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War For Oil

May 20th, 2014 - 7:02 pm

The New York Times reports “when Russia seized Crimea in March, it acquired not just the Crimean landmass but also a maritime zone more than three times its size with the rights to underwater resources potentially worth trillions of dollars.” And you thought it was America that went to war for oil.

Russia portrayed the takeover as reclamation of its rightful territory, drawing no attention to the oil and gas rush that had recently been heating up in the Black Sea. But the move also extended Russia’s maritime boundaries, quietly giving Russia dominion over vast oil and gas reserves while dealing a crippling blow to Ukraine’s hopes for energy independence.

Meanwhile, China is grabbing up as much of the South China Sea as it can. And Southeast Asian countries are baffled by Washington’s response, perhaps because Washington itself has no coherent framework for dealing with the realpolitik world. Or maybe because Obama is still looking for an angle.

U.S. President Barack Obama sought to reassure allies in Asia last month that the United States would support them in the face of a more assertive China.

But after one of Beijing’s boldest moves in years to lay claim to contested waters off Vietnam, some Asia countries are asking a simple question: Where is Washington?

Days after Obama left the region, China deployed an oil drilling rig 150 miles off the coast of Vietnam, into a part of the South China Sea claimed by itself and Hanoi. That sparked deadly anti-China riots in central Vietnam and raised questions over whether Obama’s long-promised strategic “pivot” of military assets to Asia is more than talk.

“We have been pushing the U.S. to change its policy and take sides in the regional dispute,” said a senior Philippine defense official. “I wanted to see the U.S. match with stronger action what President Obama has said during his recent visit in the Philippines.”

Japan has posed an interesting thought experiment to gauge Obama’s thinking. The Washington Post’s Editorial board writes: “Let’s say North Korea shoots a missile at a U.S. aircraft carrier, and Japan has the ability to knock the missile down before it strikes. Should it do so?”.  Because if it doesn’t, then who will?

The U.S. sailors aboard the carrier would certainly say yes. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe thinks so, too. But Mr. Abe says that, under current law and constitutional interpretation, Japan would be unable to act. He wants to change that.

This strange state of affairs dates back to 1947 , when a defeated Japan, under U.S. occupation, adopted an unprecedented “peace” constitution. “Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes,” the charter proclaimed.

Until recently Japan had no need to defend itself because the assumption is America would defend Japan. But in our topsy-turvy world the question is now different. Is Japan allowed to defend America?

The change, supported by the Obama administration, makes sense. But it needs to be accomplished with caution. Many Japanese — a majority, according to some polls — are dubious about the change; they are proud of the “peace constitution” and the special global role Japan has carved out as a kind of pacifist power.

Obama would probably be happy if he  doesn’t have to defend a US aircraft carrier. But Japan can’t help but face those decisions squarely. As an island whose existence depends on trade it has to make hard choices.  But the United States is less dependent on the world, so when foreign policy threatens to undermine Obama’s domestic power calculus, the president can still say ‘Obamaphones first’. For example, Vladimir Putin is currently in China trying to sell Beijing gas.  The Chinese, who are businessmen foremost, have so far turned him down on price.  They think they can get a better deal from Turkmenistan or perhaps North America.

President Xi Jinping of China and the Russian leader, Vladimir V. Putin, were unable to announce an agreement on a natural gas deal on Tuesday, despite high expectations that mutual political interests would help finally push through the project.

Instead, commercial concerns continued to dominate — specifically, the price of the gas, which China and Russia have been haggling over for nearly a decade. After the meeting between the two leaders, Mr. Putin’s spokesman, Dmitri S. Peskov, said that talks were continuing.

The Wall Street Journal describes Putin’s bind. He needs to sell gas at a high price to offset his domestically subsidized gas. But he’s messed things up with Europe and wants to unload his gas on China.

Gazprom provides 30% of Europe’s gas, around half of which flows through Ukraine. Gazprom needs the higher price it receives for exports to Europe to compensate for the much cheaper price it charges in its domestic market, where gas is subsidized. Last year Gazprom made 2.1 billion rubles ($60 million) from the 174 billion cubic meters it sold to Europe, a far higher profit margin than for domestic sales. It made just 794 million rubles from domestic sales of 243 billion cubic meters of gas.

Any deal with China, on the other hand, would take years to become reality. Russia Energy Minister Alexander Novak said in March that Gazprom could start to supply China in 2019 or 2020.

