Neil Chatterjee, the former chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, was tipped off to Western Europe's current energy crisis back in 2019, when his FERC colleagues from Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic told him of Russian President Vladimir Putin's long-term plan of controlling European nations through oil and natural gas rationing.
"We saw this years in advance," Chatterjee told Newsmax Tuesday afternoon, while appearing on "American Agenda" with hosts Bob Sellers and Katrina Szish. "They were warning us back then, about how Putin could weaponize natural gas."
After that conversation, Chatterjee and then-Energy Secretary Rick Perry — both Trump administration officials — tried to inform energy companies and affiliated industries in the United States about Putin's prospective plans.
And a year prior (2018), then-President Trump even issued a stern warning to the Germans about natural gas over-dependence at a United Nations summit, a comment that elicited derisive smiles and snickering from the German contingency on-site.
However, Chatterjee said these messages largely fell on deaf ears domestically — particularly among Democrats.
The environmentalists in America have "thrown up obstacles" to the Biden administration exporting oil and natural gas to its European allies, said Chatterjee.
"The reality is, Russia needs the [worldwide market] money. They get their money from oil," said Chatterjee, while adding that Putin uses the threat of depriving Western European nations of natural gas as "political currency."
Chatterjee explained: "Putin knows he's dominating Western Europe, because [that region] is totally dependent on Russian gas. He'll make his money on oil, and exert his power via natural gas."
With the harsh winter months coming soon, Chatterjee said Putin's "dependency" hold on Western European nations could lead to a seismic perception shift involving Ukraine's wartime effort against Russia.
Europe has been "unified" in supporting Ukraine all this time, said Chatterjee. "But now, as the pain starts to set in, you're going to see folks — political leaders — question whether the support for Ukraine is sustainable in the long term, as their own people start to really feel the squeeze" of natural gas prices, along with the special access to pipelines.
"Putin knew this all along. He planned on Western Europe blinking," Chatterjee said.
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