The Oil and Gas Industry is Using the War in Ukraine to Profit and Push Its Interests

Lambert here: Big Oil? Surely not.

By Stella Levantesi, an Italian climate journalist, photographer and author. Her work has been published in The New Republic, Nature Italy, Wired Italy, and the Center for Investigative Journalism in Puerto Rico, among others. Originally published at DeSmog.

When Russia invaded Crimea, the EU and United States issued a joint statement stressing the importance of promoting U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports for Europe. It was 2014 and “American gas” would save Europe from being dependent on Russian gas imports.

Eight years later, Russia again invaded Ukraine on February 24. Europe still imports more than 40 percent of its gas from Russia, and the American fossil fuel industry is still pushing the U.S. government to implement policies that “ensure long-term American energy leadership and security,” as the American Petroleum Institute wrote in a February 28 letter to the U.S. Department of Energy.

“It’s time to change the course and return America to its dominant role in global energy,” read another letter that Republican members of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources sent to President Joe Biden several days later. 

These are just two examples of the wider trend of the fossil fuel industry and its allies “using the crisis as a proxy to expand U.S. energy exports,” said Julieta Biegner, U.S. campaign and communications officer for Global Witness. “We’ve seen a PR blip of executives and representatives [from the fossil fuel industry] claiming that the U.S. can come to Europe’s rescue.”

Ukrainian environmental lawyer and climate change strategist Svitlana Romanko calls this “peace washing.” Many fossil fuel companies are doing it today, she explained, and “the profits that they are making are really huge.”

In Europe, oil and gas companies are profiting off higher energy prices, and in the United States, Big Oil CEOs are “billions of dollars richer” than they were at the start of the Biden administration. Since the war “became inevitable,” they have sold shares in their companies worth millions of dollars, a recent analysis found. And now they are using windfall profits to get richer. As a result, members of Congress have proposed a windfall profits tax on Big Oil, an idea supported by a new campaign, Stop the Oil Profiteering. The proceeds of a windfall tax would be used to provide relief from higher gas prices.  

Not only are Western fossil fuel companies cashing in on this global crisis — which is not new —  they also “played a critical role in getting Putin to this point,” Jamie Henn, director of Fossil Free Media, said. “There’s no way that Putin would be in the position he is to launch this terrible war and invasion, if it wasn’t for the profits that come from fossil fuels,” Henn added. “And that’s the terrible irony of this moment — that oil and gas companies helped create this crisis.”

BP, Exxon, Shell, Equinor, Eni — many of the major fossil fuel companies — have all had long-standing stakes in Russian gas. It took pressure from the whole world seeing Putin’s “horrific international law and human rights abuse,” Romanko said, for most of them to publicly announce they would pull out of their stakes in Rosneft, Gazprom, or other joint ventures. According to Climate Investigations Center founder and director Kert Davies, continued involvement was a “reputational risk” too big even for these companies. 

Davies underscored how crucial it is that people understand these companies’ investments in Russia have been long-term. In an article tracking Exxon’s ties to Russia, Davies highlighted how, in 1982, although President Reagan was against gas pipelines from Russia to Europe, Exxon, Shell, and BP were planning to use Soviet gas to fuel their own supplies.

Today, for fossil fuel companies doing everything they can to delay the energy transition, gas is a “lifeline,” Biegner said, and tying gas to the war is just another attempt to keep the energy source alive. The fossil fuel industry has a long history of pushing the flawed narrative that natural gas, is a “bridge fuel,” that is, a fuel that is clean or cleaner than coal and will help get us to a lower-carbon future. 

Gas is not as easily transportable as oil. In fact, until LNG technologies came along, it could only be moved by pipelines — which is how a vast amount of Russia’s gas is still distributed to EU countries. Pipelines further entrench energy dependence and are indicative of how susceptible gas is to being monopolized.  