Putin may play the Big Man in Eastern Europe, but he is clearly the junior partner with respect to China. Yet both are playing the Great Power game: snatching up the sinews of power — gas, oil, nuclear power.  You would think Obama could steal a march on him, but Obama has decided to tilt at windmills — literally — in part because his environmental supporters won’t let him use oil as a lever.  It’s a perfect example of international versus domestic imperatives. Jonah Goldberg writes:

The State Department announced that it would delay its decision on the Keystone XL pipeline until after the Nebraska Supreme Court rules in a case involving the route. The administration insists the decision to punt has nothing to do with politics. Pretty much everyone else thinks otherwise.

Obama, who is rarely reluctant to act unilaterally when it benefits him politically, and who regularly brags about his red-tape cutting, is paralyzed by perhaps the only big shovel-ready jobs project he’s been presented with.

He welcomes the Keystone red tape because he’s trapped between an overwhelmingly popular initiative and an overwhelmingly powerful constituency within the Democratic Party opposed to it: obdurate rich environmentalists and the door-knocking minions they employ.

Undercutting Putin would be asking too much of the Sierra Club. Still it’s not all about Gaia. Even the environmentalists are driven by money, though they won’t admit it.

WASHINGTON: A bi-partisan group of 22 American senators have expressed reservation on the export of natural gas to Asian countries such as India and China, arguing that such a move by Obama Administration would result in an increase in cost for consumers and businesses at home.

“Natural gas prices in Asia are currently three to four times higher than those in the US. Integration of US and Asian natural gas markets through US exports could lead to further increases in prices for American consumers and businesses, which may fundamentally reverse many of the economic benefits that have led to the current surge in manufacturing job growth in the US,” the senators said in a letter to Obama.

Of course Keystone is designed to move oil, not natural gas.  But petroleum products are essentially substitutable and the principle is the same. Forbes looks at it the pipeline’s impact on energy prices. “For there’s something else about the US markets that needs explaining. It is not legal to export US derived crude from the US, not under usual circumstances. But it is entirely legal to export crude derived products, like gasoline, from the US.”  Forbes concludes Keystone be not affect prices.

To directly compete with Russia, the US would have to liquefy the natural gas and ship to China.  These deals already exist in embryo. The problem is getting the permits for the gas  plants.

(Reuters) – Countries across the world have been quietly signing deals in recent months to import natural gas from the United States, revealing a growing appetite for the fuel overseas as domestic output soars.

Up to a dozen long-term deals, each worth billions of dollars, have been penned behind closed doors with companies in China, Japan, Taiwan, Spain, France and Chile as global demand spikes, according to company, industry and trade sources.

Through the agreements, China in particular has emerged as one of the biggest beneficiaries of cheap American natural gas that in the coming years will be piped to Gulf Coast plants and liquefied for shipment abroad in tankers.

The unannounced deals, which amount to about 2 percent of daily U.S. supply, are not the first of their kind, and they depend on U.S. government approval to construct two new liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants.

But the number of new buyers, and their global scope, show how the United States is taking steps to becoming a major export hub by stealing ahead of rivals in Australia and East Africa, successfully wooing needy Asian buyers even before projects begin construction. Global competition may squeeze profit margins on some exports of U.S. gas.

And again politics comes into play. The Economic Times notes domestic political opposition to selling natural gas to either India or China because it might mean increasing domestic prices to a level equal to the Asian market .  ”The senators said that the recent approval for export of liquefied natural gas from a sixth export facility has meant that the total approved exports now exceeds the amount of gas currently being used in every single American home and commercial business. ”

The fact is that most of the world is going to “war” — openly or covertly — for oil. Energy — and money — is the thread that runs through the Green Game as much as it runs through Ukraine.  Energy politics influence many things: who is declared or not declared to be a terrorist; it may even influence whether 300 Christian girls kidnapped by Boko Haram are ever found. The world is playing the Great Energy Game. But what game is Obama playing?

Recent items of interest by Belmont readers based on Amazon click-throughs.

