Ukranian situation

By From page A5 | April 23, 2014


Chris Daley is a wonderful writer — lets hope Mountain Democrat readers and management appreciate this. True to his form, he is right on the nose in the assessment of the Ukrainian “situation” (March 7). There’s nothing U.S. could or should do. Russia is an enormously large country with population to resource ratio matched only by Canada. It is self-contained. Russians are a hardy lot accustomed to hardship and sacrifices. The events of WWII prove the aforementioned assertions.

The editorial’s suggestion of exporting “liquefied natural gas” is a figment that has wormed its way into media and political arena (together with “fracking” — it’s fracking from fracturing). The increase in U.S. oil production in 2013 that made our aggregate oil production at par with that of Russia and Saudi Arabia is treated as “energy sufficiency.” Reality check: U.S. is importing 1/3 of its oil needs (imports equal 10 percent of world production). Russia’s per capita oil production is triple of that for the U.S. (Saudi Arabia’s is hundredfold). U.S. Navy’s forward-looking attempts at modernizing and optimizing the Fischer-Tropsch and Lurgi processes of coal liquefaction are frustrated by the Henry Waxman amendment to the 2007 energy bill. U.S. strategists know that the oil situation and the absence of raw steel production capabilities leaves U.S. in a strategic economical and military straitjacket (with present economic structure U.S. couldn’t have fought, let alone won, WWII).

U.S. natural gas production is adequate — for now. Yet, the prices of oil, gas and propane have been rising inexorably. U.S. has no LNG facilities, port terminals or ships. Prospects for having some, say, in 15 years? Nil (anyone remembers how California Coastal Commission headed by now Controller John Chang nixed the proposed LGN facility off Long Beach or the ongoing and unending Keystone Cops travesty). With our population growth (3 million a year), the new EPA CO2 emission standards for new coal fired plants (1.2 ton CO2 per megawatt hour — possible only by the use of oxygen and, at least 50 percent CO2 sequestration — good luck with that), the looming shutdown of many nuclear electricity facilities, expected conversion of some coal fired plants to gas U.S. needs every cubic foot of gas it can lay its hands on. Europe? It depends on Russia for 30 percent of its natural gas consumption.

Ukrainian crisis outcome? Eurasian ethnicities are an unsolvable tangle as President Woodrow Wilson discovered during the six quarrelsome months at the 1919 Paris Peace Conference (to his surprise and chagrin, and too late) leaving his Fourteen Points a smoldering wreck.

And yes, street actions, all too often, have unforeseen outcomes — see Egypt, Libya, Syria, Bastille 789, Boston 770, Tehran 976 and Petrograd 917.


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