What’s REALLY Pissing Off the Russians

What’s REALLY Pissing Off the Russians by Jason Simpkins – Outsider Club

It’s clear now that Russia never really let the Cold War go, but things weren’t always this bad.

At one point, the icy relationship between Washington and Moscow seemed to have thawed.

George W. Bush looked into Vladimir Putin’s soul. Hillary had a reset button. There was a chance for cooperation.

Not anymore.

The expansion of NATO, the invasion of Ukraine, the sanctions that followed, interference in the election, the expulsion of diplomats, threats and intimidation… It’s all led us to the lowest point in U.S.-Russo relations since the fall of the Berlin Wall.

But do you know what really pisses Russia off? More than anything else?

It’s the one thing that threatens the country’s way of life, its economy, its world standing, and Vladimir Putin’s stranglehold on the government.

It’s fracking.

Fracking is a bigger threat to Russia than nuclear war.

Long before Russian agents launched a covert effort to sabotage our democracy, they were secretly working to undermine the U.S. fracking industry.

Why?

For the same reason OPEC tanked oil prices: Because it erodes the cornerstone of the Russian economy and the government’s chief source of income.

If you’re not sure what’s been going on, here’s how it works…

Russia’s Paid Renegades

Over the past decade, the Russian government has poured billions of dollars into anti-fracking activism. It’s funded phony environmentalists and media campaigns in both the United States and Europe.

For example, in 2012, Bulgaria issued a shale-gas license to Chevron. Activists pounced immediately, staging protests and pushing false claims about pollution. The Bulgarian government caved and banned fracking entirely.

Shortly thereafter, Gazprom, Russia’s state-run energy company, swooped in with a 20% discount on a 10-year natural gas deal.

It happened in Lithuania, too. And a year later, in Romania, Chevron showed up with a briefcase full of cash ready to frack. But again, well-organized, well-financed protests immediately sprung up.

The mayor of Pungesti, one of the few locals who sided openly with Chevron, was run out of town.

“I was really shocked,” he later told the New York Times. “We never had protesters here and suddenly they were everywhere.”

Of course, it didn’t take long to get to the bottom of it all.

“Everything that has gone wrong is from Gazprom,” he says.

NATO’s former Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen agreed.

“Russia, as part of their sophisticated information and disinformation operations, engaged actively with so-called nongovernmental organizations — environmental organizations working against shale gas — to maintain dependence on imported Russian gas,” he told The Times.

The reach of that operation extends well beyond Europe, too.

On June 29, Republican representatives Lamar Smith and Randy Weber wrote a letter to U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin demanding an investigation into a Russian shell company that’s financing American environmental groups.

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Jimmy is a managing editor for Outsider Club and the Investment Director of the personal finance advisory The Crow's Nest. You may also know him as the architect behind the wildly popular finance and investing website Wealth Wire, where he's brought readers the stories behind the mainstream financial news each and every day. For more on Jimmy, check out his editor's page.