Russia Influencing U.S. Energy Decisions

Russia Influencing U.S. Energy Decisions

Russia gets a lot of media attention, especially as it relates to our elections, but only a few in the media have suggested that Russia is trying to influence US energy decisions.

In March, the Wall Street Journal reported on Russia’s apparent use of social media to influence energy decisions in the United States.

Russia has obvious motives for disrupting energy development by the United States. Russia relies on oil and gas exports to fill its coffers. Over 60% of its exports are oil and natural gas.

Russia is a major supplier of oil and natural gas to Europe and has used these exports to influence European policies.

It has recently turned its attention to the United States. If it can disrupt energy production in the United States it can help its competitive advantage in Europe and elsewhere.

Representative Lamar Smith, Texas, Chairman of the House Science Committee, said, “Russia wants to reduce competition from the United States.”

Two groups have been identified as being behind Russia’s attempt to disrupt America’s energy programs.

The Internet Research Agency and the Sea Change Foundation have both been cited in news articles as being behind efforts to stop pipeline construction and fracking.

The Sea Change Foundation, a 501 (c ) 3 tax exempt organization, says its mission is to counter climate change. 

According to an article in the Daily Signal, both the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Sierra Club Foundation received millions of dollars from the Sea Change Foundation to campaign against fracking.

The article said, “[The Sea Change Foundation] got financial support from a Bermuda company congressional investigators linked to the Russians.”

Internet Research Agency, Facebook post.
Credit: US House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology

Quoting Wikipedia, “On 16 February 2018, a United States grand jury indicted 13 Russian nationals and 3 Russian entities, including the Internet Research Agency, on charges of violating criminal laws with the intent to interfere ‘with U.S. elections and political processes’, according to the Justice Department.”

A report by the majority staff on the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology said that the Internet Research Agency made more than 9,000 posts on Facebook and Twitter in an effort to disrupt American energy development.

Reportedly, Facebook removed more than 900 accounts linked to the Internet Research Agency.

Some Americans have been duped by Russia into obstructing the development of pipelines and to oppose the use of fracking.

Contrary to the propaganda coming from Russia and its U.S. Fifth Column, (resurrecting a term from WW II), Americans are best served by the development of America’s natural gas and oil resources.

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