In 2019, more than a quarter of the EU’s foreign crude oil, 41 percent of its natural gas, and 47 percent of its solid fuel — mostly coal — came from Russia. In 2021, the share of gas imports went up to around 45 percent and constituted around 40 percent of the EU’s total gas consumption, with North Macedonia, Slovakia, Finland, Bulgaria, Germany, Italy and Poland among the European countries with the highest share of gas supply from Russia. Last year, oil and natural gas sales made up 36 percent of Russia’s total budget. 

“Putin’s war machine has been funded, fed, and fueled by the coal, oil, and gas industries for such a long time,” Romanko said. “[Russia’s] military buildup has been funded by the [money] it has received from fossil fuel exports and exploration.”

Her words were echoed by climatologist and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) member Svitlana Krakovska, who was working on the final stages of the second part of the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report when Putin’s invasion of Ukraine made it increasingly difficult for her team to finalize their work. 

“[Fossil fuels] are something without which this war would not be not possible,” she said from her apartment in Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, where she is staying in the midst of the ongoing war. 

Since Putin invaded Ukraine, Europe has spent more than 17 billion euros on Russian oil, gas, and coal. Germany and Italy in particular are highly dependent on Russian gas and spent more than 14 billion and 10 billion respectively on it in 2021.

Russian gas exports aren’t only fundamental sources of revenue for Putin’s imperialism, they also have served as political tools, long strengthening Moscow’s influence over EU member states and other European countries that were formerly part of the Soviet Republic. 

In the first week of March, in response to sanctions imposed over its invasion of Ukraine, Russia’s government threatened to cut gas supplies to Europe via one of the existing pipelines, Bloomberg reported.

“Putin has deliberately weaponized fossil gas to increase his existing energy dominance over the European Union and to threaten European nations that would come to Ukraine’s aid,” Romanko said.

The industry that is now claiming to bail out Europe from dependence on Russian oil and gas, is the same industry that contributed to causing this crisis in the first place. In the United States, “[oil and gas companies] are busy using their harem of congresspeople to grease the skids for ever more exploitation,” Bill McKibben, environmentalist, author, and founder, wrote in an email to DeSmog.

On the day Russia invaded Ukraine, the American Petroleum Institute tweeted: “As crisis looms in Ukraine, U.S. energy leadership is more important than ever.” The tweet was accompanied by an image that reads “Let’s unleash American energy.” In that thread, API also listed its demands to the Biden administration, including releasing permits for energy development on federal lands and reducing regulation. 

The “patriotic argument,” as Henn calls it, gets used in some European countries as well. In Italy, for example, there was a call by the government in February, which was backed by fossil fuel lobbies, to promote and prioritize “Italian gas” as a means of energy independence and a way to cut gas prices. 

The fossil fuel industry and its allies are using Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to promote energy independence not only to politicians but also to ordinary Americans. “I think one of the most powerful arguments the fossil fuel industry makes is that they’re inescapable, to make it feel like oil and gas are absolutely indispensable for how we live our lives, for how we power our economies, for how we create jobs,” Henn added.

In early February, Energy Citizens, a manufactured “astroturf” movement masked as a grassroots effort and launched by the American Petroleum Institute (API) in 2009, began running a series of ads on Facebook that connected American fossil fuels with the idea of independence and security. “American-made energy: keeping us more secure,” read one; “American-made natural gas and oil: crucial for our energy independence” read another. Versions of these ads, paid for by API, are still running on Facebook.

“The [oil and gas industry] is trying to wrap themselves in this patriotic flag,” Henn said. “And I think that takes place all around the world where the gas and oil industry likes to present itself as key to national security.”

More than 600 organizations in 57 countries have signed a petition calling on political leaders to “end global fossil fuel addiction that feeds Putin’s war machine,” a demand that was led by Ukrainian activists at the beginning of March.

And on March 3, the International Energy Agency (IEA) put out a 10 point plan to reduce the EU’s reliance on Russian natural gas. As well as calling for no new gas supply contracts with Russia, it also suggests accelerating new wind and solar projects, replacing gas boilers with heat pumps, and maximizing existing low-emissions energy sources.

