Posted: 1:08 pm Friday, March 28th, 2014

Sam Nunn and George Shultz: Ramp up U.S. exports of natural gas and oil to Europe 

By Jim Galloway

For those of you who see a renewed Cold War in Vladimir Putin’s annexation of the Crimean region of Ukraine, we direct you to today’s op-ed in the Washington Post, authored by former U.S. senator Sam Nunn and his Republican partner, former secretary of state George Shultz.

The key to Russia’s weakness, the pair states, is its strength: Natural gas. A few paragraphs:

[T]hese assets are also potential liabilities. The Russian economy depends on these trading and financial arrangements and on income from oil and gas sales that are now taking place at historically high prices. Moreover, Russia has a demographic catastrophe looming in its low fertility and astonishingly low longevity rates for men, including men of working age.

Many young Russians are emigrating. There is an open rebellion in the Caucasus. Russia shares a long border with China, with hardly anyone and large resources on one side and a lot of people on the other. Putin also has a restive population, as shown in an odd way by the arrest of members of the band Pussy Riot who sang songs of dissent on street corners.

Nunn and Shultz recommend that the United States ramp up its exports of oil and natural gas to Europe – which might raise prices here, but might also also preserve the strength of European markets for U.S. businesses.

39 comments
BuzzG
BuzzG

A hundred people have already said this.  Why would the AJC be quoting Sam Nunn?  No one but the AJC cares what this leftist has to say about anything.  The AJC again shows its bias.  It is time for Kevin Riley to clean the leftists out of the AJC and replace them with unbiased journalists.

Bernie31
Bernie31

Nunn and Shultz recommend that the United States ramp up its exports of oil and natural gas to Europe – which might raise prices here, but might also also preserve the strength of European markets for U.S. businesses. - Nunn & Shultz


Yes Never mind  and Ignore the fact that U.S. Gas Prices could easily SOAR to as much as $8.00 - $10.00 A Gallon. No problem for these (2) Two Wealthy Millionaires.

No Problem at ALL.....

uh...huh.

deboraham05
deboraham05

Russia has plenty untapped oil. It does sound like a sound decision for the USA to begin exporting oil.

Bernie31
Bernie31

Sorry Sam and George, while you both were in Charge of your respective Committees and Leadership roles. It would have been Wise for the Both of You to follow your own ADVICE and offer the same Advice to Your Leadership Heads. But, YOU DID NOT!


So go back to your afternoon Naps, Change Your Depends, have some Lunch, Take your Meds and leave the rest to the REAL PROFESSIONALS like President OBAMA!


Besides Michelle needs ALL of the help she can Muster to beat these Republican Goobers in November. Michelle needs as much one on one time with you more than ever. But if you are anything like My Dad, surely she is saying who needs his CRAP!

I Do Not!

uh....huh

AuntieChrist
AuntieChrist

This may not be a popular position, but screw Europe. Eastern European countries like Bulgaria and Hungary are opposing sanctions, along with Germany and Switzerland. How much more blood and treasure are we supposed to expend on that quarrelsome continent, none of whom ever signed a treaty they didn't break, or wasted an opportunity to poke the US in the eye when it suited them. Now we are expected to suffer higher natural gas prices on their behalf, when they will do business when putin, sanctions or no, when it is their interest to do so. France is building russia's warships, while England has experienced a real estate boom centered largely around russian oligarch's purchases of high end real estate. And this, from The Daily Mail:

Britain will not impose sanctions or support military action against Russia, according to a briefing paper that was revealed in error yesterday.

The document became public when one of David Cameron’s advisers left it on display to press photographers before a Downing Street meeting.

The blunder by Hugh Powell, who is deputy national security adviser, also shows that the Government has no plans to freeze Russian investors out of the City of London. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2572544/Files-Britain-NOT-support-military-action-against-Russia.html

So why should I, or anyone else care what putin does, when the people most threatened by him are not willing to pay the price to stop him.

honested
honested

While we're busy chest thumping, we might want to take a moment and remember what an inviting target a tanker of LNG is and just how destructive detonating one would be.

