01.15.12, 09:59 / Israel News
The US administration has spent the last few days working frantically to prevent an Israeli strike on Iran and reinforcing presence in the region in preparation for Iranian counter attacks, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Sunday.
- Obama, Netanyahu discuss Iran
- US concerned over Israeli strike in Iran
- PM: Iran sanctions starting to work
US President Barack Obama is operating several secret channels to deliver messages to all sides. On Thursday, Obama spoke to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and warned him of the serious consequences of a military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities.
The Wall Street Journal reported that US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and other top officials have privately sought assurances from Israeli leaders in recent weeks that they won’t take military action against Iran and will allow further sanctions to be imposed on the Islamic Republic. It was also reported that US Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will meet with Israeli military officials in Tel Aviv next week.
US defense officials claim that the Israeli response has been noncommittal. Some American intelligence officials complain that Israel represents a blind spot in US intelligence, which devotes little resources to Israel, the WSJ said.
The officials accused the Israeli security establishment of playing a “good cop, bad cop” routine and increasing uncertainty in Washington.
This ambiguity has led the US administration to believe that Netanyahu has plans to attack and the US is therefore preparing for the outcomes of such a strike.
The US military is preparing for a number of possible responses to an Israeli strike, including assaults by pro-Iranian Shiite militias in Iraq against the US Embassy in Baghdad, the WSJ said.
According to the report, the US has 15,000 troops in Kuwait and has moved a second aircraft carrier strike group to the Persian Gulf area.
It has also been pre-positioning aircraft and other military equipment, officials say. Arms transfers to key allies in the Gulf, including the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, have been fast-tracked as a further deterrent, officials say.
Disappointment with sanctions
According to messages by Israeli state officials over the weekend, the US is right to be concerned. Israeli officials did not deny reports of growing American concern and sent a clear message that Israel was disappointed with the sanctions against Iran.
One source said that without an immediate toughening of sanctions which will include action against Iran’s central bank and its ability to export oil, Tehran will never consider halting its nuclear program. They also criticized the fact that the White House failed to adopt a Congress decision to act firmly against Iran’s central bank.
Netanyahu addressed the matter in an interview with The Australian. “For the first time, I see Iran wobble under the sanctions that have been adopted and especially under the threat of strong sanctions on their central bank,” he said. “If these sanctions are coupled with a clear statement by the international community, led by the US, to act militarily to stop Iran if sanctions fail, Iran may consider not going through the pain. There’s no point gritting your teeth if you’re going to be stopped anyway.”
US President Obama also sent a firm message to Iran’s spiritual leader Ali Khamenei and stressed that closing the Strait of Hormuz would be crossing a red line which would lead to counter action by the US.
Yedioth Ahronoth also reported that IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz is slated to attend a line of high-profile international events this week. He is scheduled to attend a military chiefs conference in Brussels, hold a meeting with NATO’s chief of staff and host US Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Israel.
- US Believes Israel May Strike Iran Soon (wdednh.wordpress.com)
- Israel Being Pressured Not to Strike Iran (markamerica.com)
- Report: U.S. preparing for an Israeli strike on Iran – Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News (haaretz.com)
- US military chief to Israel as Iran tension grows (newsok.com)
- U.s. Warns Israel on Strike (irannewpearlharbour.wordpress.com)
- U.S. Warns Israel on Strike (irannewpearlharbour.wordpress.com)
Figure 1: Map of the U.S. Bakken-Lodgepole Total Petroleum System (blue), five continuous assessment units (AU) (green), and one conventional assessment unit (yellow) (Source: USGS)
In 2009, U.S. oil production began to climb after declining for 22 of the previous 23 years.
The shale oil production of the Bakken formation, which straddles the Montana-North Dakota border and stretches into Canada, has been a significant contributor to this temporary uptick in oil production.
The Bakken boom has inspired a number of prominent commentators to resurrect the energy independence meme. Daniel Yergin was first at bat, asserting in an essay published by The Wall Street Journal that rising prices and emerging technologies (especially hydraulic fracturing) will significantly drive up world liquid fuels production over the coming decade(s). Ultimately, Mr. Yergin argues that tight supplies lead to high fuel prices, and high fuel prices will bring previously inaccessible oil to the market. The trouble with this line of thinking is that high prices aren’t merely a symptom of the supply problem; high prices are the problem.
After Mr. Yergin stole first base through this apparently convincing display of contortionist logic, the next up to bat was Ed Crooks who recently penned an analysis piece for the Financial Times. In this piece, Mr. Crooks declares that “the growth in U.S. and Canadian production from new sources, coupled with curbs on demand as a result of more efficient use of fuel, is creating a realistic possibility that North America will be able to declare oil independence.”
