More fossil fuel production won’t solve the long-term challenge of energy insecurity. Don’t let the frackers win. More oil & gas = more war.

By Phil Aroneanu & Charles Lenchner

The Biden administration has announced that it is planning to send more than 15 billion cubic meters of U.S. gas to Europe this year, to stave off a massive shortage caused by the Russian war on Ukraine. In a typical year, Russia supplies more than 40% of Europe’s gas, used for heating, electricity, and much more.

Also, the Biden team says it’s planning to increase natural gas exports to Europe year-over-year, which would mean building more liquified natural gas (LNG) export terminals, more pipelines, and more fracking wells across the country.

In other words, war on another continent is being exploited to generate windfall profits for the U.S. fossil fuel industry.

We can't let the frackers win

More fossil fuel production won’t solve the long-term challenge of energy insecurity. Instead, it will just lock in more gas infrastructure for decades to come, undermining vital steps toward cutting emissions and addressing the climate crisis. Besides, pipelines, export terminals and fracking wells can’t be built overnight.

What should be happening is an emergency effort to ship U.S.-made, efficient heat pumps to Europe, paired with more investments in renewable energy. Considering the downsides of dependence on petrostate dictatorships, that would be a huge bargain.

Humanity is coming to grips with the desperate need for much more international cooperation to address the climate emergency. We’ve seen the destructive results of fossil fuel dependency – it fuels conflict everywhere, including the war in Ukraine. The answer can’t be more military spending, more drilling, mining and burning. We need a Marshall Plan for clean energy, not a new Cold War. 

Among other things, if the Biden administration tries to build more LNG export terminals, gas pipelines and fracking wells, they will be opposed, delayed, and defeated by communities that don’t want to be sacrifice zones for Big Oil. There’s a veritable graveyard of gas infrastructure projects that have been scrapped due to community resistance in the past few years, including, just to list a few:

A natural gas build-out may sound good to elected officials looking for easy talking points and oil and gas executives looking for a quick profit. But the reality is that communities across the country – from indigenous people fighting Line 3 in Minnesota, to Black folks living in the shadows of oil refineries in Louisiana, to West Virginians living beneath the smokestacks of polluting coal-fired power plants – will do what it takes to protect their families from pollution and environmental injustice.

Another way of saying it is: communities that have been on the frontlines of this crisis know how to resist big corporations and cynical politicians who try to sacrifice them for political points.  We can all do our part to make sure Biden is listening.

Phil Aroneanu is a longtime organizer and strategist who co-founded of, and currently serves as Chief Strategy Officer at Dayenu: A Jewish Call to Climate Action