US to Crush Russian Gas Trade via Demonization & Fracking?
Glen Ford has a compelling, troubling and revelatory article over at Black Agenda Report entitled, “U.S. Prepares to Gas Russia Into Submission.” Now I’m thinking maybe we should bottom-line the Ukraine fiasco by archly suggesting, “It’s about the Russian energy exports, stupid!” The new militarist playbook in the Ukraine is really the same old militarist playbook from Iraq. Nothing to do with humanitarian concern for democracy. Money, money, money. Oil, oil, oil. Gas, gas, gas.
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.
As Ford sees it Russia was massively set up by the US and the EU, provoked into aggressiveness (from the craven and media-encouraged “he hit me back” strident school of American offensive faux-defensiveness). Heating up the cold war with Russia among the US and Europe justifies America to encourage economic sanctions and slide right in there with a fresh “gas” surplus, due to the environment-damaging “shale fracking” proliferation across the United States.
You know about fracking, right? The actual, technical term is “hydraulic fracturing”. So what if this process of gas extraction contaminates regional water supplies. Thanks to the politicians’ and corporate media’s ramped up anti-Russian false US patriotism, I guess we all will soon be expected dutifully to tolerate -- even celebrate -- imbibing ignitable water for Obama and country! Drink sh*t and smile? Gotta love the slippery slope of “lesser evilism.” MSNBC et al. tells me so.
In an article in the New York Times March 5th by Coral Davenport and Steven Erlanger entitled "U.S. Hopes Boom in Natural Gas Can Curb Putin":
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.
Over the past week, Congressional Republicans have joined major oil and gas producers like ExxonMobil in urging the administration to speed up oil and natural gas exports. Although environmentalists, some Democrats and American manufacturing companies that depend on the competitive advantage of cheap domestic natural gas oppose the effort, they have fallen to the sidelines in the rush.
The United States does not yet export its natural gas. But the Energy Department has begun to issue permits to American companies to export natural gas starting in 2015. American companies have submitted 21 applications to build port facilities in the United States to export liquefied natural gas by tanker. The agency has approved six of the applications.
At the helm of the new energy diplomacy effort is Carlos Pascual, a former American ambassador to Ukraine, who leads the State Department’s Bureau of Energy Resources. The 85-person bureau was created in late 2011 by Hillary Rodham Clinton, the secretary of state at the time, for the purpose of channeling the domestic energy boom into a geopolitical tool to advance American interests around the world.
Mr. Pascual said that his team had worked to help Ukraine and other European countries break away from dependence on Russian gas by finding supplies elsewhere, including Africa, and assisting the Europeans to build up their natural gas storage. The team, he said, is working with Ukraine and the European Union on completing a European energy charter, which already allows natural gas to move more quickly through Europe and permits countries to negotiate lower rates with Gazprom [Russian gas supplier].
In addition, he said, the team is helping countries develop their own natural gas resources, including in partnership with American energy giants. Halliburton has started fracking for natural gas in Poland, while Shell last year signed a contract to explore for natural gas in Ukraine.....
[The rapacious Halliburton strikes again.]
In 2012, in response to Iran’s nuclear program, the United States urged the Europeans to impose financial sanctions that greatly limited Iran’s ability to sell oil on the world market. Other countries feared that the move would raise prices, but officials assured other nations that a surge in American oil production would keep prices stable.
Earlier this year, the United States worked to broker a sale of Israeli natural gas to Jordan, in an effort to stabilize relations in the Middle East.
So I’m thinking Condi Rice’s WP editorial a while back so righteously protective of the "territorial integrity of the Ukraine" had a lot more to do with her vulture cronies at Chevron than the actual welfare of Ukrainians.
Maybe Israel is being quiet about neo-Nazis bringing about illegitimate regime change in the Ukraine because their gas export options will blossom? Ends justify some truly gobsmacking means, I’m thinking.
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.
... 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.
Catch that last line about burning water?
If you are thinking that the US providing gas to the Ukraine rather than demonized Russia is a win/win for Ukraine and us in the US, think again. The Ukrainians are going to face extorting fuel prices from American corporatists, while we’ll be coping with crap water thanks to these same American corporatists and their pimped politicians once again surrendering our rights and needs.
The one percenters and their bombastic, pimped out pols using military intimidation and global politics for corporate profit are not our friends, nor friends of the Ukrainians nor friends of the people of Russia, etc., etc. They want to expand their power and profits by any ends-justify-the-means means, their greed and power lust even risking nuclear war with Russia or dangerously arming neo-Nazis in the Ukraine.
Meanwhile back in the US, corporate media ferociously manufactures bobble-headed consent from us average Americans for military escalation or down and dirty, anti-international-law, economic gangsterism. The New York Times reporters cited above talk about this realpolitik as "energy diplomacy." I see it as energy ANTI-diplomacy.
[cross-posted on open salon, apparently banned from daily kos]