Brenda Shaffer

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Protesters attend a demonstration against rising energy prices on Parliament Square in London on Feb. 12. Chris J. Ratcliffe/Getty Images

The European Union and its 27 member states have invested more money, effort, and political capital in energy policy than any other region in the world. Until this year, Europe was admired globally as the gold standard for energy and climate policy. Germany’s Energiewende—or energy transition—was especially touted as a shining example of how to green the energy supply.

No one aspires to emulate the Europeans today. Germany and the EU have spiraled headfirst into the globe’s worst energy crisis since the Arab oil embargoes of the 1970s and 1980s. All across the continent, Europe’s energy policies have led to astronomical price increases, industry shutdowns, potential energy shortages, and geopolitical vulnerability.…  Seguir leyendo »

Ukraine isn’t the only place where Russia is stirring up trouble. Since the Soviet Union broke up in 1991, Moscow has routinely supported secessionists in bordering states, to coerce those states into accepting its dictates. Its latest such effort is unfolding in the South Caucasus.

In recent weeks, Moscow seems to have been aggravating a longstanding conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan while playing peacemaking overlord to both. In the first week of August, as many as 40 Armenian and Azerbaijani soldiers were reported killed in heavy fighting near their border, just before a summit meeting convened by Russia’s president, Vladimir V.…  Seguir leyendo »

President Obama’s meeting this month with the Group of Seven leaders focused on European energy policies in light of the crisis in Ukraine. As Western leaders seek the right response, they would do well to keep in mind that Europe’s dependence on Russian energy did not develop overnight. It was, instead, the result of meticulous planning and execution over decades. It cannot be countered without equally disciplined policies led by government institutions.

To reach its goal of energy dominance in Europe, Russia has left no stone unturned, and those who got in the way have sometimes paid a price. In 2009, when Turkmenistan entered into discussions with the European Union about building a pipeline to Europe across the Caspian Sea, a gas valve was closed on the Russian side of a shared pipeline.…  Seguir leyendo »