Thinking Citizen Blog — What Level of Economic Sanctions on Russia Is Appropriate?
Thinking Citizen Blog — Tuesday is Economics, Finance, and Business Day
Today’s Topic: What Level of Economic Sanctions on Russia Is Appropriate?
Are we doing as much as we should to persuade Russia to end the war in the Ukraine? Can we “sever Putin’s revenue stream” of $7 billion per week from oil exports? Pat Toomey (below), a Republican Senator from Pennsylvania, argues that more can be done. Is he right? Today, excerpts from his argument. Experts — please chime in. Correct, elaborate, elucidate.
BIDEN IS NOT DOING ENOUGH — US buys only 5% of Russian crude oil
1. “The sanctions imposed by President Biden — at Congress’s urging — have been economically damaging to Russia, but not crippling”
2. “The ban on American imports of oil minimally harms Mr. Putin, as Americans buy only 5% of Russia’s crude oil.”
3. “Since the sanctions imposed by the U.S. and Europe purposely allow Russia to continue exporting oil and gas, between $5 billion and $7 billion in hard currency funds Mr. Putin’s war machine each week.”
THE FINANCIAL SECTOR IS KEY — no more payments to Russian banks
1. “To cut off Mr. Putin’s oil and gas sales globally, the administration and Congress should impose secondary sanctions on the entirety of Russia’s financial sector.”
2. “These penalties would effectively prohibit foreign banks anywhere in the world, under the threat of U.S. sanctions, from making payments to Russian banks, including for oil and gas.”
3. “They would force the world to make a choice: Do business with the U.S. or do business with Russia. But you can’t do both.”
WIND-DOWN PERIOD, SUMMER WEATHER, ENERGY INDEPENDENCE
1. “The Biden administration expressed concerns that secondary sanctions could hurt America’s relationships with European allies. But there’s a potential solution. As the Treasury Department is already doing with existing sanctions, the U.S. can work with foreign governments to create so-called wind-down periods. These transitions will give European allies a say in how these secondary sanctions are implemented. “
2. “With warm spring weather arriving, European demand for Russian gas is about to drop precipitously. Economists and analysts predict that the higher prices Europeans will pay for non-Russian energy won’t come close to being economically catastrophic for the eurozone. And Europeans can begin reducing their dependence on Russian gas by building new liquefied natural gas terminals, improving continental gas pipeline connectivity, and suspending the phase-out of nuclear power.”
3. “The U.S. must accelerate efforts to bolster its own energy independence. While President Biden claimed in a recent press conference that the current crisis “should motivate us to accelerate the transition to clean energy” and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, this can’t — and won’t — happen overnight. It would take decades to develop the technology needed to produce consistent and reliable green energy at such an enormous scale. The administration implicitly acknowledged this by going on bended knee to plead with Venezuela’s dictator to produce more oil.”
NB: “The administration should instead bolster America’s energy independence by reversing its disastrous anti-fossil-fuel policies: restart the Keystone XL pipeline, expedite approvals of natural gas pipelines and LNG facilities approvals, and repeal its broad and punitive regulations and restrictions on U.S. oil and gas production.”
A LINK TO THE LAST FOUR YEARS OF POSTS ORGANIZED BY THEME:
Two special attachments below:
#2 “39 Songs, Prayers, and Poems: the Keys to the Hearts of Seven Billion People” — Adams House Senior Common Room Presentation, 11/17/20
Billion People” — Adams House Senior Common Room Presentation, 11/17/20
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