Skip to comments.Counter Putin with Natural-Gas Exports - Obama should ignore the green lobby and expedite exports...
Posted on 03/10/2014 3:04:40 PM PDT by neverdem
Obama should ignore the green lobby and expedite exports to Europe.
Post-Crimea, everyone suddenly recognizes that Russia is a potential geopolitical menace to the West.
But for years the Obama administration has completely failed to use the U.S.s boom in energy production to increase its security and that of its European allies. Frustrated members of Congress from both parties now want to force the White House to stop delaying a full two dozen permits for the export of Americas abundant natural gas.
Ukraine depends on Russia for more than two-thirds of its natural gas, and Russia is already raising prices steeply. Thirty-four percent of Europes gas came from Russia last year. Indeed, it was in part Ukraines reliance on Russian energy that pushed now-deposed Ukraine president Viktor Yanukovych to abandon a scheduled trade deal with the European Union in favor of discount natural-gas prices from Russia, among other inducements from Putin. That turnaround led to the street protests that toppled Yanukovych last month.
So far the administration, under pressure from its environmental allies, is exhibiting no sense of urgency on an issue that should be a no-brainer. Its slow-walking of liquefied natural-gas plant permits is of a piece with its failure to approve the Keystone pipeline and get new trade deals done, says James Lucier, an energy analyst with Capital Alpha Partners in Washington. Its all a sign of just how disengaged from the rest of the world the Obama folks have become.
In an effort to push the Obama folks into dealing with global realities, the House Foreign Affairs Committee last Thursday unanimously passed a resolution that condemns Russias intervention in Ukraine and supports taking steps to reduce Russias control of energy and allow more natural-gas exports. Chairman Ed Royce, a California Republican, told me: With Russias economy so dependent on oil and gas sales and with the U.S. increasingly abundant in energy, it makes no sense not to include energy in our soft power response to Russias aggression. The full House will vote on the resolution on Tuesday. Speed is important; this week Russia announced it was already raising prices on the vital natural gas it sends to Ukraine, pushback for the new governments orientation to the West.
Paul Bledsoe, a former Clinton White House aide, and Lee Feinstein, a former Obama-administration ambassador to Poland, told Reuters last week that natural gas from the U.S. will not eliminate Russian leverage, but together with substantial supplies already on the market and other sources from Qatar and Norway, it could reduce Russias stranglehold on European energy requirements. Several Democratic senators, including Mark Udall of Colorado and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, agree and have joined legislation to accelerate the permitting process. The moment is in front of us, Senator Mark Begich, a Democrat from Alaska, told reporters last week: We should take advantage of this and use it as an international tool that could help create allies but also help make sure Russia isnt just running amok out there.
Many members of Congress want the administration to follow through on President Obamas oft-repeated campaign pledge that America will pursue an all of the above energy strategy. The steps to make good on this promise are easy, many believe, and they are frustrated that Obama so far remains unmoved. The president doesnt need legislation from Congress to make these changes, from approving Keystone to ending the embargo on energy development on federal lands to natural-gas exports, House Speaker John Boehner told a group last Friday. That same day, the Wall Street Journal published an appeal Boehner wrote to President Obama, in which he urged, This is something the President could do right now in the face of Putins aggression.
The White House, however, feels no sense of urgency. White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Friday that because Europe has had a relatively mild winter, gas supplies are at or above normal levels. The environmental groups behind Obama also piously claim that nothing can be done. No matter what President Obama might order, they note, no new natural-gas-export terminals could be finished before next year. But Obamas delays, which have cost us precious time, are no excuse to keep doing the wrong thing.
Green groups also note that natural-gas deposits are often exploited through fracking, the procedure by which fluid is injected into cracks in rocks to force them open, allowing more oil and gas to flow out. Despite numerous scientific studies that find no environmental harm from the process, green advocates view fracking as dangerous both in itself and because it encourages increased use of the fossil fuels they despise.
Marita Noon, executive director of Energy Makes America Great Inc., adds: Environmental groups who are pushing to ban fracking will put the U.S. in much the same place Ukraine finds itself in beholden to unfriendly forces who can use energy to control us. Most people do not realize that more than 96 percent of the oil and natural-gas wells within our borders are developed using hydraulic fracturing.
The Obama administration faces a critical choice: It can continue to appease its environmental allies, or it can accept the new reality that the U.S. must use its energy resources to help check Putins aggression. Heres hoping the administration listens to the voices of Democrats who recognize the importance of countering Russian aggression regardless of what sanctions are imposed. As Bill Richardson, who was energy secretary under President Clinton, put it: What we are offering the international community and our friends by exporting natural gas is a form of energy security.
