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senate Bill S. 704

Should the U.S. Invest in Natural Gas & Electrical Infrastructure For NATO Allies?

Argument in favor

Europe’s dependence on Russian energy makes it susceptible to Russian manipulation and coercion. Helping our European allies diversify their energy sources will help them become less beholden to Russia, benefiting both regional and global security.

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10/19/2019
Why impeach: Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, is running a shadow foreign policy in Ukraine that circumvents U.S. officials and career diplomats in order to personally benefit President trump. Igor Fruman and Lev Parnas. Look them up. North Korea just tested a submarine launched missile. He just released 10,000 Isis fighters into the world when he betrayed the Kurds. Our allies who have fought against Isis right beside our troops for years. They are being slaughtered right now. All because he has a tower in Istanbul. “The Americans betrayed us. We do not trust them anymore,” she added. These used to be our Kurdish allies that stood against ISIS. He is refusing to comply with the law. He is using the power of the presidency to withhold aide to one of the worst humanitarian crisis on the planet in exchange for political favors in order to sway the 20/20 election. He is acting like a criminal and threatening the life of the whistleblower. Mr. America first is sending troops to Saudi Arabia in support of a murdering dictator who spends millions at his hotels and resorts. Corey Lewandowski testified to congress that trump ordered him to obstruct justice. He is blocking information that pertains to the safety of our country from reaching congress. He has been threatening NOAA, a federal agency, with punishment if they do not disavow the truth and side with his lies. He invited the Taliban to Camp David the week of 9/11. He is a #PussyAssBitch He’s doctoring weather maps to try and prove he’s not an idiot. He has stayed at trump properties 293 days in 3 years, that’s our tax dollars going directly into his pocket. He took money from military daycares to pay for a wall that won’t work and no one wants. The Vice President and the Attorney General are both spending tax payer dollars on trump hotels, lining his pockets and currying his favor. He has privately instructed aides to skirt laws and regulations to get the wall built faster — and told them he will pardon them if necessary. He is pressuring a government agency to give a contract for his wall to a company whose chief executive is a donor to one of his top GOP allies in Congress. He took hundreds of millions from 127 different projects (FEMA being one of those) for his wall. He thinks nuking a hurricane is an idea. He is host the next G-7 at one of his own resorts. Again our tax dollars paying him directly. He taunted Iran by tweeting a classified image of an Iranian rocket that had exploded, thereby potentially compromising U.S. intelligence capabilities. His own company would save millions from the low interest rates he is demanding. He was going to give you tax cuts through your paychecks but decided not to. This year the richest of us payed less in taxes than the rest of us. He is destroying the economy with HIS trade war. We will soon average a 1.2 trillion deficit. He is repeating NRA talking points on background checks so expect no action taken regardless of the fact there has been 27 arrested over threats to commit mass attacks since El Paso( NOT TOLEDO). He made fun of republicans being afraid of the NRA and then caved after a 30 minute phone conversation with them. He bragged about indefinite child detention because it brings families together. He is refusing flue shots, that protect us all(google influenza pandemic), to immigrant children. He is attacking fellow congresswomen in really disgusting ways and making anti-Semitic remarks about Jews calling them disloyal. He thinks he’s the chosen one based on a conspiracy theory web sight. He has: Obstructed Justice. Is profiting from the Presidency. Colluded - They had a meeting & lied about it. Advocated political & police violence. Abuse of power. Engaging in reckless behavior. Persecuting political