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Business

Russian interference in America’s energy sector

Craig Rucker, president of Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow
Craig Rucker, president of Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow

America’s oil and gas production is booming of late, with the U.S. poised to become the world’s largest exporter of crude oil. Domestic natural gas also is ramping up, enabling the U.S. to become a net exporter for the first time in almost 60 years.

All of this is good news, since the U.S. is setting new records for gas exports. But America’s shale gas revolution may have another benefit: It could supplant much of Russia’s natural gas production.

If the U.S. were to topple Russia as a gas kingpin, that would be a good thing – since it could weaken Vladimir Putin’s troubling hold over Europe’s energy supplies.

Right now, Russia provides about 75 percent of the natural gas for Central and Eastern Europe. Being a major gas supplier has enabled Putin to bully EU nations.

It’s not surprising that Russia could meddle in U.S. social media. We’ve heard plenty about that since the 2016 election. But there are some worrying implications. As House committee chairman Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, observed, there “appears to be a concerted effort by foreign entities to funnel millions of dollars through various nonprofit entities to influence the U.S. energy market.” 

The House committee believes that “Russian-sponsored agents funneled money to U.S. environmental organizations in an attempt to portray energy companies in a negative way and disrupt domestic energy markets.”

With many millions of dollars being spent to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election, the American people should know whether social media messaging is accurate. And environmental groups should remain vigilant when accepting funds from foreign entities who may not have America’s best interests at heart.

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