According to Romanko, the IEA 10 points provide some “good support.” However, she said, “what I don’t like is that they are not using the language to end fossil fuel gas dependency, they are using language and numbers and arguments to only reduce dependence on Russian oil, gas, and coal.”

She underscored the importance of governments abandoning Russian coal, oil, and gas but emphasized that the point isn’t Russian gas versus American gas or any other country’s gas, it’s fossil fuels altogether. 

“We also don’t want those fossil fuels from Russia to be replaced in international trade and investment by other countries’ reserves,” she said, and suggested the creation of a “fossil fuel non-proliferation treaty” to “make all governments phase out of fossil fuels.”

As some have argued, the war in Ukraine is not a war over energy resources, however it has “everything to do with our ongoing addiction to oil and gas,” Henn said.

Many conflicts around the world have been underscored by fossil fuels — in Iraq, Syria, South Sudan, and Nigeria fossil fuels have triggered violent conflicts. Angola’s oil reserves have fueled conflict, corruption, and environmental damage. Similar dynamics have played out in other parts of the world.

And because oil and gas are traded on the global market, it doesn’t really matter which country they come from. “As long as we are reliant on oil and gas, we’ll be reliant on Petrostates and we’ll continue to fuel what we’re seeing from Putin and the ongoing climate crisis,” Henn said.

Some European countries, including Germany and the Netherlands, have announced they will aim to speed up solar and wind energy projects in order to transition to clean energy and get off Russian gas. Others, like France, aim to end gas heater subsidies and support heat pumps instead. 

“True energy independence would be based on renewable energy,” Henn said. “But it’s an independence based on a healthier interdependence.” 

“I don’t think the vision we should be promoting is everybody in their own little castle with their own solar panels and batteries and screw everybody else,” Henn continued. “We are going to rely on each other to create the energy, agricultural, and climate resilience systems […] we need to create healthy societies […] that share the values of human rights, sustainability, and clean energy, and put more power into the hands of local communities and people.”

Romanko has also reiterated the need for “distributed, affordable, community-led renewable energy.”

Above all, it’s crucial to understand how deeply interlinked the climate crisis is with everything else. It is a common problem in Western media for the climate emergency to be compartmentalized — global warming, emissions, environmental exploitation only have to do with “the environment” or “climate” and nothing else.  

“The fact that the IPCC report came as the war started is only another reminder that we should tackle these problems [the climate crisis and the war] at the same time,” Romanko said. “They are undoubtedly interconnected — I make direct connections with a clean energy transition and, at the same time, climate justice.”

The third part of the IPCC report, which will focus on mitigation, is set to be finalized in April. “I have a dream, you know,” Krakovska said from her apartment in Kyiv. “During this last session of the IPCC, the war started. And I have a dream that during the next session of the IPCC the war will stop.”

The climate crisis intersects politics, public health, economics, culture, social justice, geopolitics and many other spheres. Talking about it without underscoring these connections only reiterates one message: that the climate crisis has nothing to do with our lives, our health or even our survival. And that’s just not true. 

The climate crisis contains many other crises. But its solutions, inevitably, cannot be what caused it in the first place. 

“Fossil fuels,” Romanko said, “have become a weapon of mass destruction.”

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. Samuel Conner

    Am I right in thinking that one of the basic premises of this article — that the expenditures of the R government has made in recent years on war preparations were funded by the foreign currency earnings of its fossil fuel sector — is mistaken?

    US government doesn’t ‘pay for’ its wars through increased revenue, but Russia — which is closer to autarky than US is — has to?

    JRB, in his SOTU address, spoke of the Russian governments foreign currency holdings as a ‘war fund’, and later in the address spoke of the imperative of reducing the US government’s fiscal deficit.

    Me thinks that even if our leaders know the truth about monetary sovereign fiscal operations, they will never admit it. The implications of that admission, that revenue is not a constraint on the government’s power to serve its citizens interests, is too painful to contemplate.

