The most recent Global Warming Policy Foundation newsletter summarizes the situation in the Ukraine as a product of energy policies. The United States is playing a role in international politics as a chess player missing its pawns. Years of neglect in pushing expansion of production of fossil fuels in the United States, that stretches back since the 1973 Oil Embargo, have placed us in a position we can not immediately provide oil and natural gas to our allies in case of an emergency. Russia provides a large fraction of the natural gas used by the European Union, so these countries have to listen to Russian demands.
The solution for the United States is to immediately recognize our lack of pawns in the chess game (insufficient oil and natural gas production) and embark on programs to rectify this situation. President Obama should immediately approve construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline and initiate programs to develop oil and natural production in areas of Alaska that have been placed off limits (Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge). In addition, expedite new production off shore and in California. With vigorous initiatives by President Obama, United States oil production most likely would increase by 60 percent by 2020 with an additional increase in natural gas production.
Since President Obama will probably ignore these entreaties, the political forces in the United States should arise and demand action.
Dr. James Rust is a retired nuclear engineering professor from Georgia Tech.