1. Offshore Drilling in the Arctic
If Western countries want to become energy independent from countries like Russia, Iran, and Venezuela the Arctic region is a critical area where offshore drilling can occur. According to reports oil companies such as Shell (RDSA), Exxon Mobil, and others have drilled in the Arctic providing domestic self-sufficiency for natural resources and reducing the costs of energy products for consumers. Currently, dictatorial regimes like the Islamic Republic of Iran and Russia have invested in numerous offshore drilling projects, selling their products to countries at a hefty price. The European Union and the United States could potentially invest in new projects to drill in the Arctic in order to generate new jobs and allow Western dominance to grow in an area where these rogue regimes have used it to their advantage.
2. Coal Mining
In Europe, particularly in countries like Germany, Ukraine, Poland, Serbia, and the Czech Republic, private-sector coal companies have engaged in mining projects showing another way for the West to become energy independent. According to reports, Russia has become the largest exporter of coal to Western Europe beating Germany, which was once a nation that relied heavily on coal for energy. In 2014, with the climate movement starting to make headway in the West, the European Union produced around 150 million tons of coal, while Russia produced 170 million tons. With the war in Ukraine and the ongoing E.U. energy crisis, many experts argue that allowing coal mines to reopen will provide European workers with new jobs and prevent their citizens from having a harsh winter.
3. Nuclear Power
In addition to offshore drilling and mining, many energy experts argue that western nations must invest in nuclear power. In the U.S., Congressional lawmakers have called for the Biden administration and Democratic governors to remove excessive regulations against nuclear power plants, arguing that nuclear power reduces greenhouse gas emissions and offers cheap, reliable, and efficient electricity. In Europe, governments are debating whether they should reopen their nuclear power plants that were shut down years ago, with some calling for immediate investment given the current energy crisis. Should the West invest in nuclear power, it would generate substantial amounts of energy with less atmospheric pollution than traditional carbon fueled power plants.
4. Deregulation of Private Energy Companies
In the U.S. and European Union, many private energy companies that deal in oil drilling, mining, and nuclear power face enormous government regulations that prevent them from innovating or producing the required amounts of energy for countries to become energy independent. Since the Biden administration came into office, the President and his officials have enacted strict regulations against companies interested in offshore drilling, mining, and nuclear power, making America reliant on countries like Saudi Arabia to supply crude oil at soaring prices. Many experts blame the strict environmental regulations against the oil and gas sector on the progressive left in America and Europe. With the war in Ukraine, rising gas prices, and economic conditions in Europe and America, many experts are calling on governments to immediately deregulate the energy sector and allow the companies to innovate and develop new advancements with oil, gas, and nuclear power.
5. Sanction Rogue Regimes
If countries were to engage in more drilling, mining, and nuclear power investment, they would still face the problem of oil-rich regimes like Iran, Venezuela, Russia, and others from flooding their oil supply in the international markets. Currently, these regimes have been able to generate funds from the world market propping up their economy, military, and their regime’s survival. Many argue that one of the reasons why Russian President Vladimir Putin has been able to keep up the offensive in Ukraine is by pumping millions of dollars from energy revenues that the country has obtained by selling its oil and gas. However, if Europe and the U.S. agreed to sanction countries like Russia, Iran, Venezuela, and others with significant oil economies, they would lose the funds necessary to keep their regime alive, leading to possible economic turmoil and potential overthrow.