    1. Caleb

      What do you think Burrisima Holdings is? Hunter Biden’s 100 Million dollar payoff to get Daddy involved.

  2. Appleseed

    I wish there had been a citation for this assertion: “Russian gas exports aren’t only fundamental sources of revenue for Putin’s imperialism, they also have served as political tools, long strengthening Moscow’s influence over EU member states and other European countries that were formerly part of the Soviet Republic.”

    Samuel’s comment rightly points out the questionable financing assertion. Perhaps it’s my bias, but I operate under the impression that NATO is but one of many expressions of U.S. global influence and one of the reasons for expanding the “defensive” NATO alliance to include former Warsaw Pact countries was to intentionally seek to reduce Moscow’s influence there.

    As NC readers likely recall, the recent IPCC report was also heavily influenced (yeah, verily, edited) by US commercial interests. So while I appreciate the mention of IPCC’s upcoming report on solutions, I must confess skepticism that any of it will dimish the drumbeats of war.

    Neverless, I persist in working for peace and this paragraph sums up my position nicely. “The climate crisis intersects politics, public health, economics, culture, social justice, geopolitics and many other spheres. Talking about it without underscoring these connections only reiterates one message: that the climate crisis has nothing to do with our lives, our health or even our survival. And that’s just not true.”

    Alas, in a post-truth world, truth is just another assertion.

    1. Kris Alman

      The climate crisis intersects politics, public health, economics, culture, social justice, geopolitics and many other spheres.

      According to Wikipedia:

      On January 23, 2020, the Clock was moved further, to 100 seconds (1 minute 40 seconds) before midnight, meaning that the Clock’s status today is the closest to midnight since the Clock’s start in 1947. The Bulletin’s executive chairman, Jerry Brown, said “the dangerous rivalry and hostility among the superpowers increases the likelihood of nuclear blunder… Climate change just compounds the crisis”.

      Surprisingly, the clock has not been adjusted since the Ukraine invasion.

  3. Carolinian

    Of course another way of looking at it is that the Russians have been using all that oil and gas revenue to buy weapons in order to defend Russia, and that a more cooperative world would render this unnecessary. Which is to say that Putin is a “19th century man” because the West, and the United States in particular, cling to 19th century notions of imperial dominance and the Great Game competition among nations for resources. For people like Biden and Pelosi the climate fight is just another campaign talking point. When it comes to actions rather than words their policies aren’t much different from Trump’s.

    So that’s what we should be talking about. There will be no Green Revolution without better leaders. The Green failure to this point is an intellectual and political failure.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      I disagree. The Green movement has not been a failure. It provides a new actor for political kabuki and a meme for advertising. I will have to watch the movie “Michael Clayton” again tonight, if only to watch the U-North commercial again. Sometimes I watch “WALL-E” before or after, and imagine making a t-shirt putting the U-North leaf emblem in place of the leaf emblem that lights up on EVE.

      1. flora

        kabuki? Hey, Bill Gates is buying up US farmland and is planning to grown GMO crops. Green! Well, brown-green. / ;)

    2. flora

      Russia and all that oil and gas. Say no more about why RU might build up defenses. After 20 years of US&EU oil wars in the ME and Afgha it’s clear that unaligned countries with weak defenses who have “all that oil and gas” or a pipeline route (Nordstream 2, eg) seem to have trouble with Western invasions. / ;)

  4. Peter Nightingale

    A crash course in geopolitics: a timeline leading up to President Biden’s visit to Europe

    “culture evolves as the amount of energy harnessed per capita per year is increased …”

    This is known as White’s law; we better leave “culture” undefined. See White’s law, which has been likened to the first law of thermodynamics. It’s basic physics indeed: the law of conservation of energy.

    This provision became known to its critics as the “Halliburton loophole” named after the oil services firm Halliburton.

    This is former Vice President Dick Cheney’s contribution to the climate disaster, aka the Halliburton loophole; see Exemptions for hydraulic fracturing under United States federal law.