The Frackers
The Last Valley: Dien Bien Phu and the French Defeat in Vietnam
One Second After
The New Physics for the Twenty-First Century
A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race and Human History
Hill 488
Scrubbing Bubbles
How to Debate Leftists and Destroy Them: 11 Rules for Winning the Argument
Nokia Lumia 520
Crystal Light Ice Tea Natural Lemon 16 Pitcher Packs

Did you know that you can purchase some of these books and pamphlets by Richard Fernandez and share them with you friends? They will receive a link in their email and it will automatically give them access to a Kindle reader on their smartphone, computer or even as a web-readable document.

The War of the Words for $3.99, Understanding the crisis of the early 21st century in terms of information corruption in the financial, security and political spheres
Rebranding Christianity for $3.99, or why the truth shall make you free
The Three Conjectures at Amazon Kindle for $1.99, reflections on terrorism and the nuclear age
Storming the Castle at Amazon Kindle for $3.99, why government should get small
No Way In at Amazon Kindle $8.95, print $9.99. Fiction. A flight into peril, flashbacks to underground action.
Storm Over the South China Sea $0.99, how China is restarting history in the Pacific
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Top Rated Comments   
Well if the Germans hadn't bombed Pearl Harbor, Mussolini would not have had to sign the surrender on the Titanic.

I also remember Obama, a few years back, referring to the attack on Pearl Harbor as "the bomb that fell on Pearl Harbor"

Not, mind you, the deliberate surprise raid on Pearl Harbor by 6 Imperial Japanese Navy Carriers and over 300 aircraft.

Just, "the bomb that fell" in the passive voice. See, it was just cruising around and "fell" on the Pacific fleet.

So that VE day and VJ day, the V probably stands for vegetable in his mind.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Wretchard noted the constitutional problems Japan would have if it detected and could intercept a North Korean missile headed for an American carrier. Not discussed is the question that the Japanese have to consider: Would it be in Japan's interest to intercept the missile, or to let it go by and let the Americans to defend themselves, IF the American rules of engagement allowed them to do so?

Japan defending the American ship/battle group could not be assumed to have positive effects on the American National Command Authority. And when dealing with this regime, no good deed goes unpunished. If they let it go by, they are under no legal obligation to defend us. And indeed, if they do not change their constitution, they are barred from doing so. A North Korean strike on an American vessel, successfully defended against ..... or not; cannot be blamed on Japan. And especially if it is not successfully defended against, it may force the United States to actually take a stand or formally abandon Asia. Which latter choice would at least give clarity to the situation.

Because right now Japan, like the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam; knows that despite any promises from Obama [or more accurately because of promises from Obama] will not be supported by the United States if they are attacked. If we have run away from our treaty obligations, we cannot expect the other countries party to the treaties to stand up for us.

I remember the morning of 9/11. While we were still trying to see if there were other planes en-route, while unarmed fighters from the 1st Tactical Fighter Wing were on patrol, scrambled before they could be armed, and ready to ram other attackers; President Bush got a phone call from the Australian Prime Minister. The gist of it was Australia was invoking the ANZUS [Australia, New Zealand, US] defense treaty and just wanted to know who we were fighting and what could Australia do to help right now? A similar call came from the New Zealanders, but they said that they were not at war with anyone and the treaty did not apply. Later, they joined in the War on Terror; but guess what. While I liked Aussies before 9/11, now I consider them brothers. My opinion of the Kiwis cannot be properly expressed in English here in Wretchard's House.

Imagine the Japanese equivalent feeling, as we have abandoned them in the face of the Chinese threat.

Multiply that by Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, South Korea, and maybe Australia.

It is an interesting turn of events, that the future survival of the West may well depend on the above list of countries, or some part of them, learning to stand together as allies in the absence of the United States.

Subotai Bahadur
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Perfect timing for the release of this:


Undercover journalist James O’Keefe released his latest video featuring a sting operation to expose Hollywood environmentalists.

The video features an undercover journalist from Project Veritas posing as "Muhammad,” a member of a Middle Eastern oil family, offering $9 million in funding to American filmmakers to fund an anti-fracking movie. He was joined by a second undercover activist posing as an ad executive.

O’Keefe entraps actor Ed Begley Jr., actress Mariel Hemingway, and director Josh Tickell, who agree to the film while promising to hide the source of the funds.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
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Breaking news: James O'Keefe released his latest sting today -- He had this undercover guy, a real muslim, named "Mohammed" for the sting, who went to Hollywood as an Arab oil billionaire who wanted to make a movie against fracking -- he told these Hollywood actors and producers explicitly that he wanted to block America's energy independence, because it was hurting his business.

