The Geo-Political Impact Of America’s Energy Independence

In January of this year, Forbes Magazine reported:

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) recently published their 2019 Annual Energy Outlook. Whenever your optimism on the prospects for U.S. energy infrastructure waivers, this will restore your confidence. The outlook for domestic energy production is bullish, and in many cases more so than a year ago.

For example, in their 2018 report, the EIA’s Reference Case projected that the U.S. would eventually become a net energy exporter. Now, thanks to stronger crude and liquids production, they expect that milestone to be reached next year.

We have reached that milestone. So what is the impact? Fist of all, we are free of the threat of an oil boycott by OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries). The oil embargo placed on the United States by OPEC in the early 1970’s rapidly increased gasoline prices and caused shortages at the gas pumps. We don’t want to do that again. Aside from the impact on average Americans, we need gas to fuel our military. However, being energy independent does not entirely free us from having to be nice to Arab countries that don’t like us. Because of an agreement made between Richard Nixon and Saudi Arabia, oil is traded in American dollars. This is one of the reasons American dollars still have value despite our large national debt. The Saudis have been responsible for seeing that oil continues to be traded in American dollars, so it is in our best interest to be nice to them. The Saudis are also moving toward a friendlier relationship to Israel because of fear of Iran. Being energy independent allows us to support the nation of Israel without fearing another oil embargo.

American energy independence also has a potential impact on our relations with Russia and Europe.

In July 2018, The Washington Post posted an article about Europe’s dependence on Russian oil.

The article notes:

Putin has proved through his actions that he views everything as a potential tool to gain an advantage economically, politically and militarily. One of his most powerful tools is Russia’s energy resources, and he has used Europe’s reliance on these resources to strengthen his position. Some European leaders have been all too willing to take the bait.

This was the point President Trump was making at a NATO summit this month. He caused a stir for speaking undiplomatically in a room of diplomats. He was also pointing out what everyone in the room already knew: Europe’s reliance on Russian natural gas undermines its security.

Trump also understands, as he demonstrated this week in his talks with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, that the United States can and should help solve this problem. By supplying our own natural gas reserves to Europe, the United States can loosen Putin’s economic grip on the region.

The article concludes:

By increasing exports of American natural gas, the United States can help our NATO allies escape Russian strong-arming. America is the world’s leading producer of clean, versatile natural gas. There are two export facilities in the United States. able to ship natural gas overseas — one in Maryland and one in Louisiana. Three more are due to be operational by the end of this year, and at least 20 additional projects are awaiting federal permits. We must speed up these approvals to give our allies alternatives to Russian gas.

We have plenty of natural gas to meet Americans’ needs and increase our exports. Independent studies have found that prices will remain low even with significant gas exports. Now we just need to clear away the regulatory hurdles and show our European allies that U.S. natural gas is a wiser option than Russia’s.

When Putin looks at natural gas, he thinks of politics, he thinks of money and he thinks of power. It is in America’s national security interests to help our allies reduce their dependence on Russian energy. We need to make clear how important it is for their own security, as well.

Our NATO alliance is strong. Ending Europe’s dependence on Russian energy will make it even stronger.

An energy-independent America is good for America, good for Europe, and good for Israel.

Why Our Children Need To Learn History

If our children are not taught history, they will believe any lie they are told about past events. Recently Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib attempted a major rewrite of the history of World War II.

Yesterday The New York Post posted her comments and the truth.

Ms. Tlaib stated:

“There’s always a kind of calming feeling when I think of the tragedy of the Holocaust, that it was my ancestors, Palestinians, who lost their land and some lost their lives, their livelihood, their human dignity . . . in the name of trying to create a safe haven for Jews, post-Holocaust, post-tragedy . . . And I love that it was my ancestors that provided that in many ways.”

That sounds very nice, but history tells a different story. Haj Amin al-Husseini was the mufti of Jerusalem. He met with Hitler and visited German troops.

The article reports:

According to the German transcript of the meeting, the mufti said: “An appeal by the Mufti to the Arab countries . . . would produce a great number of volunteers eager to fight.”

To the mufti’s delight, Hitler promised that after conquering the Southern Caucasus, “Germany’s objective would then be solely the destruction of the Jewish element residing in the Arab sphere.”

Meanwhile, the British gave in to Arab demands, sharply limiting the number of Jews who could enter the Mandate during the Holocaust. Ships were turned around and, like in many Western countries, Jews were sent back to certain death in ­Europe.

After the United Nations voted in 1947 to partition mandatory Palestine into a Jewish and an Arab state, five Arab armies invaded in an attempt to make it all Arab. Sounds like a really safe haven, Rep. Tlaib.

In 1948, the Arabs living in Israel were told to leave their homes to join with the Arab nations surrounding Israel to ‘drive the Jews into the sea.’ They were promised that after the Jews were defeated, they would get their land back. Obviously the Jews were not defeated, and they lost their land. The story that Ms. Tlaib is telling is purely fiction, although it may be what she was taught growing up. Truth is the first casualty of war, and in the Middle East the truth is easily lost or distorted.

An Obvious Solution That Should Have Been Implemented Years Ago

Reuters is reporting today that President Trump and Saudi King Salman have agreed to support safe zones in Syria and Yemen.

The article reports:

The White House statement said the two leaders also agreed on the need to address “Iran‘s destabilizing regional activities.” SPA confirmed the report but made no specific mention of Iran.

Both countries share views about Iranian policies in the region, the Saudi source said, suggesting Trump agreed with Riyadh’s suspicion of what it sees as Tehran‘s growing influence in the Arab world. Iran denies it meddles in Arab countries.

The White House statement said the two also discussed what it called an invitation from the king for Trump “to lead a Middle East effort to defeat terrorism and to help build a new future, economically and socially,” for Saudi Arabia and the region.

The two also discussed the Muslim Brotherhood, the senior Saudi source said, adding in a reference to the late al Qaeda leader, “it was mentioned that Osama bin Laden was recruited at an early stage” by the organization.

This is the right solution to the refugee problem, but it is not a perfect solution. There is no perfect solution. The Islamic culture in the Middle East is one of violence and cruelty. Western civilization does not condone pedophilia, the subjugation of women, or honor killing. These are things that have been happening in the Arab countries in the Middle East for a long time.  I wonder what will be necessary to keep the safe zones safe. One of the ideas in setting up safe zones is that when the violence ends, people can go back to their home countries and rebuild. I am not convinced that the violence will end. Iran’s goal is to set up a world-wide caliphate with Shiite Muslims ruling. Saudi Arabia is Sunni Muslim and will never agree to that. Isis is largely composed of Saddam Hussein‘s old political allies, also Sunni  Muslim–a group known for its violence and cruelty. The battle between the Sunnis and Shiites has waged for a long time, and I am not optimistic about it ever ending. I am also concerned that the dictators in control in the areas the refugees are fleeing have killed any potential leaders they saw as a threat to their power.

This is a better solution than sending the refugees to places where the culture is totally alien to what they are used to. Europe has experienced a wave of crimes against women because of the number of Middle Eastern migrants that have entered the continent. Germany, in particular, has had to change the rules for public swimming pools, music festivals, and other celebrations. Things that are acceptable in Muslim cultures are simply not acceptable in western culture. That is something we need to consider when we discuss how to help the refugees from the Middle East.