Mark Dolan: 'Energy security is national security, drill baby, drill'

'We have enriched Putin for too long now, and made ourselves dependent on this ruthless monster'

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Whether we realise it or not, we are at war. We’re not fighting with bullets, planes or tanks. We are fighting with pounds, euros and dollars.

The cost of economic sanctions on Russia, which are necessary, are a cost to us too. Russia is an energy superpower, which provides the West with billions of pounds worth of oil, gas and coal.

Of course it is our bizarre and ruinous green policies, that have led to the West’s dependence on Russia's natural resources. But we are where we are.

It's like that old Irish joke, when somebody asks an Irishman directions and he says “well I wouldn't start from here if I were you”.

Whilst there is a strong humanitarian case for policing a no-fly zone over Ukraine, and it's not an easy decision, sparking world war three, just isn't an option right now.

Which is why I'm sympathetic to the White House's decision not to accept Poland’s transfer of 28 MiG-29 fighter planes to the U.S, which would be handed over to Ukrainian pilots. Why? Because this could be the provocation, of a global conflict by the back door. World War three by default.

For now, the place we hit Putin, is in his wallet. But it comes at a price; one we will all pay. If we we sink our teeth into the Russian bear, some claw marks, will be left on our own skin. An economic war with Russia is our least bad option. It’s a conflict in which we hand over our livelihoods, not our lives.

The West needs to stand up to Putin, by crushing his business model, depriving him of oil and gas revenue, and working towards energy independence, and strategically decoupling from despots of his ilk.

However, it's easier said than done. No pain no gain. West depriving itself of Putin’s energy, places unprecedented pressure on supplies.

Our industries are still largely based around fossil fuels, whether we like it or not. And with this action, we are making it harder, for us to get our hands on it.

That will fuel inflation, which many fear will now hit 10% by Christmas and we will see household energy bills rise well beyond the 55% we are already expecting in April.

It doesn't have to be this way of course. We have five decades worth of shale gas beneath our feet, a clean fuel which has seen the great nation of the United States become energy independent in recent years.

They can afford tough sanctions against Russia, without wrecking their economy and impacting hard-working Americans. If we had adopted the sensible green policy of pursuing renewables – absolutely, let’s go green - I do want to decarbonise - we should at the same time have been using the great resources of shale, coal and oil on our own shores.

We should've gone for a mix. Scientifically debatable green ideology, which saw Angela Merkel dump nuclear energy in Germany, and green ideology as championed by a depressed vegan teenager in Greta Thunberg, has shaped western energy policy. How’s that working out for you?

We've learnt the hard way. Go woke, no smoke.

So this economic war, which we have no choice but to wage, will hurt ordinary Brits. Which is why our pathetic and expensive overreaction to the pandemic, is such a national scandal and in my view, a crime against the British people.

How useful do you think the half a trillion quid we spaffed away on our pandemic overreaction, would be right now. Half a trillion quid, with which to boost our military spending, so we can flex our muscles, against the bully Putin and other international bad actors.

Half a trillion quid, to rapidly explore our oil and gas reserves. Half a trillion quid, with which to subsidise the nation’s energy bills, particularly for the poorest in our society and pensioners. It gives me no pleasure to tell you, that I pointed all of this out, over the last two years. I haven’t stopped saying it since.

I've lost a few friends over this, but they clearly weren’t my friends in the first place. How can shutting down a nation’s economy, on and off for two years, to the tune of half a trillion pounds, possibly be justified, to stop a virus mild for most. And stop it, of course, is something we failed to do anyway.

For a year and a half, I’ve been saying that we haven't borrowed money on this scale, since German bombs rained over London. I’ve been saying endlessly, that we cannot justify borrowing billions, on behalf of future generations. Why? Because and I quote: “they will have their own crises to deal with. A future pandemic, potentially a worse one, a future natural disaster. Or God forbid, a future war”.

My words, on the national broadcast airwaves. It’s all on the record. And here we are. We are at war and we’ve used up all of our ammunition, before a shot has been fired. Well done everyone.

So it's time for an immediate push for fracking, to make sure we drill for oil in the north sea, and I suggest we hit our coal reserves, pretty dam hard too. Dig baby dig. We have enriched Putin for too long now, and made ourselves dependent on this ruthless monster, as a result of which, the free world faces its greatest peril since 1938. It’s very simple folks. Energy security is national security. Drill baby drill.