So far, Obama has given nothing more than empty words to Americas energy producers and allies. It is perhaps telling that when Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic sent a letter late last week urging the U.S. to step up efforts to export natural gas, it was addressed to House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. These countries have no doubt made private appeals to the White House, but the Europeans arent waiting for President Dither to make up his mind.
John Fund is national-affairs columnist for NRO.
The left doesn't want to debate their science fiction; they just want to make ad hominems, e.g. calling sceptics flat earthers.
IMHO, we should dump our fiat currency, and return to a hard currency, in this case based on energy content, not gold. Fiat currencies hide inflation, the invisible tax.
I can almost promise you that they want "cash".
And my guess is that these "loans" will be forgiven...cuz they have nothing to pay them back.
Putin is happening now. Huge deliveries won’t happen for years.
Natural gas getting delivered is severely hampered by the lack of pipelines, unless we want to send what is already used here at home and shorting our own supply and driving up prices.
Gazprom is the largest gas exporting company in the world. Russia offers Europe cheap and plentiful gas that can be piped West.
America has nothing like Gazprom and ending European dependence on Russian gas will take years to happen.
So, 15 years from now we’ll really make Putin regret what he’s doing now....IF we start building pipelines now. Am I hearing you right?
It almost makes you wonder if the brainiacs coming up with these ideas shouldn’t spend a few days on Free Republic getting their clocks cleaned.
Burn it HERE!
There ya go!
We can always impose sanctions on Russia and pretend its hurting them.
And that's why we will ALWAYS have it!
The faculty lounge solution naturally!
Obama blew this years ago when he refused an ABM shield for the former Soviet client states. He ceded air superiority and missile vulnerability. I’ve litle doubt his overheard whisper to Medvedev/Putin had to do with further concessions or the staging of some ploy that would give Putin a chance to advance.
Bad move...we need the natural gas here. Europe made its bed with the Greenies-—let it go dark and cold.
Yes. Liquifying natural gas is expensive. Advantage: Russia.
Thanks for the map!
Here east of the Mississippi a fair percentage of our electricity could be produced by hydroelectric if we retrofitted existing dams and we could sell much of the gas.
A year or so back the DOE produced a list of some 800 dams that could be effective power generators.
Where's Joe Probono...We need a picture on Putin's desk of Obama that says....flex this...
Can you say "kickback"? Our scum politicians love to give American tax dollars to 3rd world sh*tholes with governments that aren't accountable to their people. That makes the money untraceable.
Some noteworthy articles about politics, foreign or military affairs, IMHO, FReepmail me if you want on or off my list.
Thanks for the ping!
Ignore the anti-competition NIMBYs, and finish the Keystone XL pipeline instead. Real estate values are dead for the next few decades anyway (see tagline).
Gazprom will soon be broke, high production cost and competition from Norway http://rt.com/business/russia-norway-gaz-europe-178/ and ME
check OGZPY for Gazprom http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=OGZPY and RTS for Moscow index http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=RTS.RS for the last few weeks.
and some graphs from a few days ago
Thanks AdmSmith and neverdem.
I can testify to the fact that BURNING it sure is!
How many of those would ALSO be in expensive?
And monkeys might fly out of my butt.
President Palin (or Secretary of Energy Palin) would though.
Small ones cost about the same as erecting a windmill without the added cost of having to be rebuilt every 10 years like a windmill. 70+ years looks to be about the average lifespan of a well maintained hydro generator.
Even a small single generator dam with 10 feet of head produces the same amount of energy as windmill can produce at peak efficiency. A dam on the other hand produces that electricity all day every day 365 days per year. Larger dams produce more electricity than entire wind farms. The cost of hydro averages about 0.7¢ per kwh which is really about as good as it gets. Hydro also has the added benefit of actually producing wealth in the form of high dollar lakefront property, water recreation and fishing revenues.
The drawback of hydro is that it isn’t portable but much of the country already has it available but unused. Where it isn’t available coal and gas will still be available.
Overall I’d say we’re probably spending more on windmills right now than hydro would cost in the long term but wind mills are going to continue to cost year after year with ever growing costs.
There’s a reason the greenies are hot to tear out all the dams in the country.
