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U.S. Energy Markets: The Real Russian Meddling the Media Ignores

March 28, 2018

By Paul Homewood


From the American Spectator:



Who is actively fighting to ensure government policies shutter U.S. nuclear energy facilities; keep domestic coal, natural gas, and oil in the ground; force up energy prices through taxes and regulations; and endanger national security by installing wind farms near military bases? If you answered, “the Sierra Club and its allies,” you’re correct, though you might be surprised to find that one of the latter is the Russian government.

The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology recently issued a report detailing attempts by the Russian government to disrupt U.S. energy markets through social media. Russian operatives encouraged protests to block pipeline construction and prevent new oil and gas extraction projects, among other activities.

“The Kremlin manipulated various groups in an attempt to carry out its geopolitical agenda, particularly with respect to domestic energy policy,” the report stated.

Unfortunately, with the exception of The American Spectator’s Kevin Mooney who covered this report in articles on March 5 and March 8, most media outlets have ignored this particular Russian scandal.

The growth in U.S. energy production threatens Russia’s geopolitical influence and economic strength. In the past decade, fracking and improved delivery infrastructure such as expanded pipelines and new natural gas export terminals have rapidly increased U.S. energy production, putting downward pressure on global energy prices. In response, the Russian government carried out a concerted campaign to disrupt U.S. energy markets by fomenting fears of fossil fuels causing catastrophic climate change.

Sifting through thousands of documents from Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, committee staff identified Russian accounts linked to the Internet Research Agency (IRA), a Saint Petersburg-based company established by the Russian government. IRA used social and traditional media platforms to advance Russian propaganda and viewpoints, the report states.

Between 2015 and 2017, IRA created 4,334 accounts across Twitter and Facebook, producing 9,097 posts or tweets on U.S. energy policy or energy-related events, the analysts estimate. Dozens of posts encouraged Americans to protest pipeline construction, especially targeting the Dakota Access Pipeline.

The Russian government funneled money through surrogates to U.S. environmental organizations to fund attacks on the fossil fuel industry, the report states. “This report reveals that Russian agents created and spread propaganda on U.S. social media platforms in an obvious attempt to influence the U.S. energy market,” said committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) in a written statement. “Russian agents attempted to manipulate Americans’ opinions about pipelines, fossil fuels, fracking, and climate change.”

This is not the first time experts have noted attempts by the Russian government to disrupt U.S. energy markets, the report states.


 Read the full story here.

  1. It doesn't add up... permalink
    March 29, 2018 12:22 am

    Equally ignored is the Russian support in the UK for groups such as anti-fracking protestors. Maybe if Russian activity is circumscribed by present events, the support will fall, and we can get on with it. Trouble is, people like Claire Perry would probably march with the Russians – and then wonder why she is having to deal with embarrassing LNG imports from Yamal.

  2. John F. Hultquist permalink
    March 29, 2018 2:22 am

    Russia has a government problem, economic problems, a demographic problem, and a leadership problem.
    The “people” just agreed to 6 more years of the same.
    As a famous person might say: Sad.

    The few folks from Russia that I have met seem nice.

    • March 29, 2018 12:18 pm

      I have neighbors from Siberia. He is a PhD with the Med School and she teaches English as a second language. It has been amazing to listen to her. She is likely in her 50’s. I believe they were from one of those “science” cities in Siberia.

      In the 1970’s, I actually was in the USSR for almost 2 weeks with a tour to “Leningrad” and Moscow. I won’t say i was an eye-opener, as I had a good grounding in Marxism and the USSR in both high school and college. However, it was eye-opening just seeing the effects and the lack of hope in people. They just moved around with vacant looks.

      I had assumed that Luba was aware of what the past had been with the USSR. When I have said a few things about my observations, however, she just gives me a blank stare. I do not think that what Leningrad and Moscow were like is a part of what she knows.

      Although hard to believe, I have come to view her as a bit spoiled. Two women friends meet at my home where I have a basement studio for “Stamp Club” (art stamping with rubber stamps). She has come at times, but wants everything done for her. She shows no inclination to learn to do for herself or nurture an artistic side. One woman is a retired school teacher and the other still working with the cancer center on grants. Luba asked us for names of those who did our housework so she could get someone to do hers. She was very much surprised when we said we did our own housework. Go figure. I still remember the sight from my hotel room in Leningrad of the older woman in the typical head scarf, sweeping the courtyard with a twig broom.

  3. M E permalink
    March 29, 2018 8:14 am

    ‘Occam’s razor is a logical razor which states that one should never make more assumptions than the minimum necessary to explain something; or, if you don’t have explicit evidence to believe that something is true, then you should not.’ ( from the rational wiki)

    It is indeed true that Russian on line news sites have a tendency to emphasise climate change when ever they have an empty space’ For example read Sputnik news. I read it every day .

    But I notice US news sites seem to have a growing phobia about anything Russian, too. As if the USSR were back again.

    Could this growing unease be something caused by a third party? Could this be an Alinsky tactic by those who wish to cause instability in the world, I wonder.

    But then I try to recall this when looking for conspiracies
    Crabtree’s bludgeon.
    “No set of mutually inconsistent observations can exist for which some human intellect cannot conceive a coherent explanation, however complicated”

  4. March 29, 2018 12:02 pm

    ME says: “Could this growing unease be something caused by a third party? Could this be an Alinsky tactic by those who wish to cause instability in the world, I wonder.”

    Absolutely! This is right out of the playbook. Remember, Hillary Clinton as a law student sought out Alinsky and interned with him. Barack Obama taught Alinsky at the University of Chicago. Mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel, was a senior aide to Bill Clinton and Obama’s Chief of Staff. As such, he quoted Alinsky, when he said. “never let a crisis go to waste”. He explained that an exploited crisis allowed you to do things you otherwise could not do.

    Obama did his best to destroy this country, financially, culturally and militarily. Hillary was supposed to finish us off, but Donald Trump arrived. He loves this country and understands how business, government and society work and are supposed to work, both here and internationally.

    The left and globalists are supporting a “shadow government.” It might be considered a third party. However, if the likes of the Obamas and Clintons think they will have a seat at the head table should they be successful…. HAH! They are just “useful idiots” to the big-boy globalists.

  5. Don B permalink
    March 29, 2018 2:53 pm

    New England politicians are truly “useful idiots.”  They were persuaded by propaganda spread by Russia and others that fossil fuels were evil, so they prevented the building of natural gas pipelines. Then, when gas was needed they imported expensive, liquified Russian gas, because inexpensive U.S. gas was not available.

    Russia won and New England lost.

  6. dennisambler permalink
    March 30, 2018 10:48 am

    9,097 posts or tweets in two years? Wow. Why do the anti-pipeline people need the Russians when they have Greenpeace, FoE and WWF. Has anybody checked how many post or tweets went out from these groups over the same time?

    Anti-fracking similar.

    Did the Russians really produce all this?

    NGO’s get much of their funding from the EU.

    “Green” billionaires also fund these groups,

    Jeremy Grantham funds WWF-US and Environmental Defense, whose CEO’s are on the Grantham Institute Advisory Board with a direct input to UK policy via LSE/Imperial membership of CCC

    Russia is a suitable distraction for just about everything at the moment.

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