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Putin would be nothing if it were not for gas

Putin would be nothing if it were not for gas

The world knows that Russia is a one-asset economy – gas.  That is it.  Without gas, Putin’s Mother Russia would be a third-world country with a starving population – the kind of nation we see in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Oh yea, the Madman of Moscow has nuclear weapons, but could not afford an army and the weapons without the income from gas.  He would like to add a second asset – the grain fields of Ukraine.  That is looking problematic at the moment.  Hopefully, we will not allow a defeat in Ukraine to pile on our problems after Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, and, of course, Afghanistan.

Even as the Green Movement across the world is worrying about the carbon footprints of my 2009 Chevy Impala, Putin is waging a war that is an environmental disaster of the first magnitude.  As a sideshow, he is threatening to create a nuclear disaster in Ukraine.  But his main thrust is to use gas production as his current weapon of choice.

Whatever you may think of President Trump, you must admit that he had it right when he scolded the European Union – especially Germany – for shifting their gas and oil purchases to Russia. Former German Prime Minister Angela Merkel had already completed one pipeline from Russia and was in the process of building a second when Putin launched the first European war since 1945 – and he is hoping for the same result.  The occupying Easter Europe.

The weaponizing of energy is the standard operating procedure for Russia.  In the days of the Soviet Union, Moscow controlled the energy flowing into the homes of Eastern Europe.

During my Winter visit to Lithuania shortly after that nation declared independence, the Russian troops were still bivouacked in the woods outside of Vilnius – and the central heating was still in the control of Moscow.  Consequently, the interior of homes and office were generally between 40- and 50-degrees Fahrenheit – including the office of the new President. 

Thanks to another of Trump’s policies, he left the United States as a net exporter of gas – and offered American gas as an alternative to the Russian products.  President Biden has turned America back to a net importer as part of his Green New Deal – but we still produce enough to dodge the fate of Europe, where gas-driven inflation is hitting hard.

While Biden likes to blame the American inflation on Putin, that is political bull poop.  We are not nearly as dependent on Russian oil.  The American inflation is largely due to Washington pouring too much money into the economy – and the Federal Reserve Bank responding too slowly.

It is entirely possible that Putin could turn off the gas spigot to Europe this Winter.  That would put Europe into an unimaginable humanitarian crisis.  And there should be no doubt that Putin would do that if he could.  But the backlash would be a monumental loss of revenues for Mother Russia.

Putin is already having serious problems financing his dirty little war, the loss of gas income would end the invasion.  there would be no money to execute the war.  It would also create an economic crisis for the Russian people – as bad or worse than anything they have seen since the days of Joseph Stalin.

The outcome of the Ukraine war is still uncertain – and as every western leader has said, “Putin cannot be allowed to take over Ukraine.”  They need to act like they mean it.

Putin may still win the battle, but it will be a Pyrrhic Victory.  He is doomed.  His oil and gas income is decreasing – and will continue to do so.  The United States has cut purchases of Russian gas.  While it is a slow process, Europe is starting to build infrastructure to buy gas from non-Russian sources.  The major international gas providers are being encouraged to increase production to compensate for cutbacks in Russian oil.  Now, they are not moving in that direction, but it is not in the Arab world’s interest in propping up Russian oil prices in the long run.

Russian gas-related income poses an existential threat to the security of the United States.  The fact that Putin would dare to launch a war … threatened to use nuclear weapons (ending the “mutual assured destruction” concept that has prevented a nuclear holocaust for more than 70 years) … and is using gas as a weapon … indicates a decline in respect for – or fear of – America.  We have already seen how the  perception of a weaker America has emboldened every adversary – China, North Korea, Iran, Afghanistan, etc.

 Nothing the United States has done in recent years has chilled Putin’s maniacal ambitions.  America’s future depends on winning the war in Ukraine — and that means disrupting Putin’s cash-for-gas economy.

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.


  1. Stefan

    Dude what are you taking/smoking? You should really consider to change your „brainwidener“. Currently the Russian gas is in the focus but Russia is supplying so much more (oil, minerals etc.). According to recently announced US figures, US has increased the oil import from Russia by 40%. Even before the war, Russia was exporting more grain than Ukraine. So Russia is not interested in getting more land (besides, most of the Ukrainian farmland is already bought by Monsanto and friends).
    Have you never challenged your brain to answer the question why Russia stopped their invasion after occupying Donezk and Luhansk region? And don’t tell me the Russians don’t have the power. The Russians are conducting major military maneuvers several thousand miles from the Ukraine conflict, parallel to the war.
    Below your article you are called a conservative, but this article appears to be penned by a left-green, pro-government opportunist.

    • Joe Gilbertson

      Larry, have you become a “left-green, pro-government opportunist”???? If so I will make you a t-shirt with that…

      • M

        Whoa… scolding your own columnist? I notice he doesn’t attack you like he attacks me… I guess that’s the benefit of paying him $50 a column…

        • larry Horist

          M … It must be a reading compression problem. “Scolding?” Wasn’t he mocking the person who who penned the words? I think any child would have gotten the humor and sarcasm. And you obviously are not privy to my pay scale. So, your sophomoric insult is just ignorant — making up stuff. And if you are curious why I do not address him like I do you it because I respect his opinions. knowledge and intellect. At least he (and I) understood what he wrote.

