Stacy Garrity Keep Pennsylvania’s energy flowing

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Mar. 4—The fiasco that is Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is proving that Russia is a paper empire, where imperial ambitions run headlong into a desperate reliance on international trade.

It is also proving that Pennsylvania will play a pivotal role in determining whether Europe freezes in place once Russia either shuts off its supply of natural gas, or dissolves into domestic chaos in which they couldn’t pump natural gas if they wanted to.

We know — now more than ever — that Putin will say and do anything if he believes it will advance what he views as Russia’s rightful place at the top of the world economy.

When the west, led by the Keystone State, unleashed its economic power by harvesting the Marcellus Shale reserves, Putin openly campaigned against us.

In one interview, the head of the Russian state oil company, Gazprom, said “European housewives” wouldn’t support an energy source harvested using hydraulic fracturing.

In one press event, Putin used the very language of the anti-carbon crowd to protect Russia’s hegemony over Europe’s energy supplies. Russia drills gas, sells it to Europe, and doesn’t want competition for a more competent state.

A 2017 report by the Director of National Security noted Putin’s efforts to undermine fracking in the United States.

The Kremlin-controlled RT cable channel put special emphasis on glorifying the anti-fracking movement here.

But Putin isn’t an environmentalist. He’s an imperialist. He wants to increase the world’s reliance on Russian energy.

And, thanks in large part to some terrible policy decisions made by our national and state leaders, he may yet succeed. Europe — like most market economies — often lets practicalities override values.

The Biden administration’s buckling on vital projects such as the Mariner East and Keystone XL pipelines has improved his chances.

In Pennsylvania, we’re being dragged into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) by people who support adding a carbon tax to Pennsylvania — and think it will somehow reduce greenhouse gas output.

Never mind that Pennsylvania’s carbon emissions have fallen like a stone in the past two decades, as coal fired plants switch to natural gas.

If you have any doubts about the efficacy of this strategy, think about why you can cook on your gas stove indoors, but keep the charcoal grill outside.

As an Army veteran who has served in three combat deployments and a businesswoman who has traveled the world many times over, I know that success on the world stage requires a solid economy at home.

Pennsylvania is the largest generator of electricity in the nation. It is also a major source of natural gas and can be an energy exporter on the level of Texas if we allow it.

With Europe standing firm against Putin, we should as well.

Let’s end the political posturing and keep Pennsylvania’s energy flowing.

Stacy Garrity is treasurer of the commonwealth of Pennsylvania and a retired Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves.

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