Letter to the Editor: Our path is clear

Published 6:13 pm Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Putin’s unprovoked brutal attack on the people of Ukraine has laid bare our failures in responding to his  past aggressions. 

Putin’s premeditated attacks on civilians are clear war crimes and must be confronted to prevent even  more brutal treatment of innocent civilians including women and children.

Russia has been described as a filling station masquerading as a country. Russia is the second largest oil  producer at 9.8 million barrels per day compared to the United States 11.3 million barrels per day.  Russia’s production has been reduced by 4.3 million barrels because of customer’s refusal to purchase  and support its atrocities. Russia is also a major natural gas producer and Western Europe has become  overly dependent. Reducing payments to Russia is essential to reducing its war making capabilities and  saving innocent people’s lives.

Eliminating purchases of oil and natural gas from Russia will increase prices worldwide. Higher prices are  a small sacrifice compared to the horrors being faced by Ukrainians. Six- or seven-dollar gasoline Is a  small price to pay compared to the Ukrainians being slaughtered.

The United States produces more electricity from natural gas than coal. We need to maximize  production from coal to have more gas to liquify and export to Europe. We also must delay scheduled  coal plant retirements to maximize natural gas supplies. 

We need to expedite new production of domestic oil and natural gas. This includes opening federal  lands for drilling and production.

Longer term we must become less dependent on foreign sources of essential minerals. This means  allowing and expediting new mines including on federal lands. We cannot be so arrogant as to think we  can depend on mineral production in other countries and find ourselves in the same situation as  Europeans dependent on Russian natural gas.

Joe Pacovsky

Hayward, MN