OK. So we are in another Middle Eastern mess. We have been caught encouraging the “freedom fighters” in the Ukraine to revolt against their government, which was aligned with Russia, and cozy up to the US and the NATO nations of Europe. They did. They lost. And hundreds of civilians were killed in the process. The Ukrainian president, Viktor Yanukovich, fled to Russia, and a new prime minister was either appointed or elected, I am not sure which.
It’s hard to imagine that someone in our State Department didn’t think of this before they got us involved in someone else’s internal squabble, but the country of Ukraine, and most of our allies in Europe, depend upon Russia for their supply of heating oil and natural gas. And since the “freedom fighters” ran Vladimir Putin’s buddy Yanukovich out of town, Russia has decided they will no longer provide any more oil and gas to what remains of Ukraine, and their new European allies. Surprise, surprise!
Assistant Secretary of State for Europe, Victoria Nuland, recently revealed that we have invested more than 5 billion dollars, plus another billion just this past week, to “help Ukraine to development democratic institutions and skills in promoting a civil society and a good form of government.” And the release of a supposedly confidential conversation between Ms. Nuland and our Ukrainian ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt, revealed that theirs was more than just a casual involvement. So the new Ukrainian prime minister, Arseny Yatseniuk, is coming to Washington, hands outstretched, expecting the US of A to replace the oil and gas Russia had been providing. After all, the overthrow of the Yanukovich government was our idea, wasn’t it?
But wait a minute. Hasn’t one of our primary objectives for the past umpteen years been to make ourselves “energy independent”? Aren’t we still looking to Arabia and their fellow Muslims for much of our own oil supply? And as recently as 2007, didn’t the George W. Bush administration recommend that we ourselves consider purchasing natural gas from Russia?
If the Obama administration would approve of the Keystone pipeline bringing crude in from Canada and release federal lands for gas exploration, we just might finally be able to attain energy independence. But even if those things should be approved, there is now a strong move afoot to go ahead and ship our domestic oil and gas production to Europe in order to pull Mr. Obama’s latest chestnuts out of the fire.
Pushing this new energy diplomacy effort is Carlos Pascual, a former American ambassador to — you guessed it — Ukraine. Mr. Pascual now heads up the State Department’s Bureau of Energy Resources, an 85-person bureaucracy created in late 2011 by Hillary Rodham Clinton, then secretary of state, for the purpose of using our domestic energy resources to advance American interests abroad.
Of course, Mr. Obama would recommend that we ship our oil and gas supplies halfway around the world and deliver them to Mr. Yatseniuk and friends at a cost equal to or below that which Russia was providing from right next door.
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