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Let’s be energy freedom fighters 

While we wring our hands over the Russian invasion of Ukraine, we are not powerless to make a difference. The Ukrainian people are fighting with their lives, but we can fight with how we choose to live.

The world's dependence on oil and gas gives Putin the resources and leverage for his power grab. Oil and gas sales account for 60 percent of Russian exports and 30 percent of its federal budget. European countries rely upon Russian oil and gas for 20 percent to as much as 100 percent of their fuel. Thus, unlike the U.S., which derives 10 percent or less of its supplies from Russia, they can't readily support Ukraine with a ban on imports from Russia.

So, what can we do in the U.S.? Let's become energy freedom fighters. If businesses and households in the U.S. reduce usage by 10 percent or more or use renewable alternatives, we can tilt the tables on the Russians and save at the gas pump. Maybe we could sell our saved energy to allies who could combine those supplies with their own conservation efforts so they too could ban Russian energy imports.

The battle for democracy is a battle for energy freedom. As consumers, we have power.

Don Maruska

Los Osos

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