Mr. Crooks thus ‘balances’ rising production from shale oil and Canadian tar sands against declining consumption, which he mistakenly chalks up to efficiency gains rather than the deleterious effects of the greatest recession since the Great Depression. Beyond this obvious blunder, Mr. Crooks manages an even greater and far more common gaffe by neglecting to integrate decline rates of mature fields into his analysis.
But in a game where the media is the referee and the public doesn’t know the rules, Mr. Crooks manages to get on base by knocking a foul ball into the bleachers. With Yergin on second and Crooks on first, Edward Luce steps up to plate and takes a swat at the energy independence meme, directing the ‘greens’ to look away as “America is entering a new age of plenty”. And while the greens looked away, Mr. Luce took a cheap shot at clean energy through an attack on the federal government’s support for the now bankrupt solar panel manufacturer, Solyndra. Luce thus willingly employs the logical fallacy of hasty generalization to sway his audience. Of course the Solyndra bankruptcy is no more generalizable to the solar energy industry than BP’s Macondo oil spill is to all offshore oil production, but in a game of marketing one-upmanship one should not expect a balanced and rigorous evaluation of the possibilities.
With the bases loaded and oil prices remaining stubbornly high as tensions in the Middle East and North Africa persist, the crowd is getting anxious. And the crowd should be anxious. After all, tight supplies and rising oil prices strain personal finances and threaten to send our fragile economy back into recession. It is, therefore, unsurprising that the public is as eager to consume the myth of everlasting abundance, as they are eager to consume these scarce resources.
While the Bakken boom offers a hopeful story in which American ingenuity and nature’s endless bounty emancipate us from energy oppression and dependence on evil and oppressive foreign dictators, musings of energy independence are premature, misguided, and misleading. The problem with the Bakken story as told by Crooks and others is that it lacks historical context. Referring to recent developments as an energy revolution implies that there are no lessons to be learned from history. But as Mark Twain put it, “history doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”
Read More: Source
- DANIEL YERGIN: America’s New Energy Security: Thanks to new technology, the U.S. has become less d… (pjmedia.com)
- Why Bakken? (dailyfinance.com)
- The U.S.’s Oil Future – More Crude from Americas: Yergin (ibtimes.com)
- Time Lapse Video From International Space Station Captures Mystery City in North Dakota (indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com)
- Bakken Shale Bursting with Oil, Opportunities (OXY, HES, MRO, EOG, BEXP, CLR, CXO, KOG, FST, SGY, WLL, AXAS, AREX, TPLM, RPC, TLLP) (247wallst.com)
- Don’t let Big Green stymie boom in energy jobs (energyindependenceforstates.com)
- The Irrational, Non-Economic Exuberance Underlying Hydraulic Fracturing (forbes.com)
Posted 12/02/2011 07:05 PM ET
Economic Systems: The former head of the Service Employees International Union says capitalism is on the ash heap of history and sees China as our role model. We have seen his future, however, and it doesn’t work.
President Obama once reportedly told aides, according to the New York Times, that things would be easier if he were president of China. Presumably he meant there would be no pesky things like a Congress, free elections and a free press to deal with.
Former SEIU chief Andy Stern, who may still hold the record for visits to the White House under this administration, would agree with that assessment. Stern, in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, writes of China’s “superior economic model,” a command-and-control economy unimpeded by such anachronisms as democracy and a truly free market. Stern writes that the “conservative-preferred free-market fundamentalist shareholder-only model” of capitalism “is being thrown onto the trash heap of history in the 21st century.”
We should, he says, “rethink” our economic model rather than “double down on an empirically failing free-market extremism.” He speaks glowingly of China’s 12th five-year plan and “Deng Xiaoping‘s government-led growth-oriented reforms (that) have created the planet’s second-largest economy” soon to replace us as No. 1.
Stern is wrong on at least two counts. The first is that what we have been practicing of late can hardly be called unfettered capitalism. We labor under the burden of ever-restrictive regulation and the highest corporate tax burden in the world. The administration has embraced industrial policy to dictate where factories can be built and what energy can be developed. It, not the free market, picks the winners and losers.
If we were practicing capitalism, Boeing would be allowed to make its Dreamliner passenger jet in South Carolina without the commissars at the National Labor Relations Board interfering. We’d be building the Keystone XL pipeline to bring Canadian tar sands oil to American markets. We’d be drilling offshore and in ANWR.
If we were practicing capitalism, there would be no such thing as too big to fail. There would be no bailouts, no nationalization of health care or buying of car companies. There would be no Solyndras or government “investments” in failed alternative energy. We wouldn’t shoot ourselves in the foot building high-speed trains.