opponents. Attacking the free press. Violating immigrants Right to Due Process. Violating campaign finance laws. Racist: Speaks directly to and often tweeting straight from white supremacists. Calls them very fine people. Told fellow congresswomen to go back where they came from. Called them shit hole countries. Called them murderers and rapists. Calls her Pocahontas. Took out full page adds calling for the death of five innocent black kids in New York, 1989. Literally has said in an interview he has Hitlers speeches, My New Order in his nightstand. Our Money: Spent campaign finance money on hush payments to silence a porn star he had an affair with in order to hide it from the voters. Has spent over $100 million of our tax dollars playing golf at his own golf courses. Has never divested from companies and advertises and profits off the White House. Was going to cut Medicaid and Medicare funding to pay for the tax cuts he gave to the rich. Is actively destroying farmers lives with his trade wars that we all know only hurts our pockets not Chinas. Has made the lives of every truck driver across America as well as our own, more dangerous by removing safety regulations that only benefits the pockets of the CEOs of those companies. Has removed any and all protections we had in place from work safety, environment, women’s rights, LGBTQ rights and gives that power back to the CEOs, oil companies, men and old white men. Saudi funded lobbyist rented 500 rooms at a trump hotel he never divested from right after he became president. Wonder why? Sexual Predator: Accused by more than 20 women of molestation and rape. Bragged about said molestation on tape. Has cheated on all three wives (see above). Has made sexual remarks on camera about his daughter. Belittles and bully’s women. Not even sure he’s aware he has two daughters. Has allowed North Korea to grow there nuclear weapons program. Took the side of Putin over America’s own security agencies on the national stage. Lacks the intelligence and facts needed to communicate on a global level much less national one. Makes policy decisions based on FOX media. Lies when speaks. Doesn’t believe in science and quite often displays his ignorance of it. Russia: Lied about meetings with Russians. Lied about a trump tower Moscow. Personal attorney Michael Cohen (same guy who broke campaign finance laws under trumps direction) had contacts with russian officials. National Security aide Flynn resigned over Russian contacts. Jeff Sessions recused himself because of Russian contacts. Manafort resigned because of Russian contacts. Campaign foreign policy adviser Papadopoulos met with Russians then bragged about it to Australians who then turned that info over to our FBI. Sixteen campaign officials had contacts with Russia and at least nine others new about it. Russian mobster lived in trump tower. trump casino was flagged 106 times for lax money laundering standards and same Russian frequently stayed at trump casino. Has been selling real estate to Russians for years. It really is surprising how many connections to Russians this man has. Rick Scott, Marco Rubio, Bill Posey You are my representatives. OLC policy: The indictment or criminal prosecution of a sitting President would unconstitutionally undermine the capacity of the executive branch to perform its constitutionally assigned functions. It’s time to do your job. You swore an oath to this country, it’s people and me to uphold the constitution. The president has never upheld that oath. How do you want to be remembered?
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Martha's Opinion
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10/19/2019
Before we invest in helping our allies (if we have any left after Trump's latest moves of abandoning our Kurdish allies) with energy independence from Russia, we'd better develop clean energy here, at home in America and then help our allies develop clean energy, as well.
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Rick's Opinion
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10/19/2019
A good market for US. A way to keep the Russians pinned down economically. Good paying jobs here. What's the issue?
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Argument opposed