DirtyDawg
DirtyDawg

Seems to me that Russia's memory regarding the defense spending race that doomed the Soviet Union ought to be sufficient to, at least, make em think twice about pushing us into a 'natural gas production war'. A war that we would clearly win despite the expense required to build the 'liquid natural gas' production plants needed to convert it into the form necessary to ship it across the Atlantic. Of course we very well could end up making our country - at least huge portions of it - virtually uninhabitable...I think they'll call it 'fracking ourselves to death'...and if you think 'fracking' doesn't do any harm you haven't been paying any attention. Point is, just the threatening of supplying natural gas to Europe, just might be enough.

EdUktr
EdUktr

Henry Kissinger wrote a column on this weeks back that pointed out the Crimea always has been Russian—and was attached to the Ukraine only to buy goodwill back in the 1950s.

Maybe it's best to let it revert to the bear.

NWGAL
NWGAL

Humans can not survive without water to drink and fracking really does a number on well water. The solution is to insist on better technologies for extracting natural gas. It's not like the energy companies are failing to make a massive profit. They would just rather not spend part of it on discovering and implementing the improvements.

The_Centrist
The_Centrist

Prices would not go up here if the current administration would stop throwing roadblocks slowing fracking, horizontal drilling, and open up federal lands for such.  But using junk science as a pandering sop to the left wing base of the Democratic party is more important than our economic well being.

AvailableName
AvailableName

And just how do they plan on making the oil companies do that?  I thought Republicans and retired moderate Democrats were free market people.

honested
honested

@BuzzG  

Only in wrong-wing loon land would Sam Nunn or George Schultz be considered 'Leftists'.

 

honested
honested

@The_Centrist  

How is it NOT sensible to avoid wasting our COLLECTIVE (Federal Lands) Resources and keep them in reserve?

honested
honested

@AuntieChrist  

Add to that concept the question of why have we greeted with open arms the oligarch vermin into the United States that helped putin ascend to power?

AuntieChrist
AuntieChrist

@honested Don't give these repup candidates any ideas, else we'll be seeing their commercials of the  Obamacare bill strapped to an oil tanker, and some tp candidate blowing it all up with his AR-15.

honested
honested

@NWGAL  

Not to mention the HUGE amounts of water that is rendered a 'waste product' during the process.

honested
honested

@The_Centrist  

When will the wrong-wing stop opposing increased efficiency in vehicles and appliances?

To continue to support yesterday's wasteful consumption practices (and the cash stream they flow to the most odious of political troublemakers) is definitively insane.

Poor supervision of 'fracking' is causing a level of methane leakage never before seen in our era. Over 20% of the not-so-nasty natural gas produced in the really-nasty Alberta Tar Sands liquid bitumen project is FLARED OFF.

Why do you have such a distaste for those who place survival above profit?

Brosephus
Brosephus

@The_CentristLOL!!!!!

http://www.doi.gov/news/pressreleases/DOI-Releases-Update-on-Unused-Oil-and-Gas-Leases.cfm

WASHINGTON – As the Obama administration continues to make millions of acres available to for oil and gas development, a report released today by the Department of the Interior shows that more than two thirds of federal offshore acreage leased by industry and more than half of federal onshore leased acreage in the lower 48 states remains idle – neither producing nor under active exploration or development by companies who hold those leases.


I guess it's ok to use junk rhetoric pushed by the right wing base of the Republican Party though, huh?  Why should any further land be opened up for drilling when currently there is 2/3 of the permitted land not being used?


Domestic supply and demand no longer has as much bearing on our prices as they're more impacted by the global market.  It has nothing to do with imaginary roadblocks or anything else. 

DS
DS

@AvailableName  Good question. The linked article in WP links to a Reuters article, which explains that:

[Current] regulations require the Department of Energy to grant permission for natural gas exports to all but a handful of countries, such as Canada, which have free trade agreements with the United States.

Congress wants to change the law so that it would be easier to export LNG to other countries, especially Russia's biggest customers, like Lithuania.

Opponents are worried that, if we start a trade war with Russia by shipping LNG to their biggest customers, we'd be lowering supply right here at home, which could make our energy prices rise and hurt our economy.

It comes down to a tug-of-war between free market ideology vs. strategic diplomacy.

td1234
td1234

@AvailableName  You are correct and at the current time due to regulation it is more profitable to sell at home or to sell to China. 

td1234
td1234

@honested I thought the progressives have been telling us for years that we are ready to leave fossil fuels anytime and go to alternative energies? If this is true then why are we sitting on the reserves now when our government could use the fees to get us out of debt now while at the same time help create many private sector jobs.  

