The daily footage of Ukrainian civilians suffering and dying remains an insufficient reason in the mind of President Joe Biden to jettison his climate change agenda, which contributes to such atrocities by the Red Army of Russian dictator, Vladimir Putin.

On the biggest stage, the state of the union speech, Joe Biden expressed solidarity with the Ukrainian people fighting an unprovoked and cruel expansionist war by Russia. The president had an historical moment to change course and cut-off the American purchase of Russian crude oil to reduce that nation’s hard currency funding its war machine. Alas, he refused.

President Biden’s refusal to take the most effective sanction against Russia makes his stated solidarity with the Ukrainian people a cruel joke. The climate-change industry of billionaires, political activists, monied interests and hangers-on apparently is more important.

While Putin’s invading army was killing innocents, there was the president’s “Special Envoy” for Climate Change, John Forbes Kerry, wearing the biggest tin-ear in Washington. Ambassador Kerry actually said, “I hope President Putin will help us stay on track with respect to what we need to do for the climate.”

Cutting off Russian energy exports to the U.S. and western Europe would surely spike energy prices more in both places, bringing further economic harm. But that impact on American and European pocketbooks could be short-lived if the president re-opened federal lands to energy extraction and approved more pipelines, including the Keystone XL, which he canceled on his first day in office. Instead, his latest move last week was to block more domestic oil and gas leases.

While climate policies have sharply increased energy costs in the last year, President Biden doubled-down in his speech by promising to cut energy costs for each household by an “average of $500 a year by combatting climate change.” Recall that Obamacare was going to save Americans $2,500 in annual health insurance premiums. Didn’t happen.

How would the president fulfill this latest vapid promise? By using taxpayer dollars, corporate tax giveaways and new debt in the hundreds of billions to further subsize electric vehicles, “weatherize” homes and buildings, and produce solar panels and wind turbines. Were this possible—it isn’t—Americans would “save” energy costs by paying much more in taxes and higher prices by exacerbating inflation from further cheapening the currency with more debt.

It’s real chutzpah for the president to cut off domestic energy development, kill American middle-class jobs and sharply increase inflation as a result – all by design, and pretend such outcomes were happenstance.

More astounding is this has led the nation to import more Russian energy, which now helps fund its war against Ukraine with total oil revenues averaging $10 billion every month. That pays for a lot of stinger missiles and cluster bombs terrorizing Ukrainian citizens in their homes and streets.

Last May, I wrote on these pages that President Biden’s policies were “making Russia great again” by removing the economic sanctions on the Russian Nord Stream 2 pipeline to transport natural gas to Germany.

At that time the Red Army was amassing at the Ukrainian border, preparing for an invasion of the country. Rather than attempting deterrence by maintaining sanctions on this pipeline, and weaning the U.S. and Europe off Russian energy, Mr. Biden did the opposite.

Appeasement never works out well, especially now if you live in Ukraine.

CFACT has long documented that climate policies inflict economic harm on workers in those targeted industries and impose higher costs on gasoline and heating oil with accompanying ripple effects on overall inflation. In the last ten days we are reminded that climate policies can have a lethal human impact.

Ukrainians are dying because Russia found the moment to wage war financed by selling oil and gas at a very high price, including to the United States. The last time gas prices approached today’s levels was in 2014 – the year Dictator Putin annexed the Ukrainian province of Crimea on the Black Sea.

While he didn’t spend much of his state of the union speech on climate change, President Biden nonetheless made it clear that America’s imposition the climate agenda will accelerate if he gets his way.

Such costly and fruitless climate policies will have zero impact on global carbon emissions, much less temperature readings, as the rest of the world burns more coal and oil. Rather, they will ensure the demise of Ukraine and empower energy-rich nations like Russia, China and Iran that threaten free people.

The accumulation of suffering and dead Ukrainians tragically remains unpersuasive to this president and his climate lieutenants to change course. After all, the average global temperature may increase another half-degree in 30 years.


  • Peter Murphy

    Peter Murphy is Senior Fellow at CFACT. He has researched and advocated for a variety of policy issues, including education reform and fiscal policy, both in the non-profit sector and in government in the administration of former New York Governor George Pataki. He previously wrote and edited The Chalkboard weblog for the NY Charter Schools Association, and has been published in numerous media outlets, including The Hill, New York Post, Washington Times and the Wall Street Journal. Twitter: @PeterMurphy26 Website: