Why Is the U.S. Still Importing So Much Russian Oil and Petroleum Products?
By Jim Geraghty, National Review February 15, 2022 9:52 AM
Here’s a flashing neon sign that U.S. energy policy has gone terribly, terribly wrong. Throughout 2021, the U.S. has imported 12 million to 26 million barrels of crude oil and petroleum products per month from Russia — that same country we keep enacting new sanctions on, in an effort to deter Vladimir Putin’s territorial ambitions. The most recent month from the Energy Information Agency’s figures is November 2021, at 17.8 million barrels. Last spring, imports of Russian oil hit the highest level in a decade; in August, Russia became the second-highest exporter of oil to the United States. Think that might be a reason Putin feels so confident?
And judging from yesterday’s White House press briefing… if the administration has any solid plans to stop importing Russian oil, they’re being awfully quiet about them.
Q Wouldn’t it be difficult, though, for the U.S. to continue to import Russian oil after all of the rhetoric that we’ve put forward about Russia needing to not invade Ukraine and pressuring Germany to, you know, come out strongly on Nord Stream 2 and possible punishments for Russia if they were to take this step? Wouldn’t it be tough for the U.S. to continue, in that event, to import Russian gas?
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: Well, again, it’s a hypothetical. I’m just telling you what we have been very, very clear, the President has been clear, our national security advisor has been clear — we all have been clear, either from this podium or direct communication with Russia, whether it’s with the President or its leadership, that if they were to invade — and in coordination, in lockstep with our European Allies and partners, that’s how we’re moving forward here — that there would be there would be severe, decisive economic consequences. I cannot speak more to — more to that.
In this context, the German hesitation to stop the Nord Stream 2 pipeline makes a little more sense. If the U.S. is going to keep buying and importing Russian oil as an invasion of Ukraine looms, why should Germany stop buying Russian oil and natural gas?
As Daniel Yergin lays out, the U.S. has the energy resources to step into pole position on oil and natural gas.
February 22, 2022 Updated: February 22, 2022 The Epoch Times
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has lowered its standards of childhood speech development, a decision that has many people worried about the way milestones are measured in kids.
CDC added two new child development milestones at 15 and 30 months. Earlier, children aged 24 months were expected to know about 50 words. But in the new update, the CDC raised the time period to 30 months, lowering the established standard of speech development. In the update, the CDC linked to research published by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) that influenced the organization in setting up the modified benchmarks.
“Application of the criteria established by the AAP working group and adding milestones for the 15- and 30-month health supervision visits resulted in a 26.4 percent reduction and 40.9 percent replacement of previous CDC milestones,” reads an abstract of the AAP study, published on Feb. 8.
“One-third of the retained milestones were transferred to different ages; 67.7 percent of those transferred were moved to older ages.”
The AAP, based on recommendations from the CDC, convened experts and revised child developmental checklists. The original milestone followed standards that only 50 percent of children were expected to achieve, the organization said. These guidelines were deemed unhelpful to families who were worried about their kids’ development.
Milestones were updated to ensure that at least 75 percent of kids are able to achieve them, according to Jennifer Zubler, an author of the study. Because many children were unable to achieve the previous milestones, it was decided to establish new, lower milestones.
Literacy advocate Karen Vaites points out that, according to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, children speaking fewer than 50 words by 24 months is still a worrisome situation. She had previously spoken against forcing kids to wear face masks amid the COVID-19 pandemic, highlighting the negative effects that the masks have on speech and learning.
“Masks impede language development, and they also impede the process of kids learning how to read,” Vaites said in a Jan. 18 tweet. In another Twitter thread from late July, she shared her experience of observing a kindergarten room during a reading class; in the thread, she insisted on the importance of children seeing the movement of a teacher’s mouth and vice versa.
In some situations, parents and clinicians choose a wait-and-see approach regarding children’s development, which ends up delaying diagnosis.
“The earlier a child is identified with a developmental delay the better, as treatment as well as learning interventions can begin,” Paul Lipkin, a member of the AAP Section on Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics and Council on Children with Disabilities, said in a statement. “At the same time, we don’t want to cause unnecessary confusion for families or professionals. Revising the guidelines with expertise and data from clinicians in the field accomplishes these goals.”
Lea Themea, who has practiced speech pathology for close to three decades, believes that the CDC guidelines have been updated to better clarify what parents should look for as developmental progress in their kids.
“I think these guidelines look at how the language is used, because you could have a 2-year-old that can label all their colors and count to 10, but they’re not saying them to actually communicate,” she told ABC6.
Dr. Nicole Saphier, a Fox News medical contributor, drew parallels between the CDC quietly lowering speech standards to an incident from last summer, when the AAP began “deleting stuff” from its website about the importance of facial recognition in childhood development while also pushing masks on children.
Saphier insisted that face masks were “negatively impacting children” and cited studies conducted in the UK, United States, and the Netherlands to point out that kids during the pandemic are performing poorly on “gross motor skills, fine motor skills, and overall communication.”
