Making Russia great again: What is it with Team Biden and gas pipelines?

Analysis by WorldTribune Staff, May 24, 2021

Team Biden’s “Build Back Better” so far appears to sacrifice American jobs while enriching enemies of the United States.

On Jan. 20, Biden issued an executive order which halted construction on the Keystone XL pipeline, putting thousands of Americans out of work and angering key ally Canada.

The Nord Stream 2 pipeline is more than 90 percent complete. / Olga Tanasiychuk / Ukrinform via ZUMA / TASS

Last week, however, Team Biden paved the way for the completion of a major gas pipeline that will greatly benefit … Russia. Let that sink in.

The Biden administration has waived sanctions on both the Russian company behind the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline and its top executive, Matthias Warnig, a close confidant of President Vladimir Putin.

“If this were the Trump administration, most of the media would be screaming that the president is in Putin’s pocket,” the New York Post noted in an editorial.

The completed Nord Stream 2 pipeline will allow Russia to double its natural gas deliveries to Germany, handing the Kremlin significant leverage over most of the Eastern European energy market, industry analysts say. It also allows Russia to continue its isolation of Ukraine, as the pipeline bypasses its former client state which is now a democracy.

European parliaments and the U.S. Congress had for months prevented the Russians from completing the last 5 percent of the 764-mile pipeline connecting Russia to Germany.

Earlier this month, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken called completion of the pipeline “a bad idea” that “advances Russia’s interests and undermines Europe’s interests and our own.”

“We will continue to oppose the completion of this project, which would weaken European energy security and that of Ukraine and Eastern flank NATO and EU countries. Our opposition to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline is unwavering,” Blinken said in a statement.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel praised Team Biden’s decision on Nord Stream 2. Observers said Merkel had to be pleased with Biden’s capitulation, given that President Donald Trump had frequently challenged Germany, including on the matter of Nord Stream 2.

“I think it’s very sad when Germany makes a massive oil and gas deal with Russia, when you’re supposed to be guarding against Russia, and Germany goes out and pays billions and billions of dollars a year to Russia,” Trump said of the pipeline in 2018.

“Germany is totally controlled by Russia, because they will be getting 60%-70% of their energy from Russia and a new pipeline,” said Trump.

Team Biden’s move on Nord Stream 2 “really undercuts Biden’s ‘I’m tough on Russia’ stance,” John Herbst, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, told NBC.

Pipeline politics is nothing new for Team Biden and its Democrat Party allies.

Late last year, Michigan Democrat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ordered the shutdown of Canadian energy company Enbridge’s Line 5, which transports more than half a million barrels a day of oil and natural gas liquids from Alberta to the U.S. Midwest and eastern Canada.

Enbridge, backed by the Canadian government, is now fighting Michigan in U.S. federal court to keep the pipeline in operation.

“It is a vital part of Canadian energy security, and I have been very clear that its continued operation is non-negotiable,” Seamus O’Regan, Canada’s minister of natural resources, told the Associated Press.

“The Canadians are likely to make this their big issue,” said Christopher Sands, the director of the Canada Institute at the Wilson Center in Washington, D.C. “This is one where I don’t think [Trudeau] can afford to back down.”

U.S. leftists are reportedly planning to protest the operation of another Enbridge pipeline, Line 3, which extends from Alberta through Minnesota to Wisconsin.

Hundreds of protesters are planning to gather in early June to “put our bodies on the line, to stop construction and tell the world that the days of tar sands pipelines are over,” declares the organization leading the demonstration. “We will propel this issue to the top of the nation’s consciousness and force Biden to act.”

Just the News noted in a May 23 report: “With Keystone XL nixed, and Line 5 hanging in the balance, the question is whether” Biden will “again bow to climate activists at home — with attendant costs for American workers, energy independence, and relationship with Canada — while bolstering Russian energy interests and pipeline development.”

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