U.S. Prepares to Gas Russia Into Submission

Submitted by Glen Ford on Wed, 03/19/2014 - 14:48
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by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

The U.S., now number one in oil and gas, is preparing to destroy Russia’s economy. “Washington will move to crush, or at least seriously disrupt, Russia under its ‘sanctions as war by other means’ machine, by targeting its energy exports, while simultaneously boosting the foreign markets for U.S. natural gas.”

 

U.S. Prepares to Gas Russia Into Submission

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

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Washington’s strategy is to permanently ratchet up tensions to ‘new cold war’ levels to justify sanctions against Russian energy exports.”

The massive – and desperate – American offensive against world order is entering a new phase, as the U.S. prepares to resume its historical status as global energy superpower. The Obama administration’s brazen implantation of a rabidly anti-Russian, fascist-led regime in Ukraine places U.S. proxies astride pipelines that carry much of Siberia’s gas to Europe and beyond. Seventy-six percent of Russia’s natural gas exports are bound for Europe, the bulk of it to Germany, Italy, France and the United Kingdom. Russia’s weight in the world is largely derived, not from its economically burdensome nuclear arsenal, but as an energy giant. The U.S.-engineered coup in Kiev sets the stage for a protracted assault on Russia’s energy trade, which accounts for more than half of Moscow’s federal expenditures. Without its huge oil and gas exports, Russia deflates like a leaky dirigible.

Even the Americans were not so stupid as to believe that their neo-Nazi friends in Kiev could somehow pry Russia from its naval base in Crimea. Such was never the plan. Rather, Moscow’s response to the overthrow of Ukraine’s elected government was predictable, as was that of the Russian-speaking Crimean majority. Washington’s strategy is to permanently ratchet up tensions to “new cold war” levels to justify sanctions against Russian energy exports while exploiting America’s own natural gas “surplus” as an enhanced weapon of global hegemony.

The U.S.-engineered coup in Kiev sets the stage for a protracted assault on Russia’s energy trade.”

Thanks to shale fracking, the United States recently surpassed Russia as the world’s number one exporter of natural gas, and will next year become the top oil producer. As the New York Times reported on March 5, “The administration’s strategy is to move aggressively to deploy the advantages of its new resources to undercut Russian natural gas sales to Ukraine and Europe.” That’s not the half of it. When Moscow stood up to U.S.-backed jihadists in Syria, the Obama administration understood that the U.S.-Russia button could not be “reset” to Washington’s satisfaction under current conditions. An assertive Russia, increasingly coordinated with China, must be taken out of international contention. Washington will move to crush, or at least seriously disrupt, Russia under its “sanctions as war by other means” machine, by targeting its energy exports, while simultaneously boosting the foreign markets for U.S. natural gas.

The U.S. government tells its people that it spends more on weaponry than the rest of the world’s nations, combined, in order to, among other things, maintain the free flow of energy throughout the planet. But, that didn’t stop Washington from attempting to cripple Venezuela’s oil production in 2003, or from preventing Iran, once the world’s fourth largest exporter, from marketing more than a fraction of her production under the current U.S. sanctions regime. U.S. rulers have never been guardians of free oil flow. Rather, American policy is designed to ensure that U.S.-based corporations and financiers dominate the global energy trade, and that the dollar remains central to energy transactions, regardless of where the oil and gas comes from.

Russia also plays a key role as the energy giant among the BRIC bloc, which is the most likely venue for hatching alternatives to dollar hegemony. Venezuela, which barters oil with some of its Latin American partners and uses the proceeds of its dollar-denominated exports to build structures of resistance to U.S. imperialism, must also be forced back into line, or taken out of the game.

U.S. rulers have never been guardians of free oil flow.”

Ever since the Arab oil embargo of 1973, U.S. presidents have trumpeted the quest for “energy self-sufficiency” as a national security imperative, requiring subsidies for domestic energy production. Richard Nixon proclaimed: “In the last third of this century, our independence will depend on maintaining and achieving self-sufficiency in energy.” In truth, oil producers enjoyed bounteous subsidies when the U.S. was indisputably the oil production king of the world, from 1925, when U.S. oil fields accounted form more than 70 percent of total global production, to the early 70s. Citizens assumed self-sufficiency meant drilling for domestic development. “Self-sufficiency” – and jobs – is what makes fracking “worth it” in the eyes of many Americans. Now that the aquifers of much of the country have been fouled by shale-frackers intent on cornering gas markets around the globe, the script must be flipped, so that the surplus can be exported. As George Washington University law professor Richard Pierce told Al Jazeera, last year, "The US is now 100 percent independent in natural gas and within the next half a dozen years [North America] will be independent in oil. It will become a global supplier, rather than a demander, in a hurry."

