President Joe Biden has undermined America’s natural gas production and transportation, but he lifted sanctions on Russia‘s state-owned Nord Stream 2, which his own energy secretary said will transport the “dirtiest form of natural gas on Earth” to Germany.
At a hearing on Thursday, Rep. Mike Waltz, R-Fla., questioned Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm about the State Department’s decision to end sanctions on the Russian gas pipeline.
Granholm said that she “wasn’t a part” of the discussions about lifting the sanctions and that does not know if the administration received anything in return from Russia.
At Thursday’s hearing, Waltz asked if the Energy Department has any input on foreign-policy decisions that are related to pipelines.
“Generally yes,” Granholm said. “And we obviously oppose the pipeline.”
She noted not only that it gave a strategic advantage to a top US foe, but also would contribute to significant pollution in the Balkan region.
“In addition to the geopolitical issues relative to Russia—one of the reasons why I think that pipeline is very dangerous is it is carrying the dirtiest form of natural gas on Earth,” Granholm said.
In the United States, Biden has shut down the Keystone XL pipeline, left Colonial Pipeline vulnerable to attack, fought to shutter the Dakota Access pipeline, and issued executive orders to halt fracking on public lands.
In Russia, however, Biden gives Russia—which high-ranking Democrats consistently label as America’s top geopolitical foe—a free pass.
Biden said he lifted the sanctions “because it’s almost completely finished, number one,” the New York Post reported.
“The idea that anything that—and it’s not like I can allow Germany to do something they’re not,” Biden continued, unintelligibly.
He could not keep the sanctions because Nord Stream 2 was “almost completed by the time I took office,” he said.
“To go ahead and impose sanctions now, I think, would be counterproductive now in terms of our European relations,” Biden said. “And they know how strongly I feel. And I hope we can work on how they handle it from this point on.”
The pipeline also made an indirect cameo in at least one 2014 email by Biden’s son, Hunter, who observed that the destabilizing effect of Russian energy speculation could present a lucrative business opportunity by discouraging Western European competition in Ukraine and the Crimean peninsula.
“Burisma has an opportunity here to play the hero if it ignores the artificial market value of their product and plays to the national interest,” Hunter noted.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken called the State Department’s opposition to the pipeline “unwavering,” even as the administration relents in its opposition.