completely bypass Ukraine, depriving Ukraine of vital revenues and opening it up to further Russian aggressive actions, while providing the means to use natural resources as a tool of political pressure and malign influence against Western Europe,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement.

The Trump administration also wanted our European allies to buy more liquid natural gas from the United States to benefit natural gas producers in the United States.

Since fracking technology took hold in the last decade the United States has become a huge exporter or liquid natural gas to countries around the world.

It raises a simple question.

Why would the Biden administration shut down a pipeline between the United States and Canada but allow a pipeline to be completed between Russia and Europe?

The Keystone XL pipeline would have benefitted Americans with increased supply of oil for United States refineries for lower cost energy. It would also be more environmentally sound in that the oil would be transported by pipeline rather than by rail cars as it is now which are much more susceptible to spills.

It should also be noted that the company building the Keystone XL pipeline just announced they are filing a $15 billion lawsuit against the Biden administration for damages due to breaching the prior agreement to proceed with construction of the pipeline.


Unfortunately, if the Keystone XL pipeline owners win the lawsuit,  Biden won't have to pay the $15 billion. The American people will.

The Nord Stream 2 pipeline benefits Russia and makes Europe more dependent on Russia. It also will have the effect of limiting the ability of U.S. firms to sell LNG to the European market. Biden is allowing this to proceed.

The cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline will result in higher U.S. energy costs and ultimately result in higher consumer prices and loss of jobs for Americans.

In what reality does any of this make any sense?

It is totally inexplicable to any thinking person.

Which side are they on?

The only conclusion that can be drawn is...

They don't seem to care one iota for Americans.

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