COMMENTARY | The Rape of the Crimea is now complete with a sham referendum that has codified the transfer of that region from the Ukraine to Russia. President Obama has been reduced to sputtering impotently promising this or that vague consequences.
The American Spectator recalls a crucial part of President Ronald Reagan’s strategy that won the Cold War and suggests that it become one of those consequences. That would be to bend every effort to lower the price of oil and gas. Russian depends on exports of these two commodities to fuel its war machine and lubricate its imperial pretensions.
The idea is that the Obama administration could reverse its five year plus policy and start drilling with abandon and then exporting the excess product to Europe in order to undercut Russian oil and gas. Vladimir Putin is riding high with the price of a barrel of crude at about $100 or so a barrel. He would be in big trouble is the price were to be, instead, $20 a barrel.
The policy would have a number of happy side effects, cutting off a source of income to Islamist terrorists and rogue regimes like Venezuela as well as providing a boost to the American economy. Imagine paying around $2 a gallon for gasoline and having one’s utility bills cut by a substantial amount. With energy costs declining, the American economy would finally start to recover.
The same sort of thing happened in the 1980s, as low energy prices helped to fuel the Reagan recovery while pinching off income to the Soviet Union. It could happen again.
Unfortunately the current president, captive as he is to his own ideology, is not likely to follow his predecessor’s winning strategy. That is why the next two and a half years are likely to be long and depressing. That is why Reagan is a world historic figure and Obama will always be a warning of what happens when someone like that is given power.