OpEd: Russian Natural Gas Ploy Unscores Need for Renewable Energy

Russia's actions, combined with continued insecurity in the Middle East, Venezuela, and Nigeria mean that the energy concerns for United States and western Europe are not diminishing.

Published: 05-Jan-2006

With its willingness to use energy as a political instrument, Russia has provided the world with further incentive to pursue renewable energy. The Kremlin has shown it cannot be counted upon as a reliable source of energy and western markets should see this as an opportunity to take a long, thoughtful look at energy security and re-evaluate the benefits of developing renewable energy technologies.

Sunday, Russia reduced gas flows through the pipeline system for Ukraine. The move, widely seen as a form of protest against Ukraine's increasingly western ways, resulted in diminished gas supplies across Europe and met condemnation by European leaders.

Michael Glos, the economics minister of Germany, wondered whether Russia could be trusted to deliver gas in the future, while the U.S. State Department expressed its concern saying the move "creates insecurity in the energy sector in the region and raises serious questions about the use of energy to exert political pressure."

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