According to U.S. intelligence agencies, Russia has been interfering in the upcoming U.S. presidential election in hopes of boosting President Trump’s chances of victory in November.
One can only wonder why.
Russia is a third-world country (with nukes, to be sure) and, as such, exports almost entirely raw materials, especially oil and natural gas (62.8 percent of Russia’s exports in 2015) and ores and metals (5.9 percent of exports). It is also once again the world’s largest exporter of wheat, which it had been before World War I cut off access to world markets and then Soviet collectivization ruined Russian agriculture.
Therefore, it is very much in Russia’s geopolitical interest to dominate the world’s production of oil and gas as much as possible. But the extraordinary growth in U.S. production of oil and natural gas in the last 20 years, thanks largely to fracking, has profoundly altered the world’s energy market. For the first time in decades, the United States is now a net exporter of energy.
This is very bad news for Russia (and much of the Middle East). And Joe Biden is on record having promised to greatly reduce if not end fracking, to end further drilling on federal lands, and to pursue the fantasy of 100 percent renewable energy by mid-century (see how well that’s working out in California this year with its rolling blackouts).
President Trump, on the other hand, is all in favor of fracking and has opened up previously closed areas of federal land to exploration, such as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
If Biden wins, American energy production, which is still increasing, is bound to stall if not diminish. If Trump wins, it will continue to grow and American dominance of the world’s energy market to further increase at Russia’s expense.
So, one has to wonder: Why is Russia is acting contrary to its obvious self-interest?