Investing in new energy infrastructure and projects in Europe likely won’t break Russia’s current dominance in the market, because Russian exports are cheap and readily available.

jimK's Opinion
···
10/19/2019
If we invest in NATO energy infrastructure, it should be in renewable carbon neutral technologies. It is an opportunity to help the world see the opportunities of carbon neutral energy technology and give US developers an edge in developing future markets. It is important for the world to utilize these technologies and if we are to be a leader in this effort, it will be necessary for us to walk the talk. Before the cockamamie climate change deniers start spouting their incredibly inane theories based on half factoid based opinions and outright misconceptions- please support your arguments with actual facts and your credentials that enable you to challenge the consensus findings of career climate scientists who have studied this for years. Climate change deniers are really the hoax.
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Lionman's Opinion
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10/19/2019
We really need to spend that on our infrastructure first.
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RjGoodman's Opinion
···
10/19/2019
No. This is an activity that our NATO allies can readily fund and implement themselves. Perhaps we could provide some design and implementation support by making expert resources available for hire.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Foreign Relations
    IntroducedMarch 7th, 2019

What is Senate Bill S. 704?

This bill — the European Energy Security and Diversification Act of 2018 — would authorize up to $1 billion in financing to catalyze U.S. public and private sector investment in strategically important energy projects in eligible countries from fiscal years 2019 through 2023. These projects would include natural gas infrastructure and electricity infrastructure.

It’d also authorize the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) to spend $5 million per year on project feasibility studies, reverse trade missions, pilot projects, and technical workshops to support projects in early development.

Finally, this bill would encourage the State Department to ramp up its political and diplomatic support to eligible countries. This includes facilitating negotiations for cross-border energy infrastructure and assisting eligible countries with improving their energy markets and regulatory environments.

Impact

Oil and natural gas; NATO allies; State Department; and the USTDA.

Cost of Senate Bill S. 704

$416.00 Million
Assessing the House version of this bill, the CBO estimates that implementing this bill would cost $416 million over the 2020-2024 period (most of the remainder would be spent in future years).

More Information

In-DepthSen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) reintroduced this bill from the 115th Congress to provide new tools for the U.S. to combat malignant Russian influence, wielded through its dominance of the energy market, and create economic opportunities at home and abroad

“The Kremlin uses bribery, corruption and scare tactics to coerce countries in Eastern Europe into remaining dependent on Russian energy and oil. America has done a lot to help diversify Europe’s energy supply, but we can do a lot more. Our bill helps spur public and private sector investment to help our allies secure new sources of energy, and contributes to strategically important projects to help break Putin’s grip on Eastern Europe while creating good jobs here in the United States."

Sen. Murphy adds that guaranteeing European allies' energy independence from Russia is an important part of an overall strategy to counter Russian influence in Europe

"[The U.S. has] rightly invested billions to shore up military defenses in Eastern Europe, but let’s not forget the equally dangerous implications of Russia’s energy stranglehold on Europe. Vladimir Putin gets away with a lot because so much of Europe relies on Russia for energy."

After the House passed this bill, Sen. Murphy said

“I’m thrilled the House has sent our legislation to the Senate. For too long, Vladimir Putin has used Russia’s oil and other energy sources to strong arm Eastern European countries. This will boost private and public investments in the region, creating jobs and protecting our national security."

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), an original cosponsor of this bill in the both the 115th and 116th Congresses, adds that this bill authorizes key U.S. agencies to support U.S. private sector investments in European energy projects

“Russia has shown that it can – and will – coerce nations that are dependent upon its energy. Countering the destabilizing influence that Russia’s energy dominance has in the region is important for Europe and U.S. national security interests. This bill would authorize the USTDA, USIDFC, and other relevant agencies to support U.S. private sector investment in strategic energy projects in Central and Eastern Europe in order to promote increased energy security and supply diversification in the region."

When he introduced this bill in the 115th Congress, Rep. Murphy made similar statements:

“Corruption, graft, bribery, propaganda, illegal invasions – the Kremlin is doing everything it can to gain power over countries in their periphery. We’ve rightly invested billions to shore up military defenses in eastern Europe, but let’s not forget the equally dangerous implications of Russia’s energy stranglehold on Europe. Vladimir Putin gets away with a lot because so much of Europe relies on Russia for energy. By helping our allies secure new sources of energy and contributing to strategically important projects, we can help break Putin’s grip on Europe and create jobs here in the U.S.”

Last Congress, original cosponsor Sen. Johnson added:

“Russia has the means to coerce political behavior in nations that are dependent upon its energy. It has demonstrated its will to do so. This bill authorizes the USTDA and other agencies to support U.S. private sector investment in strategically important energy projects in Central and Eastern Europe.  It will support U.S. national security interests by promoting increased energy security and market diversification in Europe.”

