President Obama showed up at the office today to levy more sanctions against Russia, but only after the EU agreed. The EU is calling the shots on Russia because they are so deeply dependent. Hurting the Russian economy ricochets and boomerangs right back.
It would be a sign of great leadership for the U.S. to initiate a concerted effort to organize allies to embrace a renewable energy paradigm to achieve sustainable living. Of course, that would have to start here in the USA.
The first requirement is for all free nations to gain energy independence, and that means from the Middle East and Russia.
The second requirement is for all free nations to transform to renewable energy production, principally non-nuclear.
When these two things happen, the free world will have less reason to be concerned about what happens in other nations, unless and until the rogue members of the planet become a menacing threat.
By trying to expand Russian territory by reclaiming ethnic Russians in former Soviet states, Russia is a menace to sovereign nations and to the EU that has become too dependent. Don’t blame it all on Putin. He is just seizing the moment that has been served to him.
In a capsule, what the new sanctions do are this:
- Further restrict Russians from accessing capital markets.
- Embargo arms trade and export for dual-use goods
- Constrain oil sector technology transfer and service support
The latter will hurt American oil companies, but they can suck it up.
A creative U.S. government with an imaginative President and cooperative Congress would legislate incentives and guidance to the energy sector to accelerate renewable energy production on a fast track. The government should seek a trade with energy companies that want to exploit domestic petroleum resources whereby they must advance renewables concurrently with exploiting gas and coal reserves. They must ensure clean mining and clean use of fossil fuels as part of the cooperation and strategy.
If they don’t step it up, sanction them with removal of unearned tax breaks.
“Obama, in his remarks this afternoon, called them the “most significant and wide-ranging sanctions to date.”
The EU says the sanctions will limit access to EU capital markets for Russian State-owned financial institutions, impose an embargo on trade in arms, establish an export ban for dual use goods for military end users, and curtail Russian access to sensitive technologies particularly in the field of the oil sector.
Meanwhile, at the State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki emphasized the U.S. welcomed “Europe’s determination to take strong new steps and the strong -- this trans-Atlantic community and G-7 are united in their determination to respond to continued and intensified Russian aggression.””