OPINION GUEST ESSAY: The West’s Delusion of Energy Independence – by Dennis C. Blair and Joseph F. Dunford Jr. (New York Times – February 22, 2022)


Russia’s belligerence against Ukraine is underscoring once again the inextricable link between national security and energy security. Today, Russia is flexing its energy dominance over a dependent Europe. But tomorrow, the danger may come from China and its control over the raw materials that are key to a clean energy future. The United States and its allies must ensure that doesn’t happen.

In recent years America has been lulled into a false sense of energy independence. The shale revolution of the past decade has generated incredible supplies of vital natural gas and oil. European countries, blessed with diverse economies, have also felt relatively secure in recent years. But that is changing.

Germany now depends on Russian suppliers for as much as two-thirds of its natural gas and the European Union for about 40 percent. And Germany, Europe’s largest economic force, until recently had appeared more hesitant than its peers to forcefully confront the Kremlin as it phases out its nuclear power plants.

Now Chancellor Olaf Scholz has said Germany will halt certification of the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline that would link his country with Russia. How the Kremlin will react is unclear, as is whether Germany will stay the course over time. Moscow sees Europe’s energy dependence for what it is: a supply chain dynamic it can control and exploit at will.

For the rest of this column: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/22/opinion/russia-ukraine-energy-conflict.html