Monday, July 11 2016 22:10 EEST
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Garry Kasparov: 'It's important to remember why energy is a big part of Putin's aggression and of Europe's defense against it'
Russia, gas, Putin, invasion,Ukraine, aggression, Europe, blackmail, oil, dictatorship, repression, McDonald's, energy, Kasparov, opinion
oilandgaspeople.com

There is so much mixing and so many middlemen. Even boycotting the oil and gas production of a rogue nation, as was done with Iraq and Iran, is difficult.

Garry Kasparov shared on Faceook:

'With more talk again of new pipelines for Russian gas to Europe even while Russia is under sanctions for Putin's invasion of Ukraine, it's important to remember why energy is a big part of Putin's aggression and of Europe's defense against it. I wrote this piece last year about why 'dictatorship substitution' is a critical element of deterrence, making sure the free world isn't vulnerable to economic blackmail by authoritarian regimes.

The free market can work in these battles, to a degree, the way consumer opinion and leverage have forced giant companies to clean up sweat-shop labor or raise animals more humanely, for a few examples. Blood diamonds are another. But oil and gas are even more difficult to pursue this way due to their essential nature and how energy is commoditized. There is so much mixing and so many middlemen. Even boycotting the oil and gas production of a rogue nation, as was done with Iraq and Iran, is difficult.

But it would be a fascinating project to bring accountability to the energy companies at the gas pump. Many Americans will buy a product that costs more because it is made in America and not (typically) China. Would Americans not also voluntarily pay a little more for gasoline or heating if it came from America, or an ally like Canada or Mexico, instead of a terror sponsor in the Middle East or an aggressive dictatorship like Putin's? Consumers know how many calories are in a Big Mac and if their t-shirts are organic cotton, but we have no idea if fueling our cars and warming our homes is also fueling terror and repression.

Of course the big energy companies would hate this, just like McDonald's hated having to raise chickens more humanely and Nike and Apple hated having to monitor the labor practices in their Asian factories. But as those cases showed, the consumer wields considerable power when information is available. Instead of wasting time labeling GMO crackers or whatever is next, how about labels on gas pumps saying 'Made in America' or 'Dictatorship Free'?'

As reported earlier by 1492news.com, Russia will exhaust one of its sovereign funds next year to cover the budget deficit. 

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