          • ben is back

            Ever notice how many who disagree with Larry have reading comprehension issues, or LH pysch issues, writing issues, but mostly just issues. M gots it, Stefan gots it, everyone gots some.

            “And if you are curious why I do not address him like I do you it because I respect his opinions. knowledge and intellect” really sums it all up: passive aggressive in nature. Larry, just say you think M is stupid and you have no respect for him.

    • larry Horist

      Stefan … you have a major problem with readding comprehension and a propensity to offer ignorant opinions. First … I am a life long conservatives activist. My conservative principles do not change based on the zeitgeist of the moment. So, in that regard, you have know idea what you you are talking about. You claim that Russia is not interested in “getting more land” is disproven by history and Putin’s own words. He wants a LOT more land == and Ukraine’s food production is high on his list. last year, the US imported 8 percent of our oil form Russian. Earlier this year. the Biden administration banned further imports from Russia. And of course you are simply rude. So, in the spirit in which you sent you comment .. if they every perfect brain transplants, you would be the ideal candidate.

    • Micala

      Putin has once again depicted the crazed dictator of the snow kingdom! His overreach into the Ukraine was NOT AS EASY AS HE EXPECTED NOR WAS THE BACKLASH FROM EUROPE AND NOW CHINA!! In fact, the majority of the WORLD DESPISES THAT SMALL STATURED PIECE OF MEAT!

      It was 100% WRONG for Puketin to invade the Ukraine and kill those people just so he, the “PUKEMEISTER” had access to shipping ports there! What a “Puke”! No wonder the world has stepped away from him and Russia, no longer respecting his motives!

      If DJT WERE STILL IN OFFICE, I GUARANTEE THAT PUKETIN WOULD NOT HAVE INVADED THE UKRAINE BECAUSE DJT WOULD HAVE TALKED SOME SENSE INTO PUTIN’S HEAD. But, unfortunately that isn’t the case because some yokels “installed” an old incompetent FOOL into our Presidency whose brain no longer functions but backfires when put in front of a microphone!
      THIS WORLD MESS IS ON THE BRAINDEAD STUPID DEMS FOR STEALING OUR ELECTIONS AND PUTTING AN OLD WORTHLESS TOAD IN THE “WHERE AM I” House! With the World arena LAUGHING HILARIOUSLY AT AMERICA’S PATHETIC EXCUSE OF A LEADER, no one in their right sane mind would ever ask that old fart for help because he can’t even help himself much less our own Country! DJT had the respect of the World and they would listen to him — Joe boy, not so much!

      • Micala

        After the 2022 and 2024 American Elections, the U.S.
        Is going to change big time — and the Dems will be hiding in the Grand Canyon under rocks! They have done the ANDOLUTELY WORST JOB OF LEADING ANY COUNTRY IN OUR ENTIRE AMERICAN HISTORY!! Pathetic doesn’t cover it, but DANGEROUS DEFINITELY DOES!

        The sad thing is that every “clueless” dem can’t even see what they have done because they are just that ignorant and so removed from REALITY! Ask them to define “Reality”. They have no idea what that means and they truly do NOT CARE AS LONG AS THEIR FANTASY LIVES REMAIN THE SAME! Democrats are by far the WORST LEADERS OF ANY GOVERNMENT AND THE PAST MONTHS WITH THE JOE TOAD IN CHARGE SHOWS EXACTLY THAT!!


        • Frank stetson

          Why would you ever believe anything different?

          Bring it on, the polling place will speak volumes in 2022 as America votes on Trumpism, conservatism, and the current Democrat status quo And then you’ll do what you’re going to do. When you choose violence, it will be dealt with to and you can join the last Teump army arrested, convicted, and punished. I suggest Illinois, no bail state!

          One more lige 1/6 hearing, be there!

  2. Rat Wrangler

    Very few, if any, Middle-East Islamic nations would be worth anything if not for the combination of them having oil, and the United States oil companies having greed. Add to that the US government’s avarice, and you have the situation we now have in that area of the world. Had the US done the right thing for the ecology back in the 1970s, we would not be using coal at all now, and would have only drilled for our own oil, but that did not happen because profits got in the way.

  3. frank stetson

    If I was a troublemaker, I would say “SPOT ON” article and sit back to watch the incoming…..there’s Joe…..

    This one was all over the place and seems to disagree with past Larry-isms. Don’t know though, it meanders so much.

    But, on the facts about Russia’s economy and our poor oil policies.

    Russia has the economic GDP of South Korea, strong, but hardly a powerhouse in the top ten. Which makes Trump’s insistence on adding them to the G-whatever laughable, doubly so given his business “expertise.” While number 3 in the world in wheat, agro represents about 5% of their economy pointing to a need for diversification at least. Ukraine is number 6, so adding it would put Russia in the number 2 slot just behind China. They could affect the wheat market, but frankly, someone else would step in.