What if the dispute escalates and Moscow stops the flow of gas? Experts have said Western Europe would probably not be that badly affected. "That wouldn't affect the EU very much," said Jonas Grätz of the Center for Security Studies (CSS) in Zurich, adding a cut would hit eastern nations like Hungary and Bulgaria more than states in Western Europe, where the gas reservoirs are still filled to about 60 percent - enough for up to four months.
"There's a glut on the international gas markets," said Claudia Kemfert, an energy expert with the Berlin-based German Institute for Economic Research (DIW). But Kemfert said in the long run, Europe is insufficiently prepared to purchase a third of the gas it needs elsewhere. "That is true in particular for countries in Southeast Europe that buy large amounts of gas in Russia."
If transit via Ukraine were blocked, Russian gas could instead flow through the Nord Stream Pipeline that takes natural gas from Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea. Then, there's the Yamal-Europe natural gas pipeline which runs across Belarus and Poland to Germany. Should Russia halt all shipments, tankers could bring liquid natural gas to Europe from the Middle East. But Germany, for one, doesn't have a terminal to unload such tankers. In case of a longer disruption, gas buyers could also turn to Algeria and Norway.
Russia is not likely to cut gas supplies to Europe. "Russia heavily depends on energy deliveries to Europe," Kemfert said. "Some 60 percent of Russia's state income is due to oil, gas and coal sales - and a large part of that goes to Europe."
Grätz added that "a different approach was needed to be taken to Russia's dependence on the European market." One possibility, he said, would be the strict implementation of European market rules on all dealings with Gazprom. Russian President Vladimir Putin has often used the energy giant to serve his own geopolitical goals. If European countries cut imports of Russian energy, it would negatively impact Gazprom as 60 percent of its revenue comes from the European market.
"When Gazprom has problems then Putin will also have problems because he needs the company in order to achieve projects in Russia, such as Sochi, and the supply of gas to rural regions as well as using the company as a means to conduct foreign policy," Grätz said.
The timing might be just right for Europe to cut its dependence on Russian gas, and for America to reach for self-reliance in energy.
European Union officials are reviewing an antitrust complaint against OAO Gazprom (OGZD), the Russian state-controlled gas company, as they weigh how the two-year-old dispute will affect the conflict in Ukraine, according to people familiar with the case.
The EU suspects Gazprom of abusing its market power to impose unfair prices in central and eastern Europe by linking what it charges for long-term natural gas contracts to oil prices. The commission is also concerned the Russian company may have prevented gas from being traded between countries and hindered the customers from find new energy providers.
Unleash Europe’s antitrust case against Gazprom. A report is due in the coming weeks, with the potential to levy billion-dollar fines and trigger customer lawsuits against the gas giant on which so much of Putin patronage is founded. Embargo Gazprom LNG tankers (it recently bought its fifth) from Western ports.
Withdraw Europe’s support for pipelines Mr. Putin wants to build. These, by way of the Black Sea and the Baltic Sea, aim to reduce Ukraine’s leverage as transit path for gas exports that generate much of his regime’s income. Mr. Putin might like to shut off the gas but he can’t. He needs the money.
Sounds like a lot of these dams are quite small - merely enough juice for a single home or farm.
10 feet of head only tells us the drop; not the volume.
I have 12’ of drop across my property; but only about 1 foot is usable; flowing from the Lake of Death...
Obviously you are utterly and completely clueless but I’m guessing its deliberate.
The smallest of them would power thousands of homes.
Guess all you want, but not very much information was given here: A year or so back the DOE produced a list of some 800 dams that could be effective power generators.
Go away and don’t post your stupidity to me any more.
I’m not going to argue with a child who behaves like a liberal simpleton.
You’re debating an engineering question — an issue which can be resolved by facts and mathematical modeling. There’s no reason to resort to personal attacks. Political leanings (assumed or actual) have nothing to do with it.
In the particular case mentioned by Elsie, in her just previous post, Elsie is correct. The site she linked to provides a “Hydropower Equation” (click on the link, within the site). If you plug in the head, the flow rate, and an efficiency factor (0.5 is a good estimate); you’ll be able to calculate the output of any hydro electric setup (setting aside a lot of possible complexities that arise in some of the larger setups). Ten ft. of head, and 1,000 gpm through a turbine/generator with a 0.5 efficiency does indeed yield 1 kW output.
I’m not really concerned with arguing with children. I mentioned a minimal and like a child she ran with it and apparently you’re going to do the same.
You can both post to someone else till you quit using your sippy cup.
Give your head a shake, take a few deep breaths, and go back and actually read what I wrote. I hope you'll then realize that you had no call to attack me.