Rep. Jordan: Durham filing shows Trump was right about being spied on
By Mark Moore, New York Post
February 13, 2022 3:42pm Updated
The top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee said Sunday that a blockbuster new federal filing proves ex-President Trump’s claim he was being illegally spied on and the Russian collusion tale is a hoax.
Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio noted Special Counsel John Durham alleged in Friday’s legal filing that Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign paid an Internet company to “infiltrate” servers at Trump Tower and the White House to try to tie Donald Trump to Russia.
“Yep, there was spying going on, and it was worse than we thought because they were spying on the sitting president of the United States,” Jordan told “Fox & Friends.” “And it goes right to the Clinton campaign. So God bless John Durham.
“His investigation is taking a long time. But we’re getting to now what we all suspected,” Jordan said. “The only thing we didn’t understand was it was worse than we thought.”
In May 2019, Durham was tasked by Trump’s attorney general, William Barr, with investigating the origins of the FBI’s probe into allegations that the then-president colluded with Russia to win the election.
Rep. Jim Jordan claimed that Special Counsel John Durham’s filing proves that former President Donald Trump was being spied on.Tom Williams/Congressional Quarterly via ZUMA Press
Rep. Michael Turner (R-Ohio) said Sunday that Durham’s investigation uncovered a “whole new level of corruption and is of grave concern.
“I mean, this is a threat to our democracy itself,” Turner said on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures.” “It doesn’t matter really which political campaign this is or which political party this is. This is so wrong and allegations of such a level of illegal activity that goes directly to our faith in our own government that the truth must be found.”
Turner predicted that Durham’s probe could implicate former CIA Director John Brennan, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former FBI Director James Comey.
“I think that what we see is not just political shenanigans or opposition research that you would see in the normal campaigns where people are trying to find information out about their opponents,” Turner said.
According to a filing from Durham, Hillary Clinton’s campaign paid a company to “infiltrate” servers at Trump Tower and the White House.AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File
“This is where the government is being used, where information that’s political opposition research that is false is being made up, is trying to be placed into the government, into the FBI, to undertake criminal investigations that are absolutely false,” he cont
Trump seethed in a statement Saturday that Durham’s filing “provides indisputable evidence that my campaign and presidency were spied on by operatives paid by the Hillary Clinton Campaign in an effort to develop a completely fabricated connection to Russia.
“This is a scandal far greater in scope and magnitude than Watergate and those who were involved in and knew about this spying operation should be subject to criminal prosecution,” said Trump, who beat Clinton to score the White House in an upset in 2016.
“In a stronger period of time in our country, this crime would have been punishable by death,” he said, suggesting that the Clinton campaign’s action amounts to treason.
rump claimed in a statement that those who were involved in the alleged “spying operation” should be “subject to criminal prosecution.”AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin
Jordan said Trump is right that Durham’s filing provides “indisputable evidence” that he was being spied on.
“We’ve never seen anything like this in history,” Jordan said. “So President Trump’s statement yesterday, I think, is right on target. This is truly unprecedented, truly something that has never happened in the history of our great country.”
Durham’s motion Friday was related to the case of Michael Sussmann, a former Clinton campaign lawyer who has been charged with lying to the feds. Sussmann allegedly told the FBI that he wasn’t working for the Clinton campaign when he handed the agency documents that purportedly linked the Trump Organization to a Kremlin-tied bank two months before the 2016 election, according to Fox News.
Sussmann has pleaded not guilty in his case.
In Durham’s Friday filing, he said Sussmann “had assembled and conveyed the allegations to the FBI on behalf of at least two specific clients, including a technology executive (Tech Executive 1) at a U.S.-based internet company (Internet Company 1) and the Clinton campaign,” according to Fox News.
The document adds Sussmann’s “records reflect” that he “repeatedly billed the Clinton Campaign for his work on the Russian Bank-1 allegations.”
In the filing, Durham said the tech executive in July 2016 worked with Sussmann, an investigative company retained by Law Firm 1 for the Clinton campaign, cyber researchers and workers at a number of internet companies to “assemble the purported data and white papers.
“In connection with these efforts, Tech Executive-1 exploited his access to non-public and/or proprietary Internet data,” the filing says. “Tech Executive-1 also enlisted the assistance of researchers at a U.S.-based university who were receiving and analyzing large amounts of Internet data in connection with a pending federal government cybersecurity research contract.”
“Tech Executive-1 tasked these researchers to mine Internet data to establish ‘an inference’ and ‘narrative’ tying then-candidate Trump to Russia,” Durham states in the documents, according to Fox News.
“In doing so, Tech Executive-1 indicated that he was seeking to please certain ‘VIPs,’ referring to individuals at Law Firm-1 and the Clinton campaign.”
Post requests for comment from several people associated with the Clinton camp were not immediately returned Sunday.