Never mind the mainstream news media reports about Donald Trump’s campaign operatives colluding with Russian officials or Russian interference in US elections. The real scandal is in the content of a letter obtained from The Daily Signal from two members of Congress to US Energy Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
The letter is from Representatives Lamar Smith and Randy Weber, who are both Republicans and chair Congressional committees that cover energy issues. In their letter, Smith and Weber advise Mnuchin that sources tell them that the Russian government is working with (i.e. colluding) with US-based environmentalist groups that seek to undermine hydraulic fracturing (i.e. fracking).
Two years ago, it was revealed that Russia financed efforts involving environmentalist groups in Europe who protested and attempted to halt fracking there as well. Russia provides natural gas to Europe via Gazprom and it is attempting to prevent competition so it can maintain its monopoly in natural gas and marketshare in oil production.
Even the paragon of green virtue, Greenpeace, has been accused of being on Russia’s payroll while the Sierra Club has even taken money from natural gas companies to fund their opposition to coal and money from other sources to pay for the group’s anti-fossil fuel activities.
An investigation during 2015 by The Washington Free Beacon revealed a wide variety of Russian-linked funding sources subsidizing US environmentalist groups. A little-known Bermuda-based company named Klein, Ltd is run by executives with heavy ties to Russian oil interest groups and are linked to money laundering schemes involving people who are alleged to be part of President Vladimir Putin’ inner circle.
During 2014, Romanian officials alleged that anti-fracking protesters were hired by Russia’s natural gas monopoly, Gazprom, in which the company hired environmentalists to protest and use other methods to prevent fracking to continue there. Even Russian-friendly Bulgaria saw a huge influx of environmentalists who protested against fracking in the country that resulted in Bulgaria banning hydraulic fracturing in 2012.
Thankfully, according to a Heritage Foundation economist, environmentalist efforts to halt fracking are largely ineffective. Fracking has been largely profitable for energy companies who enjoy lower input costs resulting from using the drilling methods and families enjoy lower energy bills due to wider availability of fossil fuels. It was George Washington who once said: Few men have virtue to withstand the highest bidder. The fact that Russia and even natural gas companies funnel money to environmentalist groups in order to sabotage American oil, gas and even coal production goes to prove that (despite their denials) even environmentalists are not immune from being bought and paid for.