Russian President Vladimir Putin claims he invaded Ukraine because the nation was threatening to join NATO, which means Ukraine was in violation of a treaty requiring it to be a neutral buffer state between the rest of Europe and Russia. Nonetheless, Mr. Putin’s ultimate ambition is to reconstitute the former Soviet empire, as he believes the greatest tragedy of the 20th century was the dissolution of the Soviet empire, not World War II.
Alternatively, innumerable climate alarmists claim climate change presents a worse fate than World War II.
That begs the question, is climate change worse than a new European war?
According to John Kerry, President Joe Biden’s climate change czar, the answer to that question is yes. This has to do with the belief that climate change represents an existential threat to mankind — i.e., an extinction event — whereas the war in Ukraine simply portends a nuclear war, if you believe President Putin’s promise to use tactical nukes on the battlefield, if necessary. That’s all!
Hence, the left’s primary foreign policy focus, since the days of the Obama administration (absent the Trump interlude!) has been climate change, not world peace, via a stabilizing, strong American presence and influence in global affairs.
The one thing that could stop Russia, which the late Sen. John McCain described as a gas station masquerading as a country?
America must become energy independent again, including exporting oil and gas to Europe to cut off Mr. Putin’s main supply of cash, which is oil and gas.
Our local contribution to this effort? Santa Barbara County supervisors must grant ExxonMobil the permits needed to resume operations locally at the supervisors’ March 8 hearing. Because the ugly truth of the matter, no matter how inconvenient, is that California is importing oil from Russia rather than producing what we need right here, right now.
America’s ecowarriors pretend that they want to move us off fossil fuels immediately, but the truth is something altogether different. As California and Alaska oil and gas production has declined primarily by way of prohibitive fiat, we haven’t weaned ourselves off oil. We simply imported more petroleum products from places like Russia.
Back in the year 2000, America only imported 72,000 barrels of petroleum products per day (oil and other unfinished oils that America refined into gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel) from Russia.
Today we import nearly 10 times that much, some 250 million barrels a year that will deposit some $25 billion per year into President Putin’s pockets!
Last year alone, California imported 15,477,000 barrels of oil from Russia, some 42,000 barrels a day.
Alternatively, ExxonMobil’s operation here in Santa Barbara County at full production produced about 30,000 barrels per day. Therefore, if our county supervisors at their hearing on March 8, allowed this plant back to full production, its production alone could replace 70% of Russia’s crude oil imports to California, thereby cutting off Mr. Putin from billions of dollars to fund his brutal schemes of empire.
The resulting purchase dollars and jobs would stay in California, and these U.S. dollars would not be spent directly for a war in Ukraine. (Remember there are no sanctions currently in place to prevent foreign currency from going to Russia for oil and gas sales because the U.S. and Europe don’t want the heat and electricity turned off in Europe.) There is also the carbon footprint to think about.
Russia has dirtier production than California. Then there is the ecological impact of tankers transporting the oil from Russia to California.
For the literal love of mankind, let’s think globally and act locally in real terms for world peace, because the world does not run on, or wage wars, for the rights and returns of windmills and solar panels!
Andy Caldwell is the COLAB executive director and host of “The Andy Caldwell Show,” airing 3 to 5 p.m. weekdays on KZSB AM 1290, the News-Press radio station.