This week, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) stopped the approval of new hydraulic fracturing in the state until a panel of experts can review the permits for those projects.

Newsom also imposed a moratorium on new permits for steam-injected oil drilling, another extraction method opposed by environmentalists that was linked to a massive petroleum spill in Kern County over the summer.

“These are necessary steps to strengthen oversight of oil and gas extraction as we phase out our dependence on fossil fuels and focus on clean energy sources,” Newsom said in a statement Tuesday morning. “This transition cannot happen overnight; it must advance in a deliberate way to protect people, our environment, and our economy.”

It must be noted that #ImpeachmentInquiry witness and Russia expert Fiona Hill testified that she heard Russian President Vladimir Putin at a 2011 conference describe American fracking as a “great threat” to Russia.

The recollection came out at a point in the impeachment hearing when Rep. Mike Conaway of Texas was asking Hill about Putin’s propaganda efforts in the United States, at the center of which is the television channel RT, which pushes anti-fracking messaging. Hill agreed that Russia saw the growth of U.S. fracking as a threat given that it undermines Russia’s efforts to dominate the energy sector.

“In November 2011, I actually sat next to Vladimir Putin, at a conference, in which he made precisely that point,” she said. “It was the first time that he had actually done so to a group of American journalists and experts that were brought to something called the Valdai Discussion Club. So he started in 2011 making it very clear that he saw American fracking as a great threat to Russian interests. We were all struck by how much he stressed this issue. And since 2011, and since that particular juncture, Putin has made a big deal of this.”

Furthermore, evidence in the form of a tangible money trail links Vladimir Putin’s Russian government to U.S. environmental groups opposing fracking.

…In fact, the source of this funding has been subject of two congressional committee inquiries. Most recently, Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, who chairs the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, released a report in March that explores Russia’s motives for disrupting America’s energy sector.

“Russia benefits from stirring up controversy about U.S. energy production,” Smith said in a press release. “U.S. energy exports to European countries are increasing, which means they will have less reason to rely upon Russia for their energy needs. This, in turn, will reduce Russia’s influence on Europe to Russia’s detriment and Europe’s benefit. That’s why Russian agents attempted to manipulate Americans’ opinions about pipelines, fossil fuels, fracking and climate change. The American people deserve to know if what they see on social media is the creation of a foreign power seeking to undermine our domestic energy policy.”

Under President Donald Trump, the U.S. is the largest producer of energy thanks, in part, to fracking. However, in his obsession to be a leader of the anti-Trump #Resistance, Newsom has essentially made himself a Putin stooge.

 
 
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