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March 7th, 2014

Natural Gas is Not a Geopolitical Bargaining Chip

By Wenonah Hauter 

In the battle over the future of U.S. energy policy, the oil and gas industry has presented many bogus justifications for pursuing fracking. Playing on the public’s genuine patriotism, energy independence is trotted out as the most compelling argument.  This rings even more hollow in the current debate about using natural gas as a bargaining chip in the crisis unfolding in the Ukraine

The Obama administration is considering sending fracked gas overseas in what the New York Times recently described as a “lever against Russia” in the escalating tensions in Eastern Europe. This move is clearly a result of influence pedaling by energy companies—an industry so money-grubbing that even tragic geopolitical events are fodder for increasing profits. 

Companies like ExxonMobile should not control U.S. foreign policy, and we should not sacrifice communities across the United States for illusory policy objectives that are really about increasing market share for a few energy giants. It is irresponsible to push for more fracking—a process that dramatically increases methane emissions in the atmosphere, contributing to climate change. Inserting natural gas into the narrative about the imploding situation in the Ukraine will only lead to more global instability, and in the long run, undermine any national security goals that proponents claim will be achieved.

By this time, our leaders should know that allowing outdated, polluting fossil fuels guide our foreign policy strategies is a bankrupt one.  Pressure on the Obama administration to allow exports of natural gas to commence demonstrates the cynical willingness of the industry to use an international calamity to achieve its long-term policy goals. The arguments in favor of export demonstrate the dishonesty of the oil and gas industry’s claims that fracked gas is the key to U.S. energy independence.

We’re not standing for this, and neither should you. Please join us in telling the Obama administration that we cannot let the escalating crisis in Ukraine become an excuse for more fracking in the United States. 

2 Comments on Natural Gas is Not a Geopolitical Bargaining Chip

  1. Ron Birch says:

    Gosh, there are so many untruths in this little article.
    First of all it is ExxonMobil (no e).
    Everyone agrees fracking should be closely monitored and regulated, but it is a fact that properly engineered wells are safe and this is the most effective method of obtaining the energy we need to heat our homes and maintain a modern functioning society. Your thinking is still in the Middle-Ages unfortunately.
    What alternative do you suggest? There are certainly no bright ideas forthcoming on this website. And you don’t think Ukraine would be unstable now if it wasn’t completely dependent upon Russian natural resources? Please wake up to realities.

  2. Jean Hricik says:

    Fracking in the USA must quite simply stop. Human rights and environmental rights are being ignored in the pursuit of money.

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