One of the best features of Freerepublic -- compared to many, many other Internet forums -- is the relative civility. While debates can, and often do become heated; the ad hominem is generally eschewed.
As for the hydro power vs. wind power debate -- I actually agree with much of what you said. Once you've reread my previous post, you'll see that I was focusing in on just one thing -- the micro-hydro setup Elsie referred to. You'll also notice that the issue was easily resolved, by the simple expediency of plugging numbers into a formula, and cranking out the answer. Perhaps, you were too steamed up about the rest of your debate with Elsie to see that, when you replied to me.
One would think that if a person cannot take a bit of extra information without feeling threatened...
Good plan. The Russia’s position as a raw material exporter is one of the factors driving its Soviet revanchism, as it puts the government in charge of the bulk of its economy, and relieves the pressure to attract foreign investment.
The Russian export in 2012 was $524,564,991,000.
Top ten breakdown:
Mineral fuels including oil: $375,423,947,000 (71.6% of total exports)
Iron and steel: $22,601,664,000 (4.3%)
Fertilizers: $11,176,846,000 (2.1%)
Inorganic chemicals: $7,835,699,000 (1.5%)
Machinery: $7,609,061,000 (1.5%)
Aluminum: $7,281,329,000 (1.4%)
Wood: $6,731,569,000 (1.3%)
Cereals: $6,246,547,000 (1.2%)
Copper: $5,787,339,000 (1.1%)
Organic chemicals: $4,516,890,000 (0.9%)
This is a typical third world export mix heavily dependent on raw materials.
Compare this to South Korea with a total export of $548.8 billion in 2012 (i.e. larger than Russia)
Top ten breakdown:
Electronic equipment: $119,084,386,000 (21.7% of total exports)
Vehicles: $70,074,094,000 (12.8%)
Machinery: $58,979,883,000 (10.8%)
Mineral fuels including oil: $57,492,603,000 (10.5%)
Ships, boats and other floating structures: $37,828,429,000 (6.9%)
Optical, technical and medical apparatus: $37,611,611,000 (6.9%)
Plastics: $28,381,150,000 (5.2%)
Iron and steel: $25,375,017,000 (4.6%)
Organic chemicals: $23,284,736,000 (4.3%)
Iron or steel products: $12,467,431,000 (2.3%)
The Russians do not know(?) that their export, without the raw materials, is only in the order of $50 billion !
From your source:
United States Top 10 Exports
United States Top 10 Exports
The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in American global shipments during 2012. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of US overall exports.
- Machinery: $215,165,486,000 (13.9% of total exports)
- Electronic equipment: $162,067,973,000 (10.5%)
- Mineral fuels including oil: $137,532,495,000 (8.9%)
- Vehicles excluding trains and streetcars: $132,926,223,000 (8.6%)
- Aircraft and spacecraft: $104,266,487,000 (6.7%)
- Optical, technical and medical apparatus: $83,470,292,000 (5.4%)
- Pearls, precious stones metals and coins: $71,664,266,000 (4.6%)
- Plastics: $58,848,633,000 (3.8%)
- Organic chemicals: $46,174,233,000 (3%)
- Pharmaceutical products: $40,061,845,000 (2.6%)
Add the life expectancy of Russia http://www.worldlifeexpectancy.com/country-health-profile/russia 63 years for men!, and the export structure then it is a typical(!) African country.
Compare to 1914 when Russia was a major European country with rapidly growing diversified economy.
Communism seriously harms you and others around you
Falling down http://finance.yahoo.com/echarts?s=RTS.RS today and the days to come
-2.95 % today
Please note: I carry no brief for Russia. I'm not defending their internal or external policies in any way. I'm just saying what I said — things have changed. If we continue to think Russia = USSR, we won't win the game — we won't even be playing the same game.
The decision to invade Crimea, the officials and analysts said, was made not by the national security council but in secret among a smaller and shrinking circle of Mr. Putins closest and most trusted aides. The group excluded senior officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the cadre of comparatively liberal advisers who might have foreseen the economic impact and potential consequences of American and European sanctions.
x x x
The group, the officials and analysts said, included Sergei B. Ivanov, Mr. Putins chief of staff; Nikolai P. Patrushev, the secretary of the security council; and Aleksandr V. Bortnikov, the director of the Federal Security Service. All are veterans of the K.G.B., specifically colleagues of Mr. Putins when he served in the organization in Leningrad, now St. Petersburg, during the 1970s and 80s.