    By 2017 U.S. gas imports from eastern Canada will have completely flipped to exports …

    Sorry people, it took a little longer but we’re getting there. See Growing Northeast Production Prompting Historic Market Shift, Redirecting Gas Flow Patterns.

    With the stroke of a pen, President Barack Obama on Friday ended 40 years of U.S. crude oil export limits by signing off on a repeal passed by Congress earlier in the day.

    See U.S. Reverses Decades of Oil-Export Limits With Obama’s Backing.

    It [the Energy Policy Modernization Act] would also speed the export of domestically produced natural gas.

    See: Senate Passes Legislation Tailored to a Modern Energy Landscape. Rhode Island Senator Whitehouse, when publicly asked why he voted for this bill, said that it contained sufficiently many goodies to justify his vote. What those goodies might have been is a well kept secret.


    “Once we have a trade agreement in place, export licenses for projects for liquefied natural gas destined to Europe would be much easier, something that is obviously relevant in today’s geopolitical environment,” Obama said in response to then-European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso’s appeal to step up US gas exports.

    See: Weaponizing Hydrocarbons: It Was Obama’s Idea to Flood EU With US LNG.

    The Russian Navy will no longer be allowed to dock and refuel in Cyprus after a last-minute U.S. Senate bill was passed on Tuesday. Led by warhawk senators Marco Rubio (R) and Bob Melendez (D), the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee bill requires Cyprus to block all Russian naval vessels from docking at their ports as part of their arms embargo against Moscow.

    See: US Senate forces Cyprus to block Russian ships in eastern Mediterranean.

    Several months ago, drilling for natural gas in the eastern Mediterranean Sea appeared to be the next great offshore frontier for Big Oil. With Israel, Cyprus and Greece on board, a new geopolitical alliance had greenlit drilling at the behest of major companies like ExxonMobil, Eni, and Total.



    The Biden administration should pause its hyper-focus on renewable energy and support efforts to prevent Russian energy blackmail against our European allies.

    See: The US should link eastern Mediterranean gas to Europe to subvert Russia.

    Biden visits Europe to sell U.S. LNG. Increasing energy prices and inflation? Never mind, the poor and vulnerable can fend for themselves as they deal with higher prices for utilities, food and shelter, while they bear the brunt of the climate catastrophe The 1% will be just fine.

  5. AGR

    The point has been argued that ‘la raison d’être’ of NATO and its continued existence is “control of the worlds energy”. It seems it was always thus, despite the “hordes at the gates” propaganda of the 20th century, where NATO became the “hordes” after 1991… e.g., what relevance would a country like Colombia have to [NA]TO, other than being at the gates of Venezuela?

    It’s seems like a timely moment for a re-read of “war is a racket” by Smedley Butler…

  6. Mikel

    In 2020, fossil fuel players received a real life glimpse of how light their pockets could look with billions of people at once seriously cutting fossil fuel usage.
    It was not liked and they want to make up for money that they lost. Tax breaks and subsidies won’t pacify them.
    What better way to make that money back and fast but with war that involves bigger, more mobilzed war machines?

  7. Michael.j

    This, to me, is a very confusing article in that it seems to attempt to tie the long running civil war in Ukraine with Russian imperialism. While I appreciate the need to get off fossil fuels, pronto, this article, seems to be an attempt to find a new reason to hate the Russians and vilify the bogeyman of the year. The US/Russian War has complex roots beyond natural gas and is in full fling. It perhaps will provide a quick ending to our long established folly.

    IMHO the reasons for our fossil fuel addiction is civilizational and societal, as fossil fuel energy is the equivalent to owning non-complaining human slaves that increase productivity at the cost of a long term wholesale suicide. The cost of owning this slave is immediately invisible, and the vested interests have every reason to keep it that way. Additionally, cost effective substitutes for fossil fuels in current industrial societies have not been mature enough until recently for widespread adoption.

