Democrats playing into Putin’s hands over US energy production: Experts

Russian President Vladimir Putin is using anti-fracking “disinformation” to weaken American energy, according to an expert, and attempts by Democrats to ban fracking are only helping Russia, intentional or not.

Answering a question from Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash. On April 6, when asked whether Russia had promoted and funded anti-fracking propaganda in both the United States and Europe during a US House subcommittee hearing, Lt. Gen. HR McMaster said “absolutely.”

“Absolutely. The evidence is overwhelming,” McMaster said. “This is Russia’s attempt to portray fracking as unsafe and thereby retain its power in the energy market and particularly in Europe and the world.”

Rebekah Koffler, a former Defense Intelligence officer and author of “Putin’s Playbook: Russia’s Secret Plan to Defeat America,” told FOX Business she agreed with McMaster’s analysis, saying that Russia was conducting “covert influence operations” to try to portray fracking as a harmful, a message that resonates with people in the US and Europe.

You have worked with the environmental organizations. Basically, they run what we call covert influence operations and disinformation operations to promote green energy and portray fracking as harmful. And they know that this message will resonate with that US audience, of course with certain US audiences, and with European audiences,” Koffler said.

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FILE – In this January 16, 2015 file photo, Pumpjacks operate in Bakersfield, California. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File/AP Newsroom)

Koffler said the ultimate mission of these operations is to encourage American and European dependence on Russian energy.

Their claims are backed up by several reports from the federal government that Russia is trying to halt natural gas expansion in the United States.

A report by the US House of Representatives’ Republican Committee on Science, Space and Technology says documents produced by social media companies “confirmed that Russian agents exploited American social media platforms to disrupt domestic energy markets, research and… development to stifle fossil fuels and hamper efforts to expand the use of natural gas.”

The report notes that Russia is exploiting social media to “disrupt US energy markets” as American energy power “poses a significant threat to Russian energy interests.”

“This is adversely affecting the Kremlin’s ability to harness Eastern Europe’s dependence on its energy and its ability to implement its geopolitical agenda,” the report said.

The subcommittee report referenced a document from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which said that Russian state-sponsored media outlets like RT “run anti-fracking programs that highlight environmental issues and the impact on public health.”

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fracking

FILE – In this Feb. 6, 2015 file photo, protesters prepare to dismantle a makeshift derrick set up outside the California State Office Building to protest fracking in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File/AP Newsroom)

“This likely reflects the Russian government’s concerns about the impact of fracking and US natural gas production on the global energy market and the potential challenges to Gazprom’s profitability,” the report said.

While Russia has been waging its information war against Americans via social media, 21 Democrats in the US House of Representatives sponsored a bill in 2020 that would ban “all fracking on land and offshore land by 2025.”

Whether intentional or not, Koffler says actions like this, by promoting anti-fracking, only help Russia in its mission to keep America dependent on Russian energy.

“The result is that Putin will benefit,” said Koffler. “Absolutely.”

Putin, Vladimir Putin, Russia War, Russian Invasion, Russian Ukraine War, War in Ukraine, War, Conflict

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with young award-winning cultural figures in Moscow, Russia, via videoconference on Friday, March 25, 2022. Russia demands payment in rubles for its natural gas exports to Europe. And this is (Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP, file / AP Images)

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Tyler Duvelius, director of foreign affairs at the Conservative Energy Network, told FOX Business that he believes some Democrats are interfering with Russia’s energy strategy by claiming fracking is unsafe and should be phased out.

“If America is to remain the frontrunner and remain competitive on the global stage, we must prioritize all forms of American energy production that use natural gas but also other energy sources such as wind, solar and nuclear, hydrogen,” Duvelius said. “Really, the more energy we can produce here in America, the more we can ship overseas, and that strengthens America and the foreign policy arena.”

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