The Russia-China Energy Deal (And My Alleged Agenda)

You may have heard that Russia and China signed a massive energy deal last week (to the tune of $400 billion if I remember correctly). The good people at the Heritage Foundation are freaking out. It is major news, so I don’t entirely blame them. I don’t know how well the author’s proposed response is, though:

Step two: Let private industry build out the construction projects — pipelines, transmission lines, liquefied-natural-gas (LNG) terminals — so we can export our 500 years’ worth of natural gas all over the world. Repeal federal laws that prohibit exporting petroleum.

I hate to tell you, but transporting gas via pipeline will always be cheaper than liquefying it (that takes a ton of energy), keeping it liquefied aboard a ship (more energy), and putting it back into gaseous form for transmission (more energy). Whereas the Russians have an entire network of pipelines to transmit natural gas to the European continent (and now China), the United States is surrounded by water and does not have a pipeline to Europe.

It may surprise you, but I’m not crazy about the Russia-China deal—because China is our enemy. I left this comment on a post at The National Interest about the US-Russia rivalry.

The roots of America’s problems with Russia run deep. (One could argue that the West in general has been positioning itself as Russia’s rival for centuries–see the Great Game issue in the 19th century. But I digress.) One thing I think we should have done was foster better relations with Russia after the Soviet Union fell. I know hindsight is always 20/20, but still, we continued to treat Russia poorly even after it ostensibly lost the Cold War. Our terrible policies of continually infringing on Russia’s sphere of influence have really come back to haunt us. Instead of cultivating Russia as an ally, we have driven them into the arms of the Chinese, another formidable geopolitical foe, and other anti-American countries like Iran. How quickly our politicians forget that Vladimir Putin was the first foreign leader to call the US president after the 9/11 attacks happened in 2001…

To which someone replied to me, saying: You start out well but by the end your true agenda and affiliation are clear.

I wasn’t aware I had an agenda, dear readers. I replied to said commenter, imploring him to tell me what my agenda is, for I remain blissfully unaware.