Their answer? "Hey, sure, no problem. Anything you say about why we're doing this is going to be locked, ZIPPED SHUT."

James is releasing it in batches: first up, Ed Begley, Mariel Hemingway, and a producer. They're filmed saying this stuff at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

See the clip at Project Veritas:

[I see Dworkin beat me to it! -- Hope you all pass it on -- the Hollywood Reporter supposedly sniffed around the story but they seem to have passed on it: typical.]
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
In 1945 the biggest Kamikaze raid on Okinawa was done by the Japanese battleship Yamato in its ill starred attack. The ship only had enough fuel to get to Okinawa but not return. The Japanese were out of fuel. Several month earlier the Germans charged through the Ardennes forest in the battle of the bulge. Their tanks only had enough fuel to go 50-100 miles. Then they were hoping to grab US fuel because they were flat out fuel themselves. In both cases the US had engaged in strategic bombing over europe and strategic submarine warfare in the pacific to knock out the fuel supplies of the Germans and the Japanese.

Ronald Reagan understood the strategic importance of oil when he took office. The first thing he did was to slash taxes on the oil producers. That resulted in the only 5 year period of US oil production growth between 1970 and 2006. In 1980 oil was priced in today's dollars at about $106@barrel. As a result of rising US oil production-- oil was down to 60@ barrel in today's dollars by 1985. That year Reagan convinced the Saudis to raise their oil production to kill the price of oil. The Saudis raised their production of oil and killed the price of oil. Oil went down to $30@ barrel in today's dollars by1990. This literally bankrupted the old soviet union. Moscow could not pay their troops or police or officials outside of Moscow. Because no one was paid. Moscow could not give orders and have them obeyed. The country fell apart.

The terrible terrible crying shame is that the US government forgot totally about the strategic importance of oil in any war--especially with the freaking moslem countries. The Gulf states are freaking gas station countries. So is Russia. In 1980 there were 10 madrases in Pakistan. Now there are 13,000. That's just one country. These madrases have sprung up all over the world. They're funded by Moslem oil money from the Persian gulf and north Africa and Indonesia. Anyone! anyone! seriously interested in curbing global jihad would have known that the madrases were the opening of the funnel that funneled men into happy jihad land. Therefor the key to winning the war on jihad is just to defund the madrases. You do that not by killing any an moslems. You do that by killing the price of oil. Just like Ronald Reagan did in the 1980's.

To this day the US government has not devised or even contemplated a strategic plan to kill the price oil. This has simply not occurred to anyone! anyone! in a position of responsibility. W Bush was an oil guy and his dad too. And neither guy understood the strategic importance of oil. Its utterly appalling to contemplate. Never mind obama.

The USA now does have a strategic plan to kill the price oil. But its being conceived and executed by the American people. The US government has been a by stander in this effort. The strategic plan is to raise supply and collapse demand. It involves jacking up oil production up via fracking until the USA is an oil exporter and more. The EIA currently expects US oil production to peak at 9.3 million barrels@day next year--but they raise their estimates nearly every month. imho US oil production will peak at about 14 million barrels @ day. The second part of the strategic plan to kill the price of oil...-- is to kill demand. This will be done byo changing over to natural gas houses trains trucks and buses and electric cars. Rising oil production will get most of the headlines for the next five years but after that--it will be the demand killers that start to take center stage. It will take about 10-15 years for the price of oil to collapse. But that's what will happen. When it does, funding for the madrases will dry up the the jihads will not find new recruits anymore.

The price of oil might get so low that its not economical to drill in the south china sea. We'll see.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Oh yeah. While the falling price oil bankrupted the old soviet union--falling gasoline prices in the USA during the 80's and 90's were one of the key ingredients that brought such prosperity during those two decades. Just as high gas prices helps to throttle current US growth.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Gas and Oil are evil.
We should not produce them here.
Somebody else somewhere else should power my SUV and heat my home.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
My dads Rotary Club newsletter was called "The Whipstock"

"Directional drilling (or slant drilling) is the practice for drilling non-vertical wells. It can be broken down into three main groups: oilfield directional drilling, utility installation directional drilling (horizontal directional drilling), directional boring, and surface in seam (SIS), which horizontally intersects a vertical well target to extract coal bed methane.

