Rand Paul: U.S. Anti-Energy Policies Empower Russian Aggression

Rand Paul: U.S. Anti-Energy Policies Empower Russian Aggression
March 10, 2014

James M. Taylor

James M. Taylor is senior fellow for environment and energy policy at The Heartland Institute, and... (read full bio)

The Obama administration’s anti-energy policies empower Russia aggression and take away America’s ability to respond, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) explained in a Time magazine editorial. Paul said America has all the means to deter and punish Russian military aggression without the use of American military force but the Obama administration has taken important economic weapons off the table with its anti-energy policies.

Vladimir Putin violated international law by invading the Ukraine, Paul noted. The senator from Kentucky insisted the United States should take the lead role in deterring and responding to such aggression. Paul outlined several potent economic weapons at the United States’ disposal, many of which draw upon our prodigious energy resources.

One economic weapon would be taking decisive stepts to eliminate Europe’s dependence on Russian oil and natural gas.

“I would do everything in my power to aggressively market and export America’s vast natural gas resources to Europe,” said Paul. “I would immediately remove every obstacle or current ban blocking the export of American oil and gas to Europe, and I would lift restrictions on new oil and gas development in order to ensure a steady energy supply at home and so we can supply Europe with oil if it is interrupted from Ukraine.”

“Because of so many of our current needless laws and regulations, President Obama has left Europe completely vulnerable because of its dependence on Russian oil and gas,” Paul explained.

Paul observed that building the Keystone Pipeline would bolster America’s supply of oil from friendly nations.

“I would support immediate construction of the Keystone Pipeline,” said Paul.

“The Budapest Memorandum said that Russia wouldn’t violate the integrity of Ukraine, but now it has,” Paul explained. “There is no realistic military option in this conflict, at least for the U.S. But this does not mean there aren’t options, many of which I’ve outlined here. The real problem is that Russia’s President is not currently fearful or threatened in any way by America’s President, despite his country’s blatant aggression. But let me be clear: If I were President, I wouldn’t let Vladimir Putin get away with it.”

James M. Taylor

James M. Taylor is senior fellow for environment and energy policy at The Heartland Institute, and... (read full bio)