|Fiona Hill says that she heard Putin describe American fracking as a 'great threat' to Russia|
by Philip Klein
| November 21, 2019 03:52 P
M Former National Security Council official and Russia expert Fiona Hill on Thursday testified that she heard Russian President Vladimir Putin at a 2011 conference describe American fracking as a "great threat" to Russia, a position he has emphasized ever since.
The recollection came out at a point in the impeachment hearing when Rep. Mike Conaway of Texas was asking Hill about Putin's propaganda efforts in the United States, at the center of which is the television channel RT, which pushes anti-fracking messaging. Hill agreed that Russia saw the growth of U.S. fracking as a threat given that it undermines Russia's efforts to dominate the energy sector.
“In November 2011, I actually sat next to Vladimir Putin, at a conference, in which he made precisely that point," she said. "It was the first time that he had actually done so to a group of American journalists and experts that were brought to something called the Valdai Discussion Club. So he started in 2011 making it very clear that he saw American fracking as a great threat to Russian interests. We were all struck by how much he stressed this issue. And since 2011, and since that particular juncture, Putin has made a big deal of this.”
The process of hydraulic fracking to extract oil and gas has led to an energy boom in the U.S. and has helped make the U.S. the largest global producer of energy, with Russia ranking third.