The second is that China is hardly the worker’s paradise Stern portrays. Its progress has been built on the corpses of millions sacrificed for this or that great leap forward. China has perhaps the worst distribution of wealth on the planet.
It published a long-awaited list of “systemically important” banks Friday. Banks on the list will have to cooperate with regulations imposed by the agency as well as the Basel Committee of Banking Supervision.
Here are some of those new rules (via WSJ):
– By the end of 2012, all banks will have to map out a plan to unwind their businesses in the case of a collapse.
– By 2016 they have to hold more capital than other banks. They’ll be sorted into five different “buckets,” based on which they’ll be required to maintain 1%-3.5% more capital than less significant banks.
– By 2019, that capital requirement will be an added 3.5% on top of other regulations.
The list will be updated every November and the methodology to choose the banks will be reviewed every three years.
- Global regulators publish list of too-big-to-fail banks (business.financialpost.com)
- Why the big banks aren’t sweating Bank Transfer Day (blogs.reuters.com)
- Here’s Your Official List of 29 ‘Too Big to Fail’ Banks [Banksters] (gawker.com)
- ICBA Statement on Conclusion of House-Senate Conference on the Financial Reform Bill (prweb.com)
- 2 Big 2 Fail (maxredline.typepad.com)
- Saturday, November 5th is Bank Transfer Day – Move Your Money Out of ‘Too Big to Fail’ (crooksandliars.com)
- ‘Too big to fail’ Barclays, RBS, Lloyds and HSBC will be forced to increase capital buffers (telegraph.co.uk)
- Megabanks may face new international rule (search.japantimes.co.jp)
By Alan Caruba
America has been under attack since Barack Obama took the oath of office on January 20, 2009. The primary target has been the nation’s ability to generate energy for electricity and transportation, without which this nation will slide into Third World status and economic decline.
This appears to be the goal of this administration from the President to his Secretaries of Energy and Interior, to his Director of the Environmental Protection Agency. There is no other rational explanation for what they are doing.
We are days away from the latest Environmental Protection Agency assault in the form of the “MACT” rule allegedly to reduce mercury and other emissions that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission says will reduce electricity generation in America by about 81 gigawatts in the years ahead. A recent Wall Street Journal editorial said “this could compromise the reliability of the electric system if as much as 8% of generating capacity is subtracted from the grid.”
The Wall Street Journal reports that eleven Governors have written the EPA to ask that it delay the final rule in November. Twenty-five state Attorneys Generals have filed suit “to lift a legal document known as a consent decree that the EPA is using as a fig leaf for its political goals.”
As but one example, in Illinois, Ameron announced the planned shutdown of its Meredosia and Hutsonville energy centers, The Meredosia center generates 369 megawatts. The Hutsonville center has a generating capacity of 151 megawatts.
The EPA, even before the Obama administration, has been using the 1970 Clean Air Act to bludgeon the nation’s ability to access the energy resources required to generate electricity, primarily coal that provides 50% of such generation, and oil that fuels our transportation capability.
In late October, James J. Mulva, the CEO of Conoco-Phillips, addressed the subject of the growing discoveries of natural gas being found throughout the nation. “More than 600,000 Americans already explore, produce, store and produce natural gas, according to consultancy IHS Global Insight.”
At least 15 states now produce shale gas and others may join them,” noting that the largest shale area, the Marcellus which covers much of the Northeast” “already supports 140,000 jobs in Pennsylvania alone.”
The Obama administration, beginning with the president’s admitted goal of shutting down as much of the coal industry as possible, has demonstrated his intention of deterring the provision of energy. When the BP Oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, the administration imposed a moratorium on all drilling. The decreased production cost 360,000 barrels a day in addition to lost jobs related to oil drilling in the Gulf. Rigs that are needed to drill have since been moved to other sites around the world.
The U.S. is home to more than 150 billion barrels of conventional oil that has the capability of generating thousands of new jobs if access to it was permitted. The most immediate result has been the rise in the cost of gasoline at the pump. Two courts ordered that the moratorium be lifted.
Oil companies currently pay more than $30 billion a year in federal, state, and local taxes. Meanwhile the Obama administration has been wasting billions in loan guarantees to essentially useless solar and wind power companies, the latest of which, Solyandra, will cost taxpayers millions when the solar panel producer went belly-up. Others will follow.
Meanwhile, the President crisscrosses the nations demanding higher taxes on companies engaged in coal, oil and natural gas. When Jimmy Carter imposed a windfall tax on oil companies many ceased to explore for new sources here, moving their efforts to other nations. Today, by withholding the necessary permits to produce energy in Alaska, the Trans Alaska Pipeline System is operating at one third of its capacity.
