Richard Branson: Cut Speed Limits to Beat Putin

'Importing Russian oil and gas is funding Putin’s war and has got to stop immediately'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 21, 2022 11:13 AM CDT
Richard Branson: Cut Speed Limits to Beat Putin
In this Sunday, July 11, 2021 file photo, Richard Branson answers students' questions during a news conference at Spaceport America near Truth or Consequences, New Mexico.   (AP Photo/Susan Montoya Bryan, File)

Sir Richard Branson, who has broken world speed records in boats and balloons and beat Jeff Bezos to space last year, isn't a man normally known for advocating slower speeds—but he says it could be the key to defeating Vladimir Putin. The billionaire says the world needs to reduce its reliance on Russian energy, and speed limits should be cut by 10mph for the next year to cut fuel consumption and "bring this war to an end," the Telegraph reports. In Britain, that would bring the speed limit on highways from 70mph to 60mph.

Branson says reducing speed limits in Western countries would save enough fuel to help countries like Germany that rely heavily on Russian fuel imports—and would reduce prices by reducing demand. He says households should try to limit heating and air-conditioner use and airlines like his own Virgin Atlantic could save fuel by cutting unprofitable routes. "If we can reduce the West’s dependence on fuel, say by just 10%, that will free up something like three billion barrels of fuel. That will be plenty to make sure that countries like Germany do not have to import anymore," Branson tells CNBC.

In a blog post Wednesday, Branson said it is "preposterous for Western countries to be sending billions of dollars to Russia for fossil fuels. Importing Russian oil and gas is funding Putin’s war and has got to stop immediately." He said citizens have a part to play in supporting Ukraine's fight against the Russian invasion, and governments need to massively step up military aid. " The world must not stand by and watch as Russian troops flatten city after city," he said. (More Richard Branson stories.)

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