Many prerequisites enabled this suite of technologies to become productive. Probably, the first requirement was the realization that oil wells, or water wells, are not necessarily vertical. This realization was quite slow, and did not really grasp the attention of the oil industry until the late 1920s..."
The first use of hydraulic fracturing was in 1947. The modern fracturing technique, called 'horizontal slickwater fracturing', was first used in 1998.

Does anyone (besides Buddy Larsen) know the difference between Fracking as practiced in 1947 and 1998?
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
I first heard about fracking to enable collection of otherwise unusable deposits of natural gas back in the late 60's, in high school physics class.

They used nuclear weapons then. Exploding a nuke underground opened a chamber into which the natural gas trapped in fissures in the rock escaped, where it could be pumped out.

We should tell the moonbats we have another method of fracking that does not use all those hazardous chemicals.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
WRT hazardous chemicals, unless someone can convince me otherwise, I think the Tar Sand operations in Canada are the the most destructive energy sources on Earth.
Entire forests are wiped out for thousands of square miles, FOREVER.

What's left are toxic swamps incapable of supporting life... ever, in terms of human timetables.

It's gonna happen, regardless, so we may as well benefit from Keystone rather than the Chicoms, but if I were Czar, I'd invest in Nukes or just about any other energy source instead.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
"In 1934, H. John Eastman of Long Beach, California, became a pioneer in directional drilling when he and George Failing of Enid, Oklahoma, saved the Conroe, Texas, oil field. Failing had recently patented a portable drilling truck. He had started his company in 1931 when he mated a drilling rig to a truck and a power take-off assembly.

The innovation allowed rapid drilling of a series of slanted wells.
This capacity to quickly drill multiple relief wells and relieve the enormous gas pressure was critical to extinguishing the Conroe fire.

In a May, 1934, Popular Science Monthly article, it was stated that "Only a handful of men in the world have the strange power to make a bit, rotating a mile below ground at the end of a steel drill pipe, snake its way in a curve or around a dog-leg angle, to reach a desired objective." Eastman Whipstock, Inc., would become the world's largest directional company in 1973."
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm missing something:

Why would increasing overseas sales of LNG necessarily raise domestic prices significantly? That might only be true if there are substantial restrictions on the extraction of natural gas? Is that not so?

It would seem to me that the opponents of overseas sales are one-and-the-same, or in league with, those who oppose fracking in general. Once again, it is their interference and obstinance that causes market distortions.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Why would increasing overseas sales of LNG necessarily raise domestic prices significantly?
probably has something to do with supply and demand. If you raise demand prices will rise. At some point prices will be high enough to justify more drilling for natural gas. But first prices have to be high enough to justify the extra drilling. meanwhile the drillers drill for oil and natural gas liquids which have a higher price relative to natural gas.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Products are fungible, market prices tend to stabilize across markets when products move across markets, our price would soon rise to match China's - even if theirs falls a bit.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Here is some data on the Reshoring trend from the Reshoring Initiative:

According to Harry Moser, founder/president of the Reshoring Initiative, we have already stopped the economic bleeding caused by offshoring.

Since 2003, new offshoring is DOWN by 70% to 80% and new reshoring is UP by 1500%.

The most important accomplishment has been the net-loss of 100,000+ manufacturing jobs each year has ended.

New reshoring is now balancing new offshoring at about 40,000 manufacturing jobs/year, resulting in the first neutral year of job loss/gain in the last 20.

Reshoring is happening because overseas locations are becoming less attractive and reshoring is gaining momentum because it is helping U.S. manufacturers recover from offshoring’s poor quality, trade secret thefts, supply chain disruptions and lengthly delivery times – all while staying cost competitive.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
As manufacturing becomes more sophisticated the proportion of the cost of the product due to labor shrinks. Cheap labor isn't so important anymore. What counts more are the things like energy and the raw materials needed to make the finished product and transportation networks for getting the product to the consumers. And the legal climate helps as well. You really don't want to invest in a facility if you think the government in that country might decide to nationalize it and give you cents on the dollar (if even that).

