MINOT, N.D. — I've been accused of being too hard on Trump supporters.
Or, more specifically, lumping all Trump supporters together. Putting the Republicans who voted for Trump because the alternative was Hillary Clinton, and then Joe Biden, in the same category with QAnon aficionados who think the Jan. 6 riot was a "false flag" operation put on by Antifa activists dressed up as Trump supporters.
That's a fair criticism. Such generalizations have not been my intent. There are many reasons why a rational American voter might wish the Trump administration, with all its manifest faults, were still in office.
Such as President Biden's decision to cut a deal with Vladimir Putin's regime, allowing the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline to go forward.
As a matter of geopolitics, this is foolhardy. This gas line will further enrich Putin and allow his regime to further project its influence into Europe. One of the line owners is Gazprom, which is in turn owned by the Russian state.
Russians were responsible for the cyberattack that shut down a major American pipeline, hurting millions of Americans on the eastern seaboard. Even if the Russian government isn't directly involved, it's providing a safe harbor in which the hacker group responsible for the attack lives.
After that, the Russians get rewarded with American acquiescence to a Russian pipeline?
As a matter of economic policy, signing off on Nord Stream 2 is downright insulting. America shouldn't be in the business of blocking international commerce because it competes with American commerce. Still, it is appalling that a presidential administration would be generally hostile to the domestic oil and gas industry even as they're paving the road for a gas company owned by the Russian state.
If Nord Stream 2 is OK, why not the Keystone XL Pipeline?
If America will help Russia access vast new markets for Russian natural gas, why do we have a moratorium on federal oil and gas leases that's hurting American companies and American mineral owners?
That moratorium is costing Americans billions upon billions in employment, commerce, and tax revenues just in North Dakota. The broader economic impact is much larger, at a time when our nation is still trying to climb out of the economic hole the pandemic left us in, yet the Russians get a pass?
“The Biden administration continues to undermine North American energy production, including canceling the Keystone XL pipeline, all while cutting a deal to allow the Nord Stream 2’s completion, supporting Russian energy delivery to Europe," Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., said recently in a statement. "This approach not only hurts our country economically, it makes us, our allies, and our partners in Europe less secure. By refusing to impose sanctions that were passed by Congress with bipartisan support, the Biden administration is allowing Europe to become even more subject to Russia’s influence and undercutting our nation’s efforts to counter Russian aggression, particularly its meddling and encroachment against Ukraine."
With this one action, the Biden administration has helped empower the Russians and their oil and gas interests even as his administration diminishes the American oil and gas industry.
It's almost enough to make rational people miss Trump.
If only Republicans, in 2016, had coalesced around a sane candidate capable of winning a second term.
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Rob Port, founder of SayAnythingBlog.com, is a Forum Communications commentator. Reach him on Twitter at @robport or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.