Vladimir Putin loves US Judges and environmentalists and Judges because they have indirectly contributed to his long-term plan of dominating Europe.
According to EU data, in 2019, about 25% of oil imports into Europe came from Russia. Also, about 38% of natural gas imports into Europe came from Russia as well. Therefore, Russia was the largest oil and gas supplier to Europe in 2019.
To make Europe even more dependent on Russian energy, Putin, in 2012, approved the construction of the Nordstream 2 gas pipeline to Germany.
Nord Stream 2 Pipeline
The Nord Stream 2 pipeline is an extension of the Nord Stream 1 pipeline. Both are the world's longest subsea pipelines. Nordstream 2 begins from Russia's port of Vyborg, in Leningrad Oblast, and runs under the Baltic Sea for almost 1,200 kilometers to Greifswald in northern Germany.
Both the Nordstream 1 & 2 pipeline cross Swedish, Finnish, and Danish waters before reaching Germany's exit point.
When completed, the Nord Stream 2 pipeline will double the current Nord Stream 1 pipeline's capacity. About 58.5 Billion Cubic Meters of gas passed through the Nord Stream 1 Pipeline in 2019. Nord Stream 2 would add another 55 Billion Cubic Meters of gas per year.
Unfortunately, Central and Eastern European states like Poland, Ukraine, and Estonia are concerned about Nord Stream 2.
The fear is that the pipeline will further boost Russia's leverage over Europe. Additional channels like the Nordstream 2 will make the continent more reliant on Russian energy.
Another concern is that Nord Stream 2 allows Russia to bypass its many pipelines in Ukraine. Older pipelines, such as the Soyuz and Northern Lights, that pass through Ukraine were Moscow's key route for carrying Russian gas to Europe.
In the past, over 80% of Russian gas exports to Western Europe transited Ukraine. With the Nordstream 1 pipeline, that figure dropped to 50% - 60% and will decline further with Nordstream 2.
With Nordstream 2, Russia can blackmail Kyiv with the threat of turning off gas supplies without cutting off Western Europe. In 2009, Russia halted all gas shipments to Ukraine for 13 days.
Germany's power and influence will also be boosted by Nord Stream 2. Once Berlin receives Russia's gas, it will export a significant portion of it to Austria, France, the Netherlands, and other countries in the region. Should Germany have a reason to cut off a particular nation from these shipments, it would be well-positioned to do it.
Being the key destination for Russian gas, Berlin can control prices. According to the Energy Economics Institute (EWI), European Union nations could save between 13 and 32% on their gas imports. Thus, Nord Stream 2 would lower gas prices, particularly in Germany and Eastern Europe. If these numbers prove to be accurate, it makes sense why Germany wants to make a deal with Russia.
In July 2018, United States President Donald Trump called the pipeline a "horrible thing." He further warned that "it's a tragedy" for Germany to pay billions of dollars to Russia.
To halt the construction, the Trump administration, in December 2019, approved sanctions on the gas pipeline.
The sanctions targeted companies helping to build the pipeline. As a result, a Swiss pipe-laying company Allseas pulled out of the project. Once Allseas pulled out, construction of Nordstream 2 stopped in December 2019.
Eventually, construction of the gas pipeline restarted on December 5th, 2020.
The United States views Nordstream 2 as a tool by Russia to increase Europe's dependency on Russian energy supplies. The concern is that the undersea pipeline will ultimately weaken NATO.
President Trump wants to weaken Russia's plans of dominating Europe by encouraging Europeans to buy more natural gas from the United States.
However, President Trump's efforts to weaken Russia have been undercut by left-wing US environmentalists and judges. Thus, Vladimir Putin loves US environmentalists and judges.
President Trump’s Key Obstacles: US Judges & Environmentalists
Vladimir Putin loves US environmentalists because they are waging a substantial legal war against the US energy companies.
Consequently, it has severely weakened President Trump's efforts to sell more gas to Europe to undermine Russia.
The United States has lots of natural gas for Europeans to buy.
However, the challenge is transporting it to the European continent. The solution to this dilemma involves building gas pipelines to transport gas from the North American interior to coastal regions.
From these coastal regions, gas can be exported, via LNG tankers, across the Atlantic Ocean to Europe.
Sadly, US environmentalists and judges are making it hard for President Trump.
