(National Sentinel) Energy: Well, it seems that there has been Russian “collusion” in U.S. politics after all, according to a pair of U.S. lawmakers from Texas: In the American energy industry.
As reported by The Daily Signal, in a June 29 letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin from Reps. Lamar Smith and Randy Weber, both Republicans who chair energy-related House panels, the lawmakers claim that Moscow is involved in “a covert anti-fracking campaign” with “little or no paper trail.”
The site noted further that Russia was working through Left-wing environmental organizations, which makes perfect sense given their vehement opposition to anything having to do with the production of fossil fuels:
Smith and Weber quote sources saying the Russian government has been colluding with environmental groups to circulate “disinformation” and “propaganda” aimed at undermining hydraulic fracturing. Commonly called fracking, the process makes it possible to access natural gas deposits.
Sources for their information include a former NATO secretary-general, who is unnamed but who is quoted as saying: “Russia, as part of their sophisticated information and disinformation operations, engaged actively with so-called nongovernmental organizations—environmental organizations working against shale gas—to maintain dependence on imported Russian gas.”
In their letter, the two lawmakers state that the Russian anti-fracking campaign seizes upon environmental issues and health concerns that could be used to constrain U.S. drilling and fracking exercises, The Daily Signal reported.
The effort makes perfect sense, the lawmakers explain. Any regulatory efforts that would reduce U.S. shale oil/gas output — which has elevated America to near-energy-independence in only the past few years — would benefit Russia’s state-owned energy giant, Gazprom, and aid its effort to supply fossil fuels to Europe.
“It is easy to see the benefit to Russia and Gazprom that would result from a reduction in the U.S. level of drilling and fracking—a position advocated for by numerous environmental groups in the U.S.,” the lawmakers said.
They aren’t alone in pointing out the collusion:
Top U.S. government officials who have acknowledged the connection between Russian and environmental groups include former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee for president in 2016.
In 2014, Clinton delivered a “private speech” in which she discussed Russia’s financial support for environmental groups, the letter says. The speech was included in documents released by WikiLeaks, it says.
In advance of his trip to Poland, President Donald J. Trump talked of expanding U.S. energy exports to Europe, as part of an overall strategy to shut out Moscow’s energy influence. Poland received its first shipment of American liquefied natural gas last month.
This should be no surprise; Trump promised frequently on the campaign trail to expand U.S. energy exploration, discovery and markets — particularly the fracking industry.
Economic interests trump (sorry) all in this day and age. That’s why it is infinitely more conceivable that Russia would attempt to undermine the the president who promised to expand the U.S. energy industry into traditional Moscow markets rather than help elect him.