Biden’s gambling sinks Europe and wrecks Ukraine | Popgen Tech
Two years ago, as US President-elect Joe Biden prepared to take charge, his country was caught in the grip of the Wuhan virus.
The economy was in tatters, demand was woefully low, geopolitics had taken a merciful pause, and the world was looking to America to drive a recovery.
By May 2021, it seemed that Biden would follow the Trump playbook – use the domestic hydrocarbon industry to boost the economy, re-export oil and gas to major importers such as India and China, generate meaningful jobs in large numbers and gradually the putting horrors of the pandemic behind.
The price of crude oil obediently began to rise almost immediately after his election, and Biden even lifted sanctions on Russia’s Nordstream-2 gas pipeline to Germany.
But then, one after another, everything started to fall apart. First, inflation started to rise. It was ignored for months. Cries of concern were dismissed as alarmist political ploys.
Then came an abrupt, reckless, ill-conceived and rogue behavior from Afghanistan, which returned the ground to the Taliban, sent America loyalists to the gibbet and seriously destabilized the region.
This was followed by a slowdown of the US economy and a recession that lasted until the summer of 2022. The US Federal Reserve Bank (their Reserve Bank) was forced to raise their rates. This only exacerbated the inflation problem.
But through 2021, drilling has refused to pick up pace in America. One problem was from low demand exacerbated by a global oil glut. But as global oil prices have been on the rise, consumers in America have been hit by rising gasoline costs. This, in turn, reduced spending and spurred inflation to record levels.
The situation was more or less the same in Europe, with the added economic pain caused by China, so central to Europe’s fortunes, still mired in its pandemic.
It is against this background that Biden unleashed a proxy war in Ukraine. His stated goals have been dutifully portrayed as noble by a compliant Western press – preserving Ukraine’s sovereign right to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) military alliance and the European economic sphere, and ending Europe’s dependence of Russian oil, gas and coal.
The press left out two bits:
One, that this has been a red line for Russia from at least as far back as Vladimir Putin’s landmark Munich speech of 2007, when he spoke out against America’s forced unipolarity, and certainly since 2014, when America initiated regime change in Ukraine forced.
Two, that reducing European dependence on Russian energy offered America a large market for the oil and gas from its tight sands (popularly known as ‘shale plays’) – a market it could supply and control on its own terms.
By doing this, America would effectively underwrite both Europe’s security and energy needs, while getting exactly what its economy needs.
Swarajya repeatedly stated throughout the spring of 2022 that while this grand US plan to replace Russia as Europe’s main energy supplier was ‘technically’ feasible (US oilmen are sans pareil), it was extremely doubtful that Biden’s gamble would work – not least because of the prevailing glut, uncertainty over crude prices, the risk that this plan could be crushed by a price war with other major exporters, and policy attraction (which stemming from the influence of the green lobby on Biden’s Democratic Party).
So where does Biden stand as 2022 draws to a close? Ten months after the Ukraine conflict began, here are the facts:
First of all, America has failed to boost domestic hydrocarbon production and exports to nearly the required levels.
While oil and gas production has increased, neither has substantially reached pre-pandemic volumes. In fact, oil production has not even surpassed the levels hit in 2019.