    Industry, including oil, is about 30% of the economy, and number 3 in the world where only the top three matter. After that it’s 50 feather weights, each very small producers. The biggest chunk of their economy is services with over 65% of gdp. But Russia, in GDP, falls out of the top ten coming in at number 11. Point is Russia can change their world and ours with oil but it is also their life support so a double-edged economic sword. The embargo slows sales, returns less profit when they do sell, and hurts their economy. Cutting off Europe will really crunch them and will not be replaced in their economy overnight. He can not replace euro sales at euro profits by selling to other countries. Not in this year at least.

    Yes, Trump was spot on with his angst over the Nord pipeline leaving Germany hostage to Russian energy. They needed resiliency in their supply lines.

    No, Trump policies did not leave us a net exporter, we’ve been through this on the numbers a handful of times Larry and you still don’t get it. US oil production did not falter under BIden policies, it grew at the same rate Trump left it. Oil started it’s increases about January of 2011 when Trump was getting rich from sheep fleecing. It peaked in January 2020 having doubled in less than a decade, the majority of which was pre-Trump, aka Obama. In the 1q of 2020, under Trump policies, it crashed, falling 20% in one quarter. Since then, production has climbed back to close to pre-pandemic levels where it has remained under Biden, rising 4% in the last year June-June.

    According to the EIA, the guys who actually count this stuff, “Historically, the United States has been a net importer of petroleum. During 2020, COVID-19 mitigation efforts caused a drop in oil demand within the United States and internationally. International petroleum prices decreased in response to less consumption, which diminished incentives for key petroleum-exporting countries to increase production. This shift allowed the United States to export more petroleum in 2020 than it had in the past.” Hello, Larry McFly, is anyone in there? Policy or pandemic?

    They continue: “Also in 2020, the price difference between U.S. crude oil imports and exports fell to its lowest point since at least 1985. Net crude oil imports subsequently rose by 19% in 2021 to an average of 3.2 million barrels per day (b/d) as crude oil consumption increased in response to rising economic activity. We forecast that the United States will continue to import more crude oil than it exports in 2022, reaching an estimated annual average of 3.9 million b/d. However, we expect net imports to fall to 3.4 million b/d in 2023 as domestic crude oil production increases to an all-time high of 12.6 million b/d.” So, imports were due to increased consumption while production, which is rising under Biden policies, did not keep up. Frankly it can’t grow too much, too fast because the refineries are going 24×7.

    In his political zealousness, Larry forgoes the experts. This is like the fifth time I have provided the info showing oil production under Biden still increasing at Trumpian rates, that the net exporter status was due more to pandemic than production, and that it will continue even as oil production continues to increase, although not at an egregious rate. We still own our own energy destiny, Larry is fear mongering in a politically biased spinmeister style. This has absolutely nothing to do with Green Politics and everything to do with pandemic radical supply and demand issues.

    As to the rest —– I can’t meander through your opinions without factual support as this one seems to go off the deep end after the inflation comments.

    • Joe Gilbertson

      And for the fifth time, you are not correct.

      • Frank stetson

        No, you would be saying the EIA is not correct.

        And no doubt you have no proof.

        No doubt another partisan corrupt evil enemy of your state …. Of mind.

      • Frank stetson

        Joe G. Once again, all hat, no cow.

        No proof.

        • Joe Gilbertson

          Got more cows than you do

          • Frank stetson

            But you still can’t back up what you say.


            Show us how the EIA is wrong or walk it back. Or continue to dither with more doo doo.

          • Joe Gilbertson

            I always back up what I say, but somehow you never see it.

          • H

            And you keep them in your 2-bedroom apartment in West Palm Beach?

          • B

            Being the guy that pays the bills enables you to have invisible comments…

  4. frank stetson

    Joe G with his second dodge for saying the EIA is wrong about US oil production rates and imports/exports. This is weird, I would think Joe G would jump at the chance to show me up, with facts, not diversion, deflection, and cow doo doo.

    He did not back up his claim, he will not walk it back. He can’t back up his claim, he does not walk it back, he dithers.

    I just don’t understand this behavior. It’s just weird that he can’t close this out.

    Either toe the line and show us the foundation and facts of your claim that the EIA is wrong, or walk it back. It’s getting to be a matter of character, and you seem to be showing us some of yours.

    Would you like the EIA link? I mean, the quotes and numbers are above. They are the ones you said: ” you are not correct” so certainly you can point us to the correct ones that, apparently, only you know.

    • frank stetson

      At this point, it seems that Joe can not support his claim that the EIA is full of it. He does not seem to be able to walk it back either. He just doubles-down on “but I told you so five times before,” a vapid claim that he can not support.

      Joe did not back up, support or walk back his claim that the EIA is wrong in this case.

      BUSTED due to lack of evidence.