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Russia Russia Russia

It is an article of faith among Democrats and the Media that Russia preferred Trump over Hillary. Nobody disputes it. To do so would get you curious stares like you had suddenly lost your mind. But it never made any sense to me. Trump promised to put the missiles back in Europe to dissuade Russian aggression. Hillary was never going to do that. Trump promised to build up the military. Hillary hates the military.

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But here’s the biggie….. Trump promised to unleash the oil and gas producers of the US, to approve the stalled pipelines and open up drilling in ANWR and other areas. Hillary surely would have done none of that. She came out against fracking to secure Bernie Sander’s endorsement and she would never cross the anti-oil environmental groups that form an essential part of her constituency. Russia gets half of its annual budget revenues and 70% of its export revenues from the sale of oil and gas to other countries. Does anyone seriously believe they would purposely try to put Trump in the White House knowing he would harm their business and indeed their very survival?

Now comes proof of just how far they are willing to go to frustrate drilling, fracking and pipeline building. As everyone knows (hopefully) New York, Pennsylvania and West Virginia sit atop a massive natural gas deposit called the Marcellus Shale estimated to have somewhere between 141 to 400 trillion cubic feet of recoverable gas by fracking. Pennsylvania and West Virginia allow fracking but New York does not which accounts for the disparity in prosperity between the counties in the gas producing states and those who do not.

It turns out that environmental groups opposed to fracking and pipelines received hundreds of millions of dollars from environmental foundations that get the money from a shell company in Bermuda, that got the money from (wait for it) the Russians. The exposure of this money-laundering scheme was exposed recently by Kevin Mooney, a Heritage Foundation investigative reporter and published an article in the “Daily Signal”, a Heritage publication on 4/22/18.

Mr. Mooney discovered that a shell company called Klein Ltd. was set up by a law firm called Wakefield Quinn and some Russian officials including Putin. The law firm runs Klein and a dozen other shell companies at the same address. The Russians give the money to Klein who in turn sends it to several environmental foundations like the Sea Change Foundation and the Energy Foundation. These groups then distribute the cash to activists groups like the Serria Club and the National Resources Defense Council and likely others including the anti-pipeline groups in Canada.

They have been effective. Activist groups have been able to derail the Mariner 2 East and Constitution gas pipelines that would have pumped natural gas from the huge Marcellus Shale deposit to the East Coast where it could both help out with gas customers but also be liquefied for shipment over seas. The Russians continue to sell natural gas to several coastal states and, of course, have a strangle hold on some Eastern European countries.

In Canada the environmental activists have been successful in preventing the building of the Energy East pipeline and the Northern Gateway pipeline. The former would carry natural gas from Alberta and Saskatchewan to the east coast where it would be liquefied and shipped.  The Northern Gateway would have carried crude from the oil sands of Alberta to the northern coast for shipment. The Russians definitely don’t want Canadian oil and gas getting dumped into the world market for energy. Prices would come down and they would have competition.

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There may be some unintended consequences from blocking these pipelines, particularly the gas pipelines. During the unusual cold spells of the last two winters, gas supplies were extremely tight in eastern NA because of limited pipeline capacity. Couple that with the wholesale conversion from coal to gas fired electricity generation and you have a formula for blackouts during extended cold snaps. I read reports that it nearly happened last winter.

Right now we are having a major war over the building of a second pipeline next to an existing one that terminates at the Fraser River near Vancouver. It’s called the Transmountain pipeline. It would bring oil and refined gasoline to people of the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. There is currently a gas shortage here and gasoline costs $1.61 per liter. That’s $6.09 per gallon!

I’ve been curious as to how these protesters can spend weeks and months camped out obstructing the guys trying to build a pipeline. I ask myself, “How do they support themselves? How do they eat and pay the rent?” I guess the answer is….. from the Russians, indirectly. Unwitting stooges for Putin.

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