In August 2018, former U.S. Ambassador to NATO Douglas Lute wrote an op-ed in The Hill, arguing that it’s in the U.S.’ best interests to help its European allies develop energy sources outside Russia:

“[A] key vulnerability for many in Europe is their dependence on Russian energy, particularly natural gas. While Putin has yet to play this card beyond Ukraine, energy intimidation must be a national security concern among many of our NATO allies… The European Union, which includes most of our NATO allies, gets about 40 percent of its natural gas from Russia. While Germany has been critiqued for importing about a third of its gas from Russia, allies in Lithuania and Estonia are 100 percent dependent on Russian gas. Concerns increase as the Nord Stream 2 pipeline would increase Russian imports to Europe. If Russia decided to manipulate these energy streams, or even intimidate by threatening to do so, it could cripple the European allies… Given the dependence of our European allies on Russian energy, it is in U.S. national security interest to reduce Russian potential for influence by diversifying gas sources to Europe… Energy security is national security. This means reducing the dependence of our European allies on Russian energy.  It is in the national interest of the U.S. to stand with our allies to do all that we can to help diversify their energy sources.”

Energy Secretary Rick Perry has called partnering with allies to deliver non-Russian energy to Eastern Europe a major priority for the administration:

“An energy policy where we can deliver energy to Eastern Europe, where we are a partner with people around the globe, where they know that we will supply them energy and there are no strings attached is one of the most powerful messages that we can send to Russia.”

Dr. Mamdouh Salameh, international oil economist and professor of energy economics at the ESCP Europe Business School, argues that this bill is unlikely to significantly alter the European energy market, even though it’s politically attractive:

“Given the growing anti-Russian atmosphere in the United States Congress and the United States’ attempts to challenge Russia’s emergence as the energy super power of the world and also given US self-interest and Russia’s dominance in the gas market in the European Union, there is a reasonable probability that the proposed European Energy Security and Diversification Act will be approved by the US Senate… [However,] US LNG cannot compete under any circumstances with Russian piped gas to Europe. Russia has a fully integrated gas industry underpinned by the world’s second largest proven reserves of natural gas, the cheapest production costs, does not have to convert its gas to LNG to ship it to Europe and already has a monopoly on export pipelines to Europe… Russia provides roughly 40 percent of Europe’s gas needs and that dominance will continue well into the future.”

This bill has five bipartisan Senate cosponsors, including three Republicans and two Democrats, in the 116th Congress. A House version, sponsored by Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) with the support of nine Republican cosponsors, passed the House by a 391-24 vote.

Last Congress, this bill had one cosponsor of this bill, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) and it didn't receive a committee vote.


Of NoteRussia is the largest exporter of oil and natural gas to the European Union through state-owned enterprise Gazprom, which currently controls 35 percent of Europe’s gas market. Gazprom’s ambition is to increase its market share to 40 percent due to declining European production in other areas, and the lower cost of extracting gas in Russia. Some observers say that Russia could double its gas exports by 2030 to meet growing global demand — putting Russia on par with Qatar, the world’s largest liquified natural gas producer.

In recent years, Russia has been accused of using energy pipeline shutdowns as an intimidation tactic to blackmail governments in disputes with the Kremlin.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / zorazhuang)

AKA

European Energy Security and Diversification Act of 2019

Official Title

A bill to prioritize the efforts of and enhance coordination among United States agencies to encourage countries in Central and Eastern Europe to diversify their energy sources and supply routes, increase Europe's energy security, and help the United States reach its global energy security goals, and for other purposes.