    The fact is that we have to totally remake our lives, including how we eat, how we insulate and heat our homes, and how and where we travel. Essentially, it’s about how we conduct almost every aspect of our lives.

    Personally , I’m doubtful of survival, given our preceding failure to modify our behavior and even recognize our peril, but I consciously choose to be hopeful for the sake of my children and our younger generation.

  8. Rod

    Given Fossil Fuel use without conscience–or imagination– is killing us all, empowering those without consciousness or conscience to enhance the status qua. And because it appears it will be a minute before we get to full renewable however, I would like to look at this:

    Romanko has also reiterated the need for “distributed, affordable, community-led renewable energy.”
    (I would add that cleaning up some messy practices is in order also)

    as it pertains to the Friday Water Cooler Bezzle posted by Lambert:
    The Bezzle: “Exxon Considering Expanding Bitcoin Mining Pilot to 4 Countries: Report” [Vice]. (which i commented on Saturday)
    The Bezzle is Exxon collecting Wellhead fugitive gases, which prior were too, um, er, ‘difficult’ to control or collect until, um, er, it wasn’t.

    well, getting Russia, and the world away from mindless Fossil Fuel Consumption is probably more dependent on Simple Solution Steps incorporating ideas like the below to enhance Distributive Energy(not Bitcoin Mining) rather than giving the toadie API and its Masters more leeway.

    Because of this,

    created by a couple of millenials looking for the yellow Bitcoin Rd–creating this:

    which resulted in this pretty quick:

  9. cobo

    The reason it never makes sense is that there is a long and methodical agenda that underlies the machinations of governments, economies and “world events.” You can deny it and refer to it using psycho-babble names, but it’s amazing how the pieces fall into place when you consider it. Have you seen the extremely well done documentary about the forces that brought us WWI, here:

  10. Spacedog

    The green revolution was the fossil fuel industry’s trojan hose, funded in large part by the fossil fuel industry as their Trojan horse against their real enemy: nuclear energy. It is no accident that both China and Russia are going all out to build nuclear, it is the only way to do things like power civilised society reliably and make fertilizers without fossil fuels.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      What kind of fertilizers in particular would we be making with nuclear energy and therefor without fossil fuels?

  11. Thur K

    I recently read an analysis of oil usage with the biggest item marked out was transportation. We haven’t started a transition to electric vehicles as the majority of EV models are to be introduced in 2025. What this current surge in oil prices will do is increase the adoption of non-Tesla EV models and thus help make EV infrastructure a reality earlier than would have otherwise happen. I see this as a good thing and will increase future adoption of EVs due to the availability of infrastructure. This all results in less oil usage in developed countries.
    Although a move to fossil fuels for heating and energy generation is likely in the short term, over the medium term solar+wind+batteries should continue their price descent and make running a fossil fuel power plant less profitable than installing new renewable power. Likely the best outcome from all this is the return of using nuclear as a baseload power source to enable the use of other non-polluting technologies providing an overall reduction in pollution over the medium term.

    But hey, anything can happen! :)

  12. orlbucfan

    I’ve been doing all the low carbon footprint steps my whole adult life!
    **Recycling and composting
    ** Totally refurbished a small (by US standards) house to make it energy economical
    **Always bought and drove ICE autos with very high gas mileage
    **Never bought into the consumer nuts nonsense, and purchased what I needed
    **Stayed politically informed, voted and volunteered.
    I didn’t have kids cos I’m not maternal. Wowie. I am so (family blog) off, I’m speechless at times! And the latest report of the South Pole super melting?? No surprise, but words fail me!

  13. Brunches with Cats

    What bubble are the author and her sources living in? I don’t even know where to begin with this mess of an article.