Manufacturing will grow in countries that have resources and infrastructure to support it. That's what will count, not the cost of labor. The US should do well provided the SJW's don't foul it. Resource poor countries like China will not do so well. And that great tidal change will create major international friction.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm surprised at you Charles. None of these numbers describes anything that wouldn't just be a dead cat bounce. A couple of empty web sites and BCG papers adds nothing. Show me even a *single* large movement back to the US. I can name one or two who have become unhappy with their efforts in China, but that does not comprise "reshoring" as such.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Caterpillar Athens GA
"Feb 17 (Reuters) - Caterpillar Inc has picked a site near Athens, Georgia, for a plant that will build small tractors and excavators, investing $200 million to shift some production from Japan, the machinery maker said on Friday.

The facility will employ 1,400 people once it is fully operational in about five years. Construction will begin in the next 45 days.

Another 2,800 jobs will be created among suppliers and other employers, according to the company and Georgia state officials.

Caterpillar will export small track-type tractors from the facility. The company moved production from Japan to be closer to customers in North America and Europe, and Athens was picked because of its proximity to the ports in Savannah, Georgia, and Charleston, South Carolina.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well, that's one, if not huge. I'm not sure what to make of reshoring from *Japan* at this point. Of course autos have "reshored" to the US successfully, but only because it was required - which is a model I think we should follow much more widely.

Another complication is that any US plant is likely to be highly automated, reducing the number of direct jobs. You'd think that cheap US capital would even increase this trend, but so far not so much, afaik.

I also wonder at this "five years" business.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
With a corporate income tax that is the highest in the world, it is testament to our hard working private sector can do it at all.

Cut government red tape, and tax rates, and EPA regulations, and green energy standards and all the other PC crapola and watch OUR economy grow. We just have to get rid of anyone who things Big Government is the solution to all problems.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Right. These are all reasons why manufacturing stays offshore.

At this point another reason is that the infrastructure to build complex products doesn't even exist in the US, too many component manufacturers (and the entire stack of expertise that implies) exist only in China.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
I had a friend that predicted just about everything that would happen when Reagan was elected.

I was skeptical.

I was wrong.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
In addition to the LNG export, we have two GTL (gas to liquids) plants that are going to be built in Louisiana. One by Shell (which operates a similar plant in Qatar) and the other by Sasol. These plants will make diesel, jet fuel, and lubricants. I suspect a lot of the refined product will be exported.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
When I click on the "Richard Fernandez Belmont Club" title bar I get taken back to a location where the latest post is May 13. Can't get to the current post except via Instapundit's link. What's going on?
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Same for me as for Rc2, and I use Chrome with W7, a heretofore reliable and fast combo.

Instead of Instapundit's link, I may discover the latest Belmont Club post in PJM's sidebar in the previous BC post, and return to it again via my History.

I cannot find BC's latest post on my own via a standing Bookmark as had always worked through May 13. Now, I have to enter its as yet-unknown post title after the "...Fernandez" part of the usual url. This means I can only piggyback on someone else's link to the latest post to discover it.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Roughcoat. Are you using Firefox (Mozilla)? That is where PJM apparently has not fixed the problem. IE and Chrome work OK.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Try clearing your browser cache.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Thanks, guys. Cleansing the cache (Firefox) worked.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment

September 24, 2013
Majority of Large Manufacturers Are Now Planning or Considering ‘Reshoring’ from China to the U.S.
A Survey by The Boston Consulting Group Finds That the Share of U.S.-Based Executives Actively Engaged in the Process of Shifting Production Has Doubled Since Early 2012

CHICAGO, September 24, 2013—More than half of U.S.-based manufacturing executives at companies with sales greater than $1 billion are planning to bring back production to the U.S. from China or are actively considering it, according to a new survey by The Boston Consulting Group.

The share of executives who are planning to “reshore” or are considering it rose to 54 percent, compared with 37 percent of executives who responded to a similar BCG survey in February 2012. The new survey, conducted last month, elicited responses from more than 200 decision makers at companies across a broad range of industries. Virtually all of the companies manufacture in the U.S. and overseas and make products for both U.S. and non-U.S. consumption.

The survey also found a sharp increase in the percentage of executives who are actively engaged in the process of shifting production to the U.S. When asked whether they expect to move production in light of rising wages in China, 21 percent of respondents—around twice as many as in 2012—said they are “actively doing this” or that they “will move production to the U.S. in the next two years.”
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
‘Last year Gazprom made 2.1 billion rubles ($60 million) from the 174 billion cubic meters it sold to Europe, a far higher profit margin than for domestic sales. It made just 794 million rubles from domestic sales of 243 billion cubic meters of gas’

Now there is a market worth competing for. I wonder how much Tootsie Rolls exports?
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
The mainland chinese have figured out how many btu of energy per person are used by the taiwanese and multiplied that number by the number of people in mainland china. The number is astronomical. Therefor the Chinese are in major league freaky deaky mode to aquire new energy sources to meet the tidal wave of demand they expect to come their way.

