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Op-ed Placement

Biden’s War on Reliable Energy Leaves America With Fewer Foreign Policy Options

Originally Published in Townhall on 2/25/22.

A serious president would look to dynamic solutions to confront a power hungry realist like Vladimir Putin. But Joe Biden has so-far proven to be incapable of leveraging U.S. power abroad, and Kamala Harris is by no means up to the task either.

Since the start of his presidency, Biden has leaned hard into what could be called a radical environmentalist agenda, essentially declaring war on American energy that isn’t wind or solar. We saw this when Biden canceled the Keystone natural gas pipeline, issued moratoriums on oil and gas leases, and with the administration's emphasis on Environmental Social Guidance (ESG) that injects woke politics into Americans’ investment plans. Instead of embracing good paying energy jobs that pay workers more than their green-energy counterparts, Biden chose to kill jobs and embolden our enemies.

Biden’s war on American energy, particularly low-carbon emission natural gas, has benefitted Russia immensely. By crushing domestic US production of natural gas, Europe is left looking to Russia to meet its energy needs. Remember how the Kremlin backed the anti-fracking movement in the US? It makes total sense that Putin would want to undermine American natural gas production to corner the market. Biden’s enthusiasm for Green New Deal policies has only made the problem worse.

This all has contributed to the situation we have today in Ukraine. While an American military response to Russia’s actions is out of the question, Putin clearly doesn’t care about sanctions either if he is willing to outright invade another sovereign nation. Could we instead turn the tables on Russia’s natural gas advantage?

So why not try and weaken Russia’s natural gas production by attracting their engineers and scientists to the US? The US should drop the sanctions and open up embassies and consulates 24 hours a day in Russia and Eastern Europe and give scientists and petroleum workers a 10 year work visa. We need to welcome Russian workers and boost our domestic natural gas production, not restrict it.

So long as the Biden administration remains content on unrealistic emissions standards, such an approach is infeasible. Worse still, ESG is holding back the development of American natural gas infrastructure. Blocking the Keystone pipeline was just the tip of the iceberg-- ESG encourages American fiduciaries to divest from non-renewable energy producers. ESG has only made it harder to develop American natural gas infrastructure, which in turn makes it hard to scale-up to accommodate new workers and projects. And for all that was included in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Package that was passed late last year, natural gas pipelines were left-out. Biden’s energy policies might sound good to liberal activists, but they are absolutely crippling when implemented.

The unhinged push for Green New Deal-esque policies has crushed American energy production and put the US on the backfoot on the world stage. As we have seen in the past few days, the US can’t negotiate from a position of strength when it lacks leverage. Domestic natural gas production gives us leverage, but Biden’s own policies have boxed him in diplomatically.

With an emboldened Russia and sky-high gas prices, we are now experiencing the consequences of President Biden putting progressive politics ahead of the needs of the American people. It’s never been more clear that we must abandon President Biden’s woke Green New Deal energy policies and embrace reliable American energy.

Adam Brandon is the President of FreedomWorks.