In 2020, three critical oil and gas pipelines were blocked by US judges. They include
- The Atlantic Coast Pipeline project.
- The Dakota Access Pipeline
- The Keystone XL pipeline
Atlantic Coast Pipeline Project
On July 5th, Dominion Energy and Duke Energy canceled their joint Atlantic Coast Pipeline project.
The planned 600-mile pipeline would have brought West Virginia natural gas across the Appalachian Mountains to Virginia and North Carolina's coastal regions. The project would have also created about 17,000 jobs and $2.7 billion in economic activity among the three states.
However, the project encountered intense legal challenges from environmental groups like the Sierra Club, Southern Environmental Law Center, and Appalachian Voices.
Fearing further legal challenges and unsure about the project's future, Dominion Energy and Duke Energy decided it was not worth it.
Dakota Access Pipeline
On July 6th, Judge James Boasberg of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ordered Energy Transfer Partners to shut down the Dakota Access Pipeline amid concerns over its environmental impact.
The Dakota Access Pipeline is a 1,200 mile-long underground oil pipeline. It starts from shale oil fields in northwest North Dakota and extends through South Dakota and Iowa, and finally to an oil terminal near Patoka, Illinois.
From Illinois, the crude could be shipped to refineries or turned into valuable fuel like liquefied natural gas from exports.
The $3.8 billion pipeline can carry 470,000 barrels of crude oil a day across the four states.
However, Many Sioux tribes argued that the pipeline just north of the tribe's reservation would pollute their drinking water and destroy sacred burial sites.
Keystone XL Pipeline
On July 6th, the same day a judge blocked the Dakota Access Pipeline, the US Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling halting work on the Keystone XL pipeline.
The Keystone Pipeline system consists of operational Phase 1, Phase 2, and Phase 3.
Earlier in April, Chief US District Judge Brian Morris of Montana canceled the Keystone XL (Phase 4) pipeline's environmental permit.
Just Like Judge Boasberg, Judge Brian Morris of Montana is also an Obama appointee.
The line would help carry 830,000 barrels of crude a day along a 1,200-mile route from the Alberta oil hub of Hardisty to Steele City, Nebraska. From there, the oil would travel to US Gulf Coast refineries.
In 2015, Formal President Barack Obama temporarily delayed the construction of the Keystone XL.
However, after President Trump took office, he signed executive actions on January 24th, 2017, to speed up the approval of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines.
Vladimir Putin - A Happy Man
US Environmentalists, Native American tribes, and Obama-era judges have opposed the Keystone XL, the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, and the Dakota Access Pipeline.
US energy companies have made tremendous efforts to make these pipelines as environmentally friendly as possible.
Unfortunately, environmentalists always find a court ready to rule that some part of the pipeline construction plan is illegal.
Therefore, Putin must be pleased by the efforts of these environmentalists and Obama-era judges.
The Nord Stream 2 pipeline, as of January 2021, is almost finished.
At the same time, America’s three main pipeline projects have been blocked by environmentalists and judges.
For this and other reasons, Europe will remain dependant on Russian energy for years to come.
Many American environmentalists believe that they are helping their country by closing down these pipelines. However, they are assisting Germany and Russia dominate the European continent.
© 2021 Meziechi Nwogu
CHRIS57 from Northern Germany on January 03, 2021:
So - Russia and Germany have stategic power minds.
The US has .. environmentalists?
The world is not that simple.
I am not too sure that Germany or central Europe really needs the natural gas that much. With Germany playing the environmental card, less gas, less oil will be needed. In the past 20 years German GDP doubled, but natural gas consumption of today is same as in 2000.
G. certainly doesn´t need expensive and dirty (fracking) gas and oil from the US. And with G. most of central Europe doesn´t.
There is a geostrategic long term strategy of the US to keep the Eurasian landmass unstable. This is achieved by keeping Iran and the Middle East in chaos and to maintain control over the Ukraine, the Ukraine being the main roadblock between Europe and Russia. Of course it is a threat if the Ukraine can be potentially manipulated by Russia.
Much more on this topics to discuss. Meanwhile my perception is: By assuming the the opponent is trying to power play (without evidence) this only reveals your own thinking of being a predator.
The US behaves like a Mafia gang that desperately tries to maintain control over its territory.