Room must be made for this global supplier in an energy-glutted world. Russia’s gas sales to Europe need to be “undercut,” as the Times puts it. Sanctions can reshape the global markets to the advantage of the new energy superpower – war by other means. Corporate media mask the historical moment with juvenile jibes at Putin, as Washington prepares to subdue the planet with gushing oil and burning water.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.

 

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4 comments

US Prepares to Gas Russia into Submission

Submitted by Peter Appio on Fri, 03/21/2014 - 12:13.

Dear Mr. Ford,

 

 

I read your article at the global research website entitled "US Prepares to Gas Russia into Submission" with some incredulity.

 

The idea that Western Europe could rapidly alter its existing energy infrastructure to reduce its dependency on Russian gas supplies and replace its requirements on LNG supplies from the US is complete nonsense.  

 

It would take years to effect such a change and to construct the necessary infrastructure (handling LNG is a much more complicated process than receiving conventional gas by pipeline).  For one thing there simply are not enough vessels capable of shipping such quantities of LNG - these would have to be ordered and constructed - a process which would take a minimum of 3 - 5 years - and we have not even begun to consider the construction of new LNG terminals and/or expansion of existing LNG terminals.   

 

Such an enterprise would also involve a considerable financial investment which would be difficult to raise given the fact that if Russian gas supplies were disrupted for any considerable period of time - Western Europe's already fragile economy - would immediately be thrown into a severe recession.  

 

In fact the West is far more vulnerable to economic "sanctions" than Russia.  All Russia has to do to bring about a massive recession in the West is to reduce gas and oil exports - and then flood the market once substitution starts to take place - to make such enterprises uneconomic.  This is probably why reaction to Russia's effective annexation to the Crimea has been so ineffectual and nothing more than being "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing!".

 

Your article fails to point out that reserves containing natural gas utilising "fracking" are very rapidly depleted - requiring increased drilling merely to maintain existing production levels. So dependence on supplies from the US would be an extremely short sighted policy.

 

Just google search "fracking gas depletion rates" and you will find numerous articles discussing the subject.   Here is one of many: 

 

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-10-10/u-dot-s-dot-shale-oil-boom-may-not-last-as-fracking-wells-lack-staying-power

 

The idea that gas recovered from shale by "fracking" is in any way similar to recovering crude oil from "shale oil" deposits is completely erroneous.  

 

The production of crude oil from "shale oil" deposits is an extemely expensive operation in financial, energy and environmental costs.  At present no technology exists to produce crude oil from "shale oil" deposits on an economic basis - and it is highly unlikely that any such technology will ever exist.  The problem being that the EROEI (the energy return on energy invested) makes such an exercise pointless. 

 

Again a very quick google search reveals a host of credible scientifc articles discussing the problem:  http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131028141516.htm

 

So the idea that the USA will be a net energy exporter by the end of the decade is pure fantasy or propaganda of the most simplistic nature.

 

I suggest that you research the subject better - in particular the work of geologists such as Colin Campbell - in order to understand the current energy crisis which we are currently experiencing - and its repercussions.  The following video is a good place to start: 

 

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yBKqBGtJf5M

 

The best explanation for US foreign policy since "911" is the realisation that "Peak Oil" is real and is upon us.  This explains the military attacks on Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya - and the current US destabilisation of both the Ukraine and Syria (both are vital "crossover" points for the supply of Russian gas by pipeline - and control of the territory through which the pipelines must pass gives a degree of control of the supply).

 

No doubt the source of the myth of "abundant energy" in a time when all indicators tell us that it is increasingly short supply (the amount of barrels of oil discovered compared to those consumed is falling, the price of crude oil over the past 5 years, production and consumption levels etc.) - is being propogated by the same people who sold us the lie about who was responsible for "911" and the fake "War on Terror".

 

In an age where so much information is so easily available to anyone bothered to perform the most basic research - the ignorance about this most important of subjects exhibited by your article is troubling.

 

Yours etc.,

 

Peter F. Appio

The U.S cannot do jack to Russia!

Submitted by Fanon on Wed, 03/19/2014 - 22:26.

~“Today, it is imperative to end this hysteria, to refute the rhetoric of the Cold War and to accept the obvious fact: Russia is an independent, active participant in international affairs. Like other countries, it has its own national interests that need to be taken into account and respected.”

