6th District Republican Candidate for Congress and former Illinois Veteran’s for Energy Chairman Keith Pekau strongly condemned Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. “I pray for the Ukrainian people and I urge the world to join with the United States to implement the toughest sanctions possible,” said Pekau. “I also call upon the Biden Administration to return America to energy independence, something we enjoyed just two short years ago.”
Keith Pekau has a long history of advocating for U.S. energy independence. “When I was Chairman of IL Vets 4 Energy, our goal was to make America energy independent and an energy exporter because energy security equals national security. This is as true today as it was over a decade ago. This is why President Biden needs to immediately reverse all of his energy restrictions, including re-starting the Keystone XL Pipeline, and move America to energy independence putting America in position to provide oil and gas to Europe. We should immediately invest in Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) development to give us the ability to export more LNG to Europe and cutoff Russia’s largest source of funding,” Pekau stated.
As a decorated veteran who flew combat missions over Iraq, Keith Pekau knows how important energy security is. “We know the critical importance of oil and gas and history is filled with examples of the conflicts fought over these resources,” said Pekau. In 2012 Pekau signed a letter along with dozens of military veterans urging the Obama Administration to permit the Keystone XL Pipeline. In 2013, Pekau went to Washington to meet with Senators Durbin and Kirk in support of the pipeline and other energy security issues. In 2014 Pekau signed a letter to The Bureau of Ocean Management urging removal of restrictions on energy exploration in the Outer Continental Shelf. And, in 2015 Pekau called for an end to the ban on U.S. crude oil exports.
“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a direct result of the Obama administration’s foreign policy failures,” Pekau stated. “Do you recall when then President Obama told Mitt Romney, ‘The 1980’s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because the Cold War’s been over for almost 20 years?” Just 18 months after this comment Russia took control of Crimea.
“Putin simply waited four years after Obama left, for another weak president to take office, so he could continue his invasion into Ukraine in violation of international law. This is a precursor to further empire building. These types of actions ultimately resulted in WWI, WWII and the Cold War during the last century,” said Pekau.
“We must learn the lessons from history and take a hard line against these actions for the sake of the people of Ukraine, Europe and ultimately the World. In one year, President Biden squandered our energy independence by restricting our energy production capability and stopping a pipeline between US and Canada. Meanwhile he gave the green light to a Russian pipeline to Europe. The combination of these actions has given Russia a stranglehold on Europe’s energy supply. Russia’s total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is around $1.5 trillion. Of that, oil and gas are 30% of GDP. Oil and gas account for 60% of all Russian exports. Russia exports 5 million barrels of oil a day, with China being a main buyer. At over $100/barrel, this invasion probably raised the price $25 a barrel. In one year, that is at least $45 billion additional profit for Russia to fund their military adventurism,” Pekau added.
“This invasion is likely to last for a long time while the Ukrainian people defend their homeland. We must do everything in our power to help a sovereign nation. This should start with immediate economic sanctions in every sector of the economy, stepping up our energy supplies to the remainder of Europe, and providing all aid possible to the legitimate Ukrainian government. Swift action is necessary so that history does not repeat itself,” Pekau concluded.
Speaking of history repeating itself, in an ominous foreshadowing, Pekau had this to say when interviewed by EP Newswire at an energy conference in Washington, D.C. in 2015:
“There is nothing better than to have more control internally, and we need to be self-sufficient with our own energy needs,” Pekau said. “If we were exporting more oil worldwide — not just crude oil, but natural gas — we could have probably avoided the whole Ukraine situation because we would be able to supply Europe, which we are unable (to do) because they are dependent on Russia. So therefore, they couldn’t stand up to Russia when they took over Ukraine (Crimea).”