Sanctions and Competition

Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, and Czech Republic have directly appealed to our Congressional leadership to expedite turning on the export spigot for our natural gas.  These four nations see the directness and immediacy of the advantage of buying natural gas from us rather than from the Russians.

There’s another effect, though, from our increasing our gas, and oil, exports as quickly and as far as we can.  That’s the effect on oil and gas pricing in the global markets.  Such a large and easy increase in supply will depress those prices, which will have a competition-based double whammy on Russia: it will deprive Russia of billions of dollars in income from its own oil and gas exports by lowering the price, sharply, that Russia can demand, through depriving Russia of its energy monopoly.  Keep in mind, also, that the Russian economy almost exclusively is built on oil and gas exports—it has nothing else other than cheap, second tier military equipment, and while that remains a strong Russian industry, it’s not strong enough to carry the Russian economy, much less provide the funding necessary for Russian…adventurism.

The other whammy also is in those sharply lower oil and gas prices.  That decrease will make it easier for erstwhile Russian “clients,” including Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Ukraine, the EU (Germany, France, and Great Britain especially) to get their energy from somewhere more reliable than Russia, and at a cheaper price.

That cheaper price for these others produces a separate whammy for them: cheaper energy can be only to the good for their economies as they struggle to break out of the doldrums remaining from the global Panic of 2008.

But that’s what competition does—it lowers prices and sets economies free to generate prosperity.  An attempt to boycott Russian oil and gas is unnecessary.

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  1. Pingback: Sanctions and Boomerangs | A Plebe's Site

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