Jonathan Morgenstein, Operation Free Veteran and Truman National Security Project Security Fellow, lays out how increasing U.S. renewables is integral to dealing with Russian aggression in Greentech Media. 

“In January, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis called Russia the “principal threat” to America today. But despite Russia’s might, there’s a glaring chink in its otherwise impenetrable armor: an extraordinary dependence on its sale of fossil fuels.

Over the past decade, the U.S. has developed the ultimate weapon — clean energy — to protect us from and neutralize the multi-tentacled Russian threat.

The U.S. clean energy industry, in partnership with the U.S. government, has the opportunity over the coming decades to earn billions while strengthening our national security. Together they can assist Europe in overhauling energy infrastructure and starving Moscow’s budget of its essential fossil fuel revenue, rendering Putin powerless.

Moscow’s dominance of the regional energy market serves as the cornerstone of Europe’s vulnerability to the Russian threat. According to RAND, 11 European countries, from Finland to Bulgaria, buy over 90 percent of their vital natural gas from Russia. Germany, our most important ally on the continent, relies on Russia for over 40 percent of all the natural gas it consumes, more than from any other country.

However, this interdependency flows bilaterally. Russia earns over 40 percent of all export revenue from fossil fuel sales to Europe and North America. Moreover, 36 percent of every ruble in the Kremlin’s published budget (USD $85.5 billion) comes directly from these fossil fuel sales.

Putin’s carbon cash-flow addiction constitutes his “critical vulnerability,” essential to feed over 30 percent of the Kremlin’s budget consumed by Russia’s army, security agency FSB, and other security services. Therefore, establishing an “Allied Energy Defense Fund” investing in American-made clean energy in Europe, would accelerate our allies’ drive for energy self-sufficiency, and drain Russia’s financial resources, undercutting its ability to wreak havoc beyond its borders…”

Continue reading the full article here. Views expressed are his own.