    If we invest in NATO energy infrastructure, it should be in renewable carbon neutral technologies. It is an opportunity to help the world see the opportunities of carbon neutral energy technology and give US developers an edge in developing future markets. It is important for the world to utilize these technologies and if we are to be a leader in this effort, it will be necessary for us to walk the talk. Before the cockamamie climate change deniers start spouting their incredibly inane theories based on half factoid based opinions and outright misconceptions- please support your arguments with actual facts and your credentials that enable you to challenge the consensus findings of career climate scientists who have studied this for years. Climate change deniers are really the hoax.
    Like (112)
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    We really need to spend that on our infrastructure first.
    Like (38)
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    No. This is an activity that our NATO allies can readily fund and implement themselves. Perhaps we could provide some design and implementation support by making expert resources available for hire.
    Like (29)
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    Invest in OUR grids. Invest in OUR renewable energy resources!!
    Like (17)
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    No, non-renewables will be the death of mankind unless we do something about it. It’s time to look into solar, wind, and water as new sources of power.
    Like (17)
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    Doesn’t sound like green energy to me. But perhaps I’m mistaken. Perhaps some people think green energy means the green dollars flowing to the private oil companies. Who knows??
    Like (13)
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    We are 22 trillion in debt, stop wasting our money on other countries.
    Like (12)
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    We cannot continue to invest in yesterday’s energy anywhere. Ask this same question with an eye towards clean energy and the answer will be more positive.
    Like (10)
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    No Americans’ tax dollars to foreign countries or to international organizations! Invest in America and our citizens! And don’t waste money on frivolous alternatives. Fossil fuels are the best fuels. Climate change is a hoax!
    Like (9)
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    No no no no NO ! Invest in America.
    Like (7)
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    We should only invest in CLEAN ENERGY period.
    Like (5)
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    U.S. needs to invest in solar and wind energy anywhere in the world.
    Like (4)
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    Why impeach: Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, is running a shadow foreign policy in Ukraine that circumvents U.S. officials and career diplomats in order to personally benefit President trump. Igor Fruman and Lev Parnas. Look them up. North Korea just tested a submarine launched missile. He just released 10,000 Isis fighters into the world when he betrayed the Kurds. Our allies who have fought against Isis right beside our troops for years. They are being slaughtered right now. All because he has a tower in Istanbul. “The Americans betrayed us. We do not trust them anymore,” she added. These used to be our Kurdish allies that stood against ISIS. He is refusing to comply with the law. He is using the power of the presidency to withhold aide to one of the worst humanitarian crisis on the planet in exchange for political favors in order to sway the 20/20 election. He is acting like a criminal and threatening the life of the whistleblower. Mr. America first is sending troops to Saudi Arabia in support of a murdering dictator who spends millions at his hotels and resorts. Corey Lewandowski testified to congress that trump ordered him to obstruct justice. He is blocking information that pertains to the safety of our country from reaching congress. He has been threatening NOAA, a federal agency, with punishment if they do not disavow the truth and side with his lies. He invited the Taliban to Camp David the week of 9/11. He is a #PussyAssBitch He’s doctoring weather maps to try and prove he’s not an idiot. He has stayed at trump properties 293 days in 3 years, that’s our tax dollars going directly into his pocket. He took money from military daycares to pay for a wall that won’t work and no one wants. The Vice President and the Attorney General are both spending tax payer dollars on trump hotels, lining his pockets and currying his favor. He has privately instructed aides to skirt laws and regulations to get the wall built faster — and told them he will pardon them if necessary. He is pressuring a government agency to give a contract for his wall to a company whose chief executive is a donor to one of his top GOP allies in Congress. He took hundreds of millions from 127 different projects (FEMA being one of those) for his wall. He thinks nuking a hurricane is an idea. He is host the next G-7 at one of his own resorts. Again our tax dollars paying him directly. He taunted Iran by tweeting a classified image of an Iranian rocket that had exploded, thereby potentially compromising U.S. intelligence capabilities. His own company would save millions from the low interest rates he is demanding. He was going to give you tax cuts through your paychecks but decided not to. This year the richest of us payed less in taxes than the rest of us. He is destroying the economy with HIS trade war. We will soon average a 1.2 trillion deficit. He is repeating NRA talking points on background checks so expect no action taken regardless of the fact there has been 27 arrested