That's the primary force driving them into hurry hurry mode in the south china sea.

Nevertheless the most important thing the world can do is prevent the PLA/N from securing access for chinese drillers in the south china sea. Rather, the oil/gas drilling issues need to seperated out from the territorial issues and negotiated seperately.

Why? Because the PLA/N can never be allowed to take credit for bringing home the bacon in China. If they ever win plaudits in China for being money makers then then there's hell to pay everywhere. Why? Because that then becomes a successful business model. Just like cyber spying is a successful business model for the chinese military.

Historiically l we have the historical precedent of the Japanese Co Properity spheres which were governed by Japanese Imperial Army and Navy. The co prosperity spheres brought prosperity to Japan but not to anyone else in the sphere.

If the PLA/N beccomes too successful then they will take over the Chinese government a like the Imperial Japanese army and navy did before WWII.

Speaking of cyber theft by the chinese military, I wonder if the Chinese raised their bid to secure the contract for gas with the russians as a result of the USA filing criminal charges against the PLA/N officers.

The bad news is that in the end the 21st century won't work without one or several big new cheap incredibly abundant energy source like methane hydrate, dirt cheap solar wind thermal, lftr thorium reactors, fusion or the energy source you don't know about. The good news is that, its going to happen

41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
The trick will be to get China to use their $1 trillion American dollars to BUY American technology, rather than STEALING it.

We can build clean, high tech coal power plants.


The first conclusion we can draw is that the citizens of Los Angeles do not suffer from any pollution from the plant; the citizens of Utah are the ones affected. The purported benefit would be to protect Los Angelinos from "Anthropogenic Global Warming." Spending huge sums on solar and wind power projects could not result in an 87.6% capacity factor (the capacity factor is the percentage of actual power output relative to the theoretical full power operation 24/7/365). For comparison purposes, Spain's wind power has a capacity factor of only 21%. So it would take over four times as large a nameplate capacity to net out an equivalent amount of power. At about $2 million per MW for a wind farm, that works out to be $8 billion for 4,000 MW of nameplate capacity.

Now let us look at the situation from the perspective of the citizens of Delta, Utah. First, they do not want to lose the jobs associated with the plant. However, they would like to see the pollution from the plant decrease. Being from a "Red State," they likely have read Randall Hoven's Graph for The Day of March 18 in American Thinker and have noted that due to the Clean Air Act of 1990 (Bush 41) and the Clean Air Mercury Rule of 2005 (Bush 43), the air pollution from coal-fired power plants has been in a dramatic decline. Today's coal-fired plant would be dramatically cleaner ("Clean Coal") than a plant built in 1987. It would also be much more fuel-efficient. The greater the fuel efficiency, the fewer emissions (including carbon dioxide). So what they might prefer is to have LADWP use its newfound money to build a modern coal-fired plant in Delta. Let's call it Unit 3.

As a notional design for Unit 3, we could copy an existing plant in Yuhuan Province, China. The Chinese have built and put into commercial operation four 1,000 MW ultra-supercritical boilers. According to, their estimated investment was 900 million euros. That works out to be about $1.2 billion. The efficiency of the plant is shown to be 45%, which means the heat rate is 7,582 B/KWH. Reducing the heat rate of Unit 3 relative to Units 1 & 2 reduces fuel consumption by 21.6%. That directly reduces carbon dioxide emissions by 21.6%. An added benefit is that it would also reduce the demand for cooling water by 33.4% in the arid climate of Utah. So they would have one of "the world's cleanest, most efficient and most advanced ultra-supercritical units" that would be repaying the capital investment through fuel and cooling water savings while also improving air quality and cutting "greenhouse" emissions.

The principal impediments to this happy result are Henry Waxman (D-Beverly Hills) and Barbara Boxer (D-CA) who chair the Energy Committees in the House and Senate. So as the voters of Los Angeles pay those ever increasing electric rates, they know whom to blame. As Pogo so eloquently put it, "We have seen the enemy, and it is us."
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
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