    It seems to me the commentariat is in basic agreement that:
    1) Increasing fossil fuel production is going to fry the planet — if we don’t blow ourselves up first;
    2) Natural gas is not green;
    3) A few very rich people in the fossil fuel industry (and other sectors identified by Prof. Hudson) are cashing in big time on Putin hysteria, thereby putting us on a faster track to #1;
    4) Biden is corrupt to the core, has been in the hip pocket of fossil fuels since forever, believes natural gas is green, and never intended renewable energy to make anything but a token dent in fossil fuels on his watch;
    5) It’s not possible for Europe to replace sanctioned Russian oil and gas fast enough to avoid an economic meltdown.
    6) Although there are signs of mutiny in the ranks, NATO and the EU probably will cave to the U.S., as usual;
    7) [Fill in the blank, as I’m sure I forgot something.]

    Further, I think we can at least mostly agree that, whatever we might think of Ukraine’s despicable leader and gangs of thugs, the people did nothing to deserve the unimaginable suffering from being used as collateral damage; and that ending the war has to be a top priority. One would think that the climatologist holed up with her kids in Kiev under Russian bombardment (she alleged) would be the first to recognize this.

    Meanwhile, the environmental lawyer, also in Kiev, dares to say that she doesn’t like it that the IEA is “not using the language to end fossil fuel gas dependency, they are using language and numbers and arguments to only reduce dependence on Russian oil, gas, and coal.” Apparently she hasn’t been inconvenienced enough — which, by the way, is consistent with reports from other sources that life in Kiev as still fairly normal. Here’s Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Janša telling a BBC interviewer that there’s no war in Western Ukraine, and Kiev is so safe that foreign diplomats should all return immediately:

    FWIW, Janša was one of three Eastern European leaders participating in the “fake” meeting with Zelensky in Kiev on March 15. The entire interview is worth a listen. Among other things, as I interpret it, he’s saying that Ukraine should forget about joining NATO, but they could join the EU. He also mentions a draft OECD report on Ukraine “recovery.” Can’t wait to read it…

    Lastly, I take issue with the source who says the war in Ukraine “is not a war over energy resources, however it has ‘everything to do with our ongoing addiction to oil and gas.’” No. It has “everything to do with” the players in #3 and #4 above.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      If Russia can conquer East Ukraine, and can keep it conquered one way or another, then the RussiaGov will keep GMOs and fracking out of its Russiakraine possession. ( Unless the Russiagov reverses the Putin ban on GMOs in Russian agriculture.)

      1. Polar Socialist

        Define conquer and define East Ukraine. The leader of Donetsk People’s Republic already announced that after the Special Military Operation there will be a referendum about Donetsk joining the Russian Federation.

      2. Brunches with Cats

        Eastern Ukraine — by which I presume you mean the Donbas — is where the bulk of Ukraine’s hydrocarbon reserves lie, “Donbas” being a short form for Donets Basin, the geological formation holding vast reserves of coal, oil, and natural gas.

        Multinationals including Shell and Exxon were climbing all over each other for first dibs but withdrew following the 2014 coup and resulting war. Burisma’s entire existence was based on grift from foreign “investment” and had a leg up on the competition by virtue of its founder having been the head of a government agency in charge of approving oil and gas leases, further advanced by hiring the degenerate offspring of corrupt U.S. politicians.

        Anyway, Donets Basin oil is mostly locked in oil shale, which pretty much means that fracking will be the extraction method of choice, regardless of whether Donetsk and Luhansk join the Russian Federation or somehow can survive as independent republics. If they’re “conquered” by anyone, it won’t be Russia but the U.S. and its NATO allies looking to get their pudgy fingers back in the pie — all the more so now, because they wouldn’t want Putin gaining even more fossil fuel dominance.

        GMO is more of an issue in the middle parts of Ukraine, which has the world’s most fertile farmland. That’s going to be another whole can of worms shortly due to changes in land ownership laws that will open the land market to foreign companies starting in 2024 (BTW, guess who signed that law?). From what I’ve read, Bayer/Monsanto, ADM, and Cargill are all in position…

  14. flora

    Someone quipped that since the end of the USSR the job NATO is protecting the West’s pipeline-a-stan.

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