JonLester
JonLester

@honested Are you Ed Vaughn of Athens? He would be very likely to say something this stupid.

honested
honested

@Brosephus @The_Centrist.

Which might easily explain the overnight spikes due to insignificant world trouble spots while US petroleum consumption continues to diminish at a stable annual rate.

HarryCrews
HarryCrews

@td1234 @AvailableName


SIr, please cite the basis for this hypothesis. According to Forbes magazine, not enough regulation is a reason for a colossal waste of money and energy.


"A far bigger concern than the carbon emissions: the waste of energy and money. As my knowledgable readers point out below in the comments section, the amount of gas being flared in the Bakken is roughly equivalent to 5% of the total energy output of the field. Most modern oil and gas fields waste just a tiny fraction of that. There’s always going to be some flaring of new wells, but North Dakota would probably be well served by new regulations limiting the number of months that operators can let those flares burn before they have to find a more constructive outlet for their gas."


http://www.forbes.com/sites/christopherhelman/2013/12/18/nyt-looks-at-gas-flaring-in-the-bakken/


http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/27/business/energy-environment/in-north-dakota-wasted-natural-gas-flickers-against-the-sky.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0


http://www.npr.org/2014/01/30/265396179/much-of-north-dakota-s-natural-gas-is-going-up-in-flames


Attack the messenger in 5 … 4… 3 … 2 ...

HarryCrews
HarryCrews

@td1234 @AvailableName


Please cite this hypothesis. According to Forbes magazine, not enought regualtion is at the heart of a colossal waste of money and energy.


"A far bigger concern than the carbon emissions: the waste of energy and money. As my knowledgable readers point out below in the comments section, the amount of gas being flared in the Bakken is roughly equivalent to 5% of the total energy output of the field. Most modern oil and gas fields waste just a tiny fraction of that. There’s always going to be some flaring of new wells, but North Dakota would probably be well served by new regulations limiting the number of months that operators can let those flares burn before they have to find a more constructive outlet for their gas."


http://www.forbes.com/sites/christopherhelman/2013/12/18/nyt-looks-at-gas-flaring-in-the-bakken/


http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/27/business/energy-environment/in-north-dakota-wasted-natural-gas-flickers-against-the-sky.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0


http://www.npr.org/2014/01/30/265396179/much-of-north-dakota-s-natural-gas-is-going-up-in-flames


Attack the messenger in 5 … 4… 3 … 2 ...

honested
honested

@td1234 @CherokeeCounty 

The concepts are coordinated.

The need for fossil fuels should ramp down as renewables continue to ramp up (at even faster rates than previously supposed).

Therefore, the Federal fossil fuel deposits will be unnecessary. The possibility of some unforseen emergency might create a need in the future so keeping those hydrocarbons in secure reserve would make sense to any real 'conserrrrrrrvative' now wouldn't it?

 

td1234
td1234

@CherokeeCounty  Attempted to post links from articles in the nation and the guardian proving my claims correct but it appears you are not allowed to post some links on this new format. Go and read those two magazines and then get back with me.  

CherokeeCounty
CherokeeCounty

No  td, you haven't heard that.

What libs say is that it's time to spend just a little bit of money developing alternatives - solar, wind, whatever - since we have to buy oil from people who despise us.

No liberal has said that we're ready to 'stop using'  fossil fuels.

Dude, you claim loudly that you're a Christian.  Stop making stuff up.  Worry a little less about other people's sexual proclivities, and more about your own penchant for dishonst discussions.

td1234
td1234

@CherokeeCounty  I have heard many progressives state emphatically that we must get off of fossil fuels and replace them with alternative energy sources. Heck that was the key selling point of Obama's key strategy of "investing" in all those alternative energy companies his first two years in office.   

Nobody_Knows
Nobody_Knows

@CherokeeCounty  

Well between assuming, discussing what he wants someone to have said and lying it is about all he is much of the time. 

 

CherokeeCounty
CherokeeCounty

I've never heard a 'progressive' tell us for years that we're readty to leave fossil fuels, td.

I wonder why you feel like you have to make stuff up to make your case?  Doesn't say a lot for the strenghs of your beliefs, does it...