ANSWER TO RUSSIA: DRILL HERE; DRILL NOW!
No, I am not employed by oil companies. No, I have not changed my mind about the need to end the era of oil. Indeed, the reason I want us to drill here and now is because I do believe that the era of King Oil, like that of King cotton is over and I am not the only one. Saudi insistence on keeping the oil price high is in part the consequence of their belief that their time is up and they might as well make the most of it. It made sense for us to conserve our oil while the price was low, it no longer does. The new reality is: Use it or lose it and with it American power.
Russia is back and Putin is the reason? Nonsense. Russia is back because the price of oil is high and it has oil. The Soviet Union used to be the largest oil exporter for decades. Indeed, one of the reasons for the collapse of the Soviet Union was the decline of it's oil production coupled with the sharp drop in oil prices orchestrated by the Saudis as part of the Afghani war. Now, as then, low Russian domestic demand enables Russia to export it's oil and gas. In other words, Russians remain poor but their government is plenty rich.
But the drilling will take years to make a difference. Not really. A message that the US is serious will have an immediate effect on the price of oil. Every dollar we are not shipping to Russia or the Middle East is a dollar not used to fight democracy. For do not kid yourselves. This is not only a geopolitical battle but an ideological one and our intellectuals are losing faith in democracy in the same manner they have lost faith in it during the 30's. You do not believe me? Read David Brook's Ode to Chinese Collectivist autocracy and remember he is usually not a fellow traveler.
In the meantime, let us not forget that the strategic oil reserve is designed to prevent us from being held completely hostage by oil producers. Any reduction in the amount of oil in it is a reduction in the American freedom of action. Sorry to sound so dramatic but the times they are troubling.
None of this means that we should not do everything we can to develop alternative energy sources. Americans get it now and ultimately they will force their politicians to act accordingly. That is the reason democracy works. The consensus has been achieved. Even Obama pays lip service to it. But in the meantime, we simply cannot afford to continue to finance our enemies in the same manner we have done up to this point. Our resources are dwindling too fast.
So, yes, the Russian bear announced that it is back at a time we have our hands full with the Islamists. Luckily, the answer to both is the same:"Drill here; drill now!"
Good news: NYT reports:
American natural gas production is rising at a clip not seen in half a century, pushing down prices of the fuel and reversing conventional wisdom that domestic gas fields were in irreversible decline.
For a good analysis of the current Russia/Georgia/US relations, click here.
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Arnold Shcherban - 8/28/2008
Current attack of anti-Russian (used to be anti-Soviet) hysteria in the West, and especially (as always) in the US was hardly unpredictable, regardless of the developments in Georgian-Russian relations.
The US as a single true world superpower and hegemon it has been even at the Soviet times never tolerated any more or less serious pretender for the similar role. It still doesn't: it's enough to recall numerous discussions/warnings of the
threat of the increasing Chinese, so-called "soft power" (even diplomatic and trading efforts of China look threatening to the Western/US imperialism).
In case of Russia while the latter (after the utter economic and financial devastation caused by the best friend of the West corrupted drunkard Eltsin) was playing the role
of the Third World country practically
controled by organized crimes, criminal oligarchs and bribed by the them governmental employees, it became
almost a friend, at the least, a close Western "ally" moving in the "right" direction (apparently towards full-fledged democracy, or plutocracy, depending on one's interpretation.) Then Russian's majority decided to stop pumping out financial and human resources out to the West and Russian mafia'a accounts in the Western banks and get a bit to themselves. Comes Putin. He turns out to be a smart politician. Initially he
refuses to prosecute Eltsin and other
criminal oligarchs for essentually robbing the country and empoverishing
its core population. He also displays quite ambivalent internal and external policies: further committing Russian economics to the capitalist-like reforms at the same time strenghtening the financial discipline, tax collection, and governmental control over the economy, launching serious campaigns against organized crime and wide-spread corruption, becoming Western partner in the so-called war on terror (the real meaning of which he certainly knew even then), and supporting some reasonable Western/US
As Western civilised tradition goes, it lets a nation does whatever it wants, until that nation plays ball with the Western economic and geo-strategic interests, regardless of the nation's socio-ecomomic
and ideological structures (China and other non-democratic countries is a good example of the validity of the last statement.)
As soon as Russia has considerably stabilized its economy, social life, and military (the last was also terribly damaged by the treacherous policies of Putin's predecessors) paid off the Western loans it naturally became more independent from the Western foreign policy practices, throughout the world.
In particular, in clear view of the consequent wave of the US/UK imperial
coalition's agression in the Middle East, enlarging of NATO, despite of
the absence of any conceivable and proportinal threat in the world (with the obvious to any half-brained purpose to encircle Russia), and open provocation and stimulation by the West (especially - by the US) of any anti-Russian sentiments and policies in the former Soviet republics even many formerly Westerly-inclined politicians and political analysts concluded that Russia today cannot help establishing of its own independent foreign policies in order to protect its national security and, moreover, identity.
It is then when Western politicians and analysts started to raise alarm
about Putin's (note: not Russian majority's) deviations from "democratic" policies.
Apparently, no nation, except the US and its close allies has a right for
national security considerations, following by any political actions to srengthen it or even to prosecute its
own citizens for criminal offenses... unless those actions and prosecutions approved by the Western moral
and legal "leaders".