over threats to commit mass attacks since El Paso( NOT TOLEDO). He made fun of republicans being afraid of the NRA and then caved after a 30 minute phone conversation with them. He bragged about indefinite child detention because it brings families together. He is refusing flue shots, that protect us all(google influenza pandemic), to immigrant children. He is attacking fellow congresswomen in really disgusting ways and making anti-Semitic remarks about Jews calling them disloyal. He thinks he’s the chosen one based on a conspiracy theory web sight. He has: Obstructed Justice. Is profiting from the Presidency. Colluded - They had a meeting & lied about it. Advocated political & police violence. Abuse of power. Engaging in reckless behavior. Persecuting political opponents. Attacking the free press. Violating immigrants Right to Due Process. Violating campaign finance laws. Racist: Speaks directly to and often tweeting straight from white supremacists. Calls them very fine people. Told fellow congresswomen to go back where they came from. Called them shit hole countries. Called them murderers and rapists. Calls her Pocahontas. Took out full page adds calling for the death of five innocent black kids in New York, 1989. Literally has said in an interview he has Hitlers speeches, My New Order in his nightstand. Our Money: Spent campaign finance money on hush payments to silence a porn star he had an affair with in order to hide it from the voters. Has spent over $100 million of our tax dollars playing golf at his own golf courses. Has never divested from companies and advertises and profits off the White House. Was going to cut Medicaid and Medicare funding to pay for the tax cuts he gave to the rich. Is actively destroying farmers lives with his trade wars that we all know only hurts our pockets not Chinas. Has made the lives of every truck driver across America as well as our own, more dangerous by removing safety regulations that only benefits the pockets of the CEOs of those companies. Has removed any and all protections we had in place from work safety, environment, women’s rights, LGBTQ rights and gives that power back to the CEOs, oil companies, men and old white men. Saudi funded lobbyist rented 500 rooms at a trump hotel he never divested from right after he became president. Wonder why? Sexual Predator: Accused by more than 20 women of molestation and rape. Bragged about said molestation on tape. Has cheated on all three wives (see above). Has made sexual remarks on camera about his daughter. Belittles and bully’s women. Not even sure he’s aware he has two daughters. Has allowed North Korea to grow there nuclear weapons program. Took the side of Putin over America’s own security agencies on the national stage. Lacks the intelligence and facts needed to communicate on a global level much less national one. Makes policy decisions based on FOX media. Lies when speaks. Doesn’t believe in science and quite often displays his ignorance of it. Russia: Lied about meetings with Russians. Lied about a trump tower Moscow. Personal attorney Michael Cohen (same guy who broke campaign finance laws under trumps direction) had contacts with russian officials. National Security aide Flynn resigned over Russian contacts. Jeff Sessions recused himself because of Russian contacts. Manafort resigned because of Russian contacts. Campaign foreign policy adviser Papadopoulos met with Russians then bragged about it to Australians who then turned that info over to our FBI. Sixteen campaign officials had contacts with Russia and at least nine others new about it. Russian mobster lived in trump tower. trump casino was flagged 106 times for lax money laundering standards and same Russian frequently stayed at trump casino. Has been selling real estate to Russians for years. It really is surprising how many connections to Russians this man has. Rick Scott, Marco Rubio, Bill Posey You are my representatives. OLC policy: The indictment or criminal prosecution of a sitting President would unconstitutionally undermine the capacity of the executive branch to perform its constitutionally assigned functions. It’s time to do your job. You swore an oath to this country, it’s people and me to uphold the constitution. The president has never upheld that oath. How do you want to be remembered?
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    We must invest in renewable energy worldwide.
    Like (4)
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    We must move away from fossil fuels to save life on this planet. Why can’t more people get this into their heads?
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    America should invest in renewable energy period. It’s stupid to invest in wagon wheels when the car is up and running.
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    If we invest in anything.....how about our future and invest in renewable energy sources.....sources that won't pollute the air, soil or water?
    Like (3)
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    We have a great need for infrastructure building here and with countries south of the border to spur the economies of Latin America! This would develop markets for ourselves and for countries that are developing economies! Investment in developed countries only causes increases in competition!! That would be fruitless!! Imagine joint projects with Mexico that result in Mexican nationals voluntarily going back to their country instead of seeking asylum here!! That would save us trillions without the cost of a wall!!
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    We need to build our own infrastructure. Other NATO countries have plenty of money. America First!
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    Wow, how can we even think of this when our own is so outdated?
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