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The New Currency of International Influence

gazprompipeline061708.jpgThis was from yesterday’s WSJ Environmental Capital Blog:

Russia is winning the natural gas pipeline wars because it isn’t worried about the things that Western Europe (or much of the U.S. Congress) is worried about: climate change or fussy competition rules. While European leaders fiddled for years planning the construction of a pipeline to bring gas to Europe, Russia went ahead and started its own. European gas companies can’t do infrastructure—bad for the consumer—so the pipeline builders are scrambling to find gas supplies. Russia has gas and offered top ruble for more. (…) As the scramble for energy heats up, it’s useful to remember that the rules of the game aren’t changing—the game itself is. Energy policy isn’t a cardigan moment or a Rose Garden speech—it’s become the currency of international influence. And the countries that ruthlessly focus on one pillar, rather than trying to juggle all three, are more likely to come out ahead.