Recent tragic developments in Georgia
in regard to Abkhazia and South Ossetia are just one additional answer to the question Who establishes fashion in the world's public opinion?
It is sufficient to imagine the response the neighboring, non-aligned with the US, country (democratic or not) would get if it launches military attack against people living on its territory autonomously, which also happen to be American citizens, struggling for their independence from that country, killing hundreds of them and completely destroying their capital would get from the US. There one would have massive bombings of the capital and other major cities of that neigboring to the US with real, not imagined change of regime and immediate prosecution of the governmental officials responsible for the enthic cleansing, i.e. genocide.
World had it even when no American citizens were involved and when the country in question was no neighbor of the US, but located thousands miles from it (besides under the other outlandish considerations and lies forwarded) in Kosovo, e.g.
But it exactly 'cause Serbia dared not to place itself into the kilwater of the American supercruiser.
It was terrorist KLA that became democratic organization, and Serbia terrorist state. It is not a bit surprising therefore
that Russia became aggressor and used its force "disproportionately" this time, not genocidal regime of pro-Western democrat Saakashvili.
It is not a bit relevant either that both South Ossetia and Abkhazia became known as part of Georgia, as a result of the Stalin's (ironically - Georgian himself) orders to make them such, the leader whose any internal policies and actions the West damn as devil's will,... until they don't pour water on the Western mill, once again displaying traditional double standards of the US international (and national) approach.
Russia clearly wants and fully justifiably so one major thing from the West in general and the US, in particular: stop unceremonious interference in our internal social, economic and legal affairs, encircling our country by the NATO unfriendly members and by the US so-called anti-missile shield, support for anti-Russian chovinistic policies of some of Russian neigbors, and develop real friendly, not confrontional dialogue showing some measure of respect to Russian national security considerations instead of ignoring them in your favor.
Russian bear can be much more friendlier and peaceful than grizzlie, if properly maintained without being seriously provoked.
Rene Guerra - 8/13/2008
Enjoy your petrodollars at work: Petrodollar-awash Russia invades tiny Georgia; petro-riches have re-awakened the Muscovite Bear.
We buy about 400,000 barrels a day of Russian petroleum! And that, despite that America is practically soaked in petroleum, liquid, but mainly in the form of shale rocks. We must expand drilling on land and offshore here and now.
For how long will America keep helping the coffers of petro-autocracies and petro-tyrannies getting fatter?
With its vast proven-deposits of hydrocarbons (74.4 billion barrels of petroleum, 47.6 trillion cubic meters of gas, and 3 trillion tons of coal), Russia intimidates, bullies and extorts its European hydrocarbon-customers, that is, those countries hooked on imports of Russian hydrocarbons, particularly petroleum and, in some cases, natural gas. To get an idea of how Russia is holding its Europeans clients by the nape, Germany imports 30% of its natural gas consumption from Russia.
We must achieve full independence from foreign oil, and make transportation as much independent from oil-derived fuels as feasible. In the process, as a valuable by-product, we would be pulling the rug from under the feet of all petro-autocracies and petro-tyrannies of the world, including Russia, Iran and Venezuela.
To start, we must drill now and everywhere, absolutely everywhere on America soil and off our shores.
The day after G. W. Bush announced the lifting of the moratorium that G. H. “RML” Bush (RML = read-my-lips) imposed on offshore drilling, petroleum prices started to descend.
And prices are going further down, now that oil exporters realize that the vast majority of Americans (except for the hardcore left --which includes a fraction of diehard Democrats-- which would like to see America’s economy in shambles) want to drill now and everywhere, and have refineries built, and expand nuclear power, and embrace any suitable alternate source of energy, and embrace oil-consumption-efficiency (“conservation”).
Imagine how the prices of oil will plummet when the monarchical Democrats in the U.S. Congress finally obey the people’s will and lift any hindrance on drilling and any other energy related matters.
We must force our employees -- particularly the Democrats and RINOs & Associates (i.e., Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, John Sununu, John Wagner, Lindsay Graham, Charles Hager, etc.) in the U.S. Congress -- to do it NOW.
But that has to be done only as part of the process to transition to forms of surface transportation that don’t depend on petroleum derivates: electric motors (entirely plug-in-battery, hydrogen fuel cell, and plug-in hybrids) and hydrogen internal-combustion engines (water-surface light and medium- weight transportation, and agriculture and construction machinery). Military ground transportation and fighting hardware will probably remain dependent on oil, but probably hydrogen could work as replacement.
The huge amounts of electricity needed to 1)- charge the batteries of tens of millions of vehicles 24/7 and to 2)- produce the vast amounts of hydrogen (electrolysis on cheap seawater) can be generated easily with an “energy-backbone” constituted by our coal, nuclear power (fission and, eventually, fusion) and hydro power, aided by ancillary means such as geothermal, solar, wind, sea waves and tides, and anything that may be suitable. The day when nuclear fusion is harnessed for commercial purposes, any other source of energy, including nuclear fission itself, will become completely ancillary.
Again, one wonderful byproduct of such a transition will be that we will be pulling the rug from under the feet of petro-rich autocracies and petro-rich tyrannies. They will count on less economic power to finance aggression on others.
For a taste of what Russia is doing with its petro-riches, read about the ongoing invasion of Georgia at