How a Weak Biden, Capitulating to the Green Left, Enabled Putin's Invasion | Opinion

President Biden had tough words about Russia's invasion of Ukraine during Tuesday night's State of the Union address. "Six days ago, Russia's Vladimir Putin sought to shake the very foundations of the free world, thinking he could make it bend to his menacing ways," Biden said. "But he badly miscalculated." Calling the Russian attack premeditated and unprovoked, Biden touted European unity against Russian aggression, and announced that he would ban Russian planes from American airspace and join 30 other countries to release 60 million barrels of oil from petroleum reserves to help curb rising gas prices as a result of the war.

Unfortunately, while Biden has correctly identified one of the major lessons for the West about this war, his solution not only misses the mark but reveals how much worse the situation is thanks to Biden's own actions.

American foreign policy over the past 100 years has consistently led to one obvious conclusion: Energy independence is critical to the national security and interest of the United States. Finding yourself at the whims of energy producers has forced the U.S. into unsavory relationships with OPEC states and even Russia for far too long.

This is something President Trump realized and moved to fix—with great success. The U.S. went from being energy dependent to being the largest producer of oil in the world during Trump's tenure. Throughout his Presidency, U.S. oil imports shrank from 28 percent of daily use to 11 percent. By withdrawing from the overregulation of the Paris Climate Agreement, opening ANWR, and planning for the future by approving the Keystone XL and Dakota pipelines, Trump continued the previous march towards energy independence and set up the future for more of the same.

All that was reversed on Biden's first day in office. On day one, Biden rejoined the Paris Climate Agreement, signed executive orders to kill the Keystone XL pipeline and a moratorium on ANWR drilling, and a blanket executive order to review and roll back any energy or climate-related policy from the Trump Administration.

And the results were immediate: Just over a year into the Biden administration, we've gone from independent and the largest exporter of oil in the world to purchasing on average 529,000 of barrels from Russia every day in 2020. The Energy Information Administration's estimates are even higher, putting U.S. imports at 844,000 barrels per day from Russia.

Meanwhile, the Keystone XL pipeline—which Biden canceled with the stroke of a pen—would have provided nearly 900,000 barrels per day, solving America's energy dependence all on its own.

Biden delivers State of the Union address
U.S. President Joe Biden delivers the State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress in the U.S. Capitol House Chamber on March 1, 2022 in Washington, DC. Saul Loeb/Pool/Getty Images

So while Biden is proudly touting the release of 60 million barrels of reserve oil, this was a problem that only needed solving because of actions that he himself took to cancel the path Trump chartered to energy independence. Bowing to the green lobby, Biden crippled our energy independence and has resorted to half measures to correct for it while civilians in Ukraine die.

The woke Left might like to believe that conservatives oppose things like the Green New Deal because we hate the environment, but the truth is, we oppose them because we hate war. And we know that doubling down on "green energy" is just not going to cut it when it comes to one of the most important things to American peace.

And yet, instead of recognizing this and perhaps recommitting to the Keystone Pipeline, the Biden Administration is doubling down. White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki for example told ABC that the lesson of Ukraine is that we need to reduce our dependence not just on foreign oil but "on oil in general."

It's not just the United States. In the past year, Germany has shut down three of its six remaining nuclear reactors and plans on shutting the other three down before the end of this year. So instead of relying on their own energy production, they now get the bulk of their energy from Russia. What that means is that penalizing Russia and cutting it off from the international market isn't only going to hurt Russia; German families are going to feel that painfully when they try to fill their cars with gas, or their homes with heat.

Maybe, just maybe, the West shouldn't have outsourced its energy strategy to a dictator from another country, someone they all claim to have known was a dictator. What was the plan exactly? To lure Russia into being nice by giving them all this power over the West while cutting off our own ability to supply energy to ourselves and others?

Make no mistake: Putin's aggression is fueled by the euros Russia is paid for gas. And what the West needs to combat Russian aggression is stability and independence. Instead, the Biden Administration and Germany have been captured by a Left-wing green agenda, sacrificing energy independence and strength for the approval of progressives pushing the Green New Deal. And now Ukrainians are paying for it with their lives.

Army Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, once testified before lawmakers that he wanted "to understand white rage." Forget about white rage; Biden and the EU's outrage at Putin's unconscionable actions in Ukraine is weak rage.

We are now seeing what the West's weakness has begotten. This is the hallmark of this administration and the West at large: a series of incompetent and feckless foreign policy moves that stem from and reinforce failed green energy policies and identity politics at home.

And our enemies know it. Chinese President Xi Jinping has operated on the narrative that the West is in decline for years now, and President Biden has proven him right again and again—in Afghanistan, with energy, and now with his handling of Russia. That's why Xi doesn't have to say anything; he's just sitting back and letting Biden's incompetence make his point. Any new negotiations China has will no longer be hindered by the real threat of American interdiction.

This conflict is being fed to us as a conflict of moral virtue, pitting authoritarianism against democracy. But the truth is, it's a conflict born of weakness; we've subjugated ourselves to the energy whims of the foreign power that we also claimed to hate for the last 75 years.

And they call Trump the Putin plant.

President Biden like President Obama before him, like Germany and the rest of the West, have kowtowed to nonsense about immediately eliminating fossil fuels without any regard for the safety and security risks associated with that change. And now they're going to war because of it.

Putin may be the authoritarian dictator who just invaded another country and is killing civilians. But it's the weakness of the West that allowed him the conditions he needed to do it. The sooner we recognize that, the safer we—and the Ukrainians—will all be.

Dan Hollaway is a veteran of the 82nd Airborne and holds a Master's in Homeland Security from Penn State University. He is the host of Drinkin' Bros Podcast and American Party Podcast.

The views in this article are the writer's own.