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Letter: Defeating Putin with clean energy

Let’s defang Putin in his heinous assault and stand with the brave people of Ukraine by encouraging our elected officials to speed clean energy deployment. It’s our patriotic duty.

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Black modern laptop with open display. 3d render, Isolated on white background
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Russia’s invasion of Ukraine “is a war underwritten by oil and gas, a war whose most crucial weapon may be oil and gas, a war we can’t fully engage because we remain dependent on oil and gas,” writes environmentalist Bill McKibben .

Harvard economist Jason Furman notes Russia's economy is "incredibly unimportant in the global economy except for oil and gas," which account for 60% of Russia’s exports and provides $500 million revenue daily .

Putin is weaponizing oil and gas exports, calculating the prospect of $5/gallon gasoline will prevent the West from banning oil and gas imports and hitting Russia where it really hurts. Indeed, as of this writing, purchases of Russian oil and gas continue.

This ongoing dependence on oil not only empowers Putin, air pollution from burning fossil fuels kills millions yearly and is rapidly heating the planet. Crystallizing the connection, the latest dire Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report was released within days of Russia’s invasion.

Rapidly transitioning to clean energy — whose prices have plummeted over the past decade — would hamstring Putin’s evil ambitions while cleaning the air and stabilizing the climate. A West that drove electric vehicles powered by solar, wind, hydro, and nuclear power; and heated buildings with ultra-efficient electric heat-pumps would not be pulling its punches and continuing to fund Russian aggression.

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Let’s defang Putin in his heinous assault and stand with the brave people of Ukraine by encouraging our elected officials to speed clean energy deployment. It’s our patriotic duty.

Dan Herscher,
Birchwood

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