Sunday, March 23, 2014

From Benny Peiser's Global Warming Policy Foundation

Putin’s Useful Idiots: Greens Wage War On American Shale Gas Exports
EU Leaders Delay Decision On Climate Targets

Europe will go to a UN summit in September with no agreed climate targets after leaders say they cannot reach agreement without a new roadmap toward energy independence. Discussions between European Union leaders on a new emissions reduction target for 2030 were sidetracked today by the crisis in Ukraine. A debate that was meant to set the stage for agreement on a new target instead became focused on reducing Europe’s energy dependence on Russia. --Dave Keating, European Voice, 21 March 2014

The same environmental groups that fought construction of Keystone XL are launching a new effort to prevent the United States from exporting natural gas. The timing of the anti-export letter is particularly gauche, given that Russian president Vladimir Putin has used his country’s energy wealth to support his aggressive foreign policy. Environmental groups’ opposition to natural-gas exports is founded not in facts but instead in a knee-jerk aversion to any traditional energy source. Nevertheless, their groundless activism is dangerous.--Jillian Kay Melchior, National Review online, 20 March 2014

A collection of environmental groups, including the Sierra Club, Friends of the Earth and 350.org apparently just sent a letter to President Obama, urging him to require a Keystone-XL-style environmental review — presumably entailing similar delays — for the proposed Cove Point, Maryland liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal. Whether or not US natural gas molecules ever reach Europe, they can serve a useful role in the necessary response to Russia’s aggression in Ukraine. Attempting to block this for spurious reasons puts opponents in jeopardy of becoming what Mr. Putin in his previous career might have called “useful idiots.” --Geoffrey Styles, Energy Trend Insider, 20 March 2014

The Greens' biggest triumph came with Germany's adoption of its Energiewende, the transition to renewable energy. The policy is a long-term bonanza for Gazprom. It means that Germany will buy more and more Russian gas because it cannot depend on electricity from unreliable wind and solar to power its industries and keep the lights on. The emergence of the Greens has had a huge impact on German and European politics. But not all of Europe is so enthusiastic or willfully naive about dependence on Russian gas. --Rupert Darwall, The Wall Street Journal, 21 March 2014

A split is growing in the Democratic Party, one that ought to rival the divisions on the right that the headlines trumpet. Greens are increasingly bitter about President Obama —annoyed that he’s dropped climate legislation, scaled back green subsidies, ignored fracking. The eco-warriors are now dramatically upping the stakes, demanding that Democrats turn against the natural-gas revolution that has propped up the Obama economy. --Kimberley Strassel, The Wall Street Journal, 21 March 2014

Why is Putin feeling so resurgent that he feels ready to hit the “reset” button back to 1989? The answer is simple. Practically everything that led to the downfall of Soviet Communism has now been reversed. The West’s unilateral disarmament over energy is reminiscent of nothing so much as the fatuous behavior of Western Europe during the interval between World Wars I and II. Now Europe is repeating the pattern. By backing away from nuclear and refusing to frack, it leaves itself with no other choice than Russian gas. --William Tucker, The American Spectator, 21 March 2014

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