Earlier this week GAIN strategic advisor and retired U.S. Army major general Spider Marks spoke out in the Washington Timesagainst the recent litigation seeking to shut down the Dakota Access pipeline and subsequent consequences if successful.
His piece broadly drew the conclusion that activist pressure campaigns and freelancing judicial decisions undermine the regulatory schema for energy infrastructure with significant consequences for American energy independence and security, as well as national security. Marks pointed to Russian and Chinese developments like Nord Stream 2 and the Power of Serbia pipelines, respectively, as projects already in motion that could usurp influence made available through shutdowns of American energy infrastructure.
These sentiments were echoed the same day by the Wall Street Journal Editorial Board in a column questioning why some elected officials have “…talked tough on Russia since Donald Trump won the Presidency. But when it comes to challenging Moscow, other progressive priorities always seem to take precedence.” The Editorial Board also pointed to the Nord Stream 2 project as evidence of Russian prerogatives to regain influence in Western Europe; they wrote about the pipeline: “It also gives the dictator more leverage over the Continent’s democracies. About 38% of natural gas imports into Europe came from Russia in 2019, according to EU data. The new pipeline would add 55 billion cubic meters of annual capacity, doubling the current route volume.”
The priority in question here is American energy development. And the larger question needing answered is why some members of Congress abhor the buildout of American natural gas and refuse to acknowledge legitimate national security and foreign policy implications of American energy?
Credit to the Editorial Board and Spider Marks for making the politically important, and publically unsavory, points that elected officials have skirted for too long.
As a coalition, GAIN has always stressed the value of building an America that can leverage its natural resources for domestic prosperity and as a tool for our international allies. As Marks summated, “…the reality of infrastructure is that it is essential to make use of natural resources and supports critical functions of the country’s interests and economy. To make up for these losses, the United States better ensure that regulators and the judiciary find reason to endorse future infrastructure buildouts.”