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.