BY RON STEIN AND TODD ROYAL:
If you haven’t been paying attention, and you should have, the balance of power energy-wise has shifted. Today, the U.S.A., Russia, and Saudi Arabia are neck and neck in oil production. The other OPEC countries, Iraq, Iran, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kuwait, Venezuela, Nigeria, Angola, and Algeria together run a close second.
The power shift was so gradual that if you weren’t closely connected to the energy industry, you would have missed it. Mainstream media, including the BBC, focused just on the signees of the Paris Climate Agreement, when they should have focused on the triumvirate that wasn’t a part of that deal, i.e. Russia, Turkey and Iran.
The 184 countries that have ratified the Paris Climate Agreement are in lockstep behind new energy czars like Al Gore, former California Governors Jerry Brown and Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tom Steyer, and the Green New Deal inaugurates U.S. Rep. Alexander Ocasio-Cortez and U.S. Sen. Ed Markey who are trying to save the world by replacing current energy sources with renewable intermittent wind and solar powered electricity. This is a disaster of epic proportions waiting to happen. I beseech you to open your eyes.
A popular BBC video reports electricity as the “save all” energy source. As cool as that sounds it is not the way of the world and is doomed to fail in every aspect. Countries across the globe are not decreasing their use of fossil fuels. Truth is, all the infrastructures that support transportation, commerce, and the military are increasing that use. Every year.
This fact is not lost on Russia, which understands whoever controls oil and natural gas, controls the world. Putin-led Russia knows everything runs off of energy and the thousands of products that come from deep earth minerals/fuels and that the frontier of warfare is the fight for control of fossil fuels, particularly oil, natural gas and coal. The winner will determine how the world’s economies grow and what type of government, democratic or authoritarian, will influence the lives of the people in those economies.
Recently, a Russian funded environmental group gave millions to anti-fracking advocates hell-bent on stopping, curtailing, or severely weakening U.S. fracking of crude oil and natural gas in Texas, North Dakota, Colorado, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Pennsylvania. These groups claim fracking is bad without any definitive proof to back their claims. They are the proverbial noisiest wheel, and Russia is the grease.
California’s position on crude oil production fits right in with Putin’s goal to control energy. Putin-led Russia is adamantly against U.S. fracking efforts and very supportive of any environmental groups, especially those in the 5th largest economy in the world, attempting to slow or stop crude oil and natural gas exploration and production within the U.S. and European borders.
Much to the chagrin of people in the know, California may be transitioning into a national security risk for America as both California’s in-state crude oil production, and Alaskan oil imports are in-decline and do not meet the States’ growing energy needs. To circumvent this deficit the State imports more than 57% of its crude oil from foreign countries at a cost of more than 60 million dollars a day.
There are approximately two billion barrels offshore Santa Barbara that are discovered, estimated and producible but are subject to state and federal moratoria that prevent tapping into it. The larger reserves are within seven miles of the coast. This number is significant in that, with recently proven slant-drilling technology, formations within seven miles of shore are accessible mostly from land-based slant drilling, with no offshore spill risk.
With that said, Allied ingenuity and taking control of the ability to run their ships, planes and land vehicles were significant factors in winning WWII. The world is now accustomed to post WWII prosperity. Global infrastructures, industrialization and advanced militaries have been based on fossil fuels for over seventy years. No one knows this better than ex-KGB high colonel and astute war strategy student Vladimir Putin.
Under his leadership, Russia has pushed the power dynamic toward controlling crude oil because it is well aware that electricity alone, especially intermittent electricity from wind and solar, is unable to support the energy demands of the military, airlines, cruise ships, supertankers, container shipping, trucking infrastructures, and almost every other faction of the global economy.
Petroleum products are so intertwined with our everyday lifestyles, controlling them and their availability would control us. Putin understands the unintended consequences of getting off fossil fuels and is willing to put his rubles behind the deception of intermittent electricity from wind and solar being the way to save the world from itself.