A proposed pipeline from Canada still awaits approval and, on November 6th, led by the Sierra Club, the largest protest against its tar sands is expected to draw thousands to Washington, D.C. to join hands and circle the White House to ensure the Keystone XL pipeline is kept from providing the U.S. with the oil extracted. The proposed pipeline would reduce the U.S. dependence on Middle East oil. The U.S. already has more than 50,000 safely operating oil pipelines to support our transportation and other needs.
In January 2010, Thomas J. Pyle, president of the Institute for Energy Research, warned that the Obama administration “continues to embrace Washington-dominated, command-and-control energy policies focused on mandates, subsidies, and political favors—not market forces.” He criticized “subsidizing one form of energy,” wind and solar, “while restricting the exploration of another,” warning that it “will lead to several measurable outcomes, increasing energy prices across the board, fewer jobs, and a weaker footing in the global economy..”
Nearly two years later, that warning has come true with a vengeance.
Oil, coal, or natural gas, it doesn’t matter to an administration and a president determined to restrict the amount of energy Americans need for their present and future needs. The result, in part, has been a stalled energy sector and a contributing factor in an economy with an estimated 20 million unemployed or under-employed.
The losses in income taxes and the taxes paid by this industry sector, in addition to the hideous borrowing and spending by the Obama administration is doing enormous harm to America and yet Barack Obama wants a second term in office.
Little wonder that Americans fear for the future of the nation.
- News analysis: Obama takes bipartisan heat on energy policy (energyindependenceforstates.com)
- Obama administration has bullseye on coal (junkscience.com)
- Daily Benefactor Columnists – The Solyndra Stonewall (Stephen Hayes) – More Op-Eds (thedaleygator.wordpress.com)
- Obama Administration Must Open ‘Energy Highways’ (usnews.com)
By Kevin Mooney on 9.16.11 @ 1:59PM
If a report in the Wall Street Journal is to be believed, energy development in The Gulf Of Mexico has staged a remarkable comeback in recent months. The Obama administration imposed a moratorium on deepwater oil and gas drilling last May in response to the BP oil rig explosion last year. The moratorium was lifted last October, but industry officials are convinced a “de-facto” moratorium remains in effect at the expense of the Gulf coast.
As the Pelican Institute for Public Policy has reported, the latest research shows that up to 20 oil rigs could be leaving the Gulf Coast, in addition to 11 that have already left, unless the feds get moving on the permitting process. It is difficult to see how this scenario translates into a recovery in the affected region. Nevertheless, this is how the WSJ report opens:
The Gulf of Mexico has staged a comeback as a source of oil for big energy companies, little more than a year after the Obama administration largely shut down drilling in the wake of the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history…
The burst of activity comes as the government prepares to toughen its oversight of offshore drilling. On Wednesday, federal regulators probing the Deepwater Horizon disaster issued a report that recommended numerous changes.
Robert Bluey, who heads up the Heritage Foundation’s investigative journalism unit, has kept careful tabs on the regulatory policies Team Obama has aimed against the Gulf region. As Bluey has noted in his reports on the the Foundry, deepwater permits are down 71 percent from their historical monthly average of 5.8 permits per month. Shallow-water permitting have also fallen in past few weeks by 34 percent from the historical monthly average of 7.1 permits.
The WSJ report does not seem to square with reality and should be re-visited.
Bonner Cohen, a senior fellow with the National Center for Public Policy Research (NCPPR), has commented on economic fallout associated with the depleted rig fleet in the Gulf.
“Each rig that leaves the Gulf of Mexico taxes jobs and energy away from the U.S. and sends them overseas,” he observed. “The White House now wants Congress to pass a so-called jobs bill, when its own policies systemically destroy jobs. What’s more, the oil and gas in the Gulf region are real energy, not the phony energy of Solyndra, the solar-panel manufacturer and the recipient of a $535 million taxpayer-funded loan guarantee that went belly-up last week.”
Meanwhile, Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) has sent a letter to administration officials asking them to come clean the slow pace of drilling permits. He has also introduced a bill to audit federal subsidies for green jobs.
- USA: Chevron Strikes Oil in Deepwater Gulf of Mexico (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Push for permits in Gulf of Mexico (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Collateral Damage: Lost Gulf Rigs from Obama Obstructionism (10 down, more to go?) (mb50.wordpress.com)
- New Oil Finds Around the Globe: Will the U.S. Capitalize on Its Oil Resources? (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Obama Doesn’t Care About Creating Jobs (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Louisiana Remains on the Receiving End of Washington D.C.’s Worst Regulations (mb50.wordpress.com)
- US experts eye Cuba oil plans after BP spill (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Rigged For Failure (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Bernard L. Weinstein: US energy resources worth the investment (mb50.wordpress.com)