~“They act as they please: here and there, they use force against sovereign states, building coalitions based on the principle ‘If you are not with us, you are against us.’ To make this aggression look legitimate, they force the necessary resolutions from international organizations, and if for some reason this does not work, they simply ignore the UN Security Council and the UN overall.” -- Putin

Putin is no pushover.  Unless the West are so suicidal to want to have this whole planet burn into radioactive ashes.  Glen thinks the U.S knew how Russia would react to the crisis.  Well, Russia could have invaded the whole of Ukraine, at least, Eastern Ukraine.  We need to understand that there is a redline Russia would not cede anything -- that is getting NATO close to its border. @Deadbeat, please don't regurgitate this propaganda about 30 million orthodox christians dying during the bolshevik revolution.  Hitler despised the Russians and their ilk, the so called SLAVS -- he believed the SLAVS were sub-humans too.  We tend to ignore the sacrifices of the Soviets in defeating fascism while it is clear Churchill and Roosevelt wanted Hitler to defeat them.  It is the kind of demonizing of the bolshevik revolution that has allowed world to be overrun by fascism.  Yes, those usurpers of the Ukrainian constitution are fascists.  They are in no way progressive.  What kind of progressives will sell the welfare of their country to the IMF?  The world is awakening to the catastrophe that befell it with the collapse of the Soviet Union.  Compared to the banditry we are accustomed to these days, the Soviets will foreover be missed.  Russia is strong but Russia is not the Soviet Union.  As for the West, their greed will be their own undoing.  Are they going to pay the gas bills of Ukraine. Currently, that is subsidized by Russia.  Europe cannot wean themselves off Russia gas.  If they switch to Cheney and co, Europe will be paying a whole lot more.  Let us not underestimate Russia.  It is a very rich country. Average russians spend about $3 a month on gas.  The Havard boys screwed the country over for the Oligarchs but it is clear Putin is slowly getting on top on the situation.  The problem with Russia is its flirtation with capitalism has compromised it a bit.  But Russia has awakened to the fact that West wants to subdue it and finish it.  I agree when the Russians say they are no longer weak as they were in the 1990s under Yeltsin.  They have the weapons and strategic resources to revert to autarky.  On the other hand the West is weakened economically.  The U.S has always leveraged its military superiority over other countries to acquire booty but the question arises if the U.S can wield its military superiority over Russia with its deadend nuclear systems and other sophisticated weapons such the Isklander and S-500s and 400s?  I think Western reckless policy has awakened the Bear from its 20 year hibernation.

 

 

 

 

Are Folks Really Paying Attention???

Submitted by Nixakliel on Thu, 03/20/2014 - 02:58.

The false bipartisan meme: 'Drill Baby Drill' [whether from Obama Dims Or McCain / Palin Repugs] - Is that tar-sands & deep-sea oil, & gas-fracking is about US' energy independence & US jobs. Yet this article highlights the fact that much / most of this fracked-gas, tar-sands & deep-sea oil is ear-marked to be exported to the EU & other markets to challenge Russia as the EU's current main supplier. So deep-sea oil drilling risks poisoning the Gulf of Mexico's eco-system [IE: BP's Gulf Oil Disaster], & the KXL & gas-fracking risks poisoning the US water supply, all so Big Oil Corps can make an even bigger killing than they do now, while the US 'well oiled / gas-guzzling war-machine [IE: military &/or econ warfare {aka Econ sanctions] keeps turning. So is this really why the US has targeted major OPEC states for regime-change [IE: Iraq, Iran, Libya, Venezuela] - So US oil corps can again dominate the oil market w little effective challenge???

FYI: The average effective production cycle for gas-fracking wells is just 2 yrs- before they have to drill another one.  While the number of permanent jobs for the KXL will be less than 100.

If the EU goes for this US sucker move & become overly dependent on the US for its oil & gas, just to spite Putin's Russia- IMO they'll live to regret it. 

RE Deadbeat's Blurb: I'm less concerned about his anti-Bolshevik [= anti-Russian?] rant, than challenging his claim that this [US / NATO / IMF- backed] Ukrainian coup did NOT have literal Neo-NAZIs as key players. Once I saw these guys openly display Confederate [Huhh? WTF?], white-power & NAZI insignia over Gov't bldgs in Kiev, that's all I need to see. Yet Neo-NAZI / Neo-Fascist guys hold at-least 3 or more key posts in Kiev's new coup gov't- including over the military, police & {in}Justice ministry. So will these Ukrainian Neo-NAZIs now revive a modern SS / storm-trooper type military / police force??!

Ukraine is NOT Fascist-Led

Submitted by Deadbeat on Wed, 03/19/2014 - 20:10.

The group leading Ukraine are not "Fascists" but an almagamation of "nationalists", "progressives" (FEMEN) and Jews.  The coup-led Prime Minister who met with Obama is Jewish and represenets the Rothchild-Led IMF that wants to burden Ukrainians with usurious debt.

In addition, the other aspect that spooks Jewry is religion.  Russia is undergoing a spritiual renewal as their culture and civilization is now recovering from a century of Bolshevik domination that lead to the deaths of nearly 30 million Othrodox Russian Christian and the Holodomor.  In fact the monument that was descreated by the progressive feminist group FEMEN was dedicated to the suffers of the Holodomor.

For a truer source of the players and a clearer understanding of what's going on in the Ukranine, I'd recommend The Ugly Truth, deLiberation, and Brother Nathaniel.

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