We are now more than 100 days into a senseless war in Ukraine driven by what appears to be Vladimir Putin’s 20th century idea of expansionism. But a fundamental factor missing from this discussion started a few years back with the forced shutdown of “Nord Stream 2,” a pipeline intended to carry Russian natural gas through Ukraine to Europe.
Fossil fuels account for 20% of the Russian economy. Shutting down the pipeline threatens their economy, so Putin was backed into a corner. Who should want to do that? U.S. Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) producers, who are, as we speak, building LNG plants in Texas and Louisiana, and an offloading plant in Germany. The fact is that Putin’s seemingly “senseless expansionist effort” into Ukraine has foundations in the U.S. LNG companies’ desire to be the sole providers of LNG to Europe.
The even darker underbelly of this narrative? As the earth warms due to fossil-fuel-driven climate change, northern Europe will become colder and residents will need lots of LNG to stay warm. That could set up another fossil fuel war.
I looked up “journalism” on Wikipedia, and the following line struck me: “Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel propose several guidelines for journalists in their book, The Elements of Journalism. Their view is that journalism’s first loyalty is to the citizenry and that journalists are thus obliged to tell the truth and must serve as an independent monitor of powerful individuals and institutions within society.” No one embodies this definition of journalist more than Peter Byrne. I am in awe of his (and your) courage. Thank you for publishing his most recent article on Measure A. He is phenomenal, and so is the Pacific Sun.