Sunday, April 12, 2009

Senator George V. Voinovich on Russia

Senator Voinovich has some moments of understanding the issues.

He understood the importance of establishing a relationship with the Baltics when he pushed legislation for the people of Baltics to come under the visa waiver program, which allows the people of the Baltics to travel without a visa to the United States.

That was a smart move on his part and the next smart move is when he wrote in an article how Russia uses energy as a weapon.

Senator Voinovich wrote an article on Russia who he has described in the article as the "Russian Bear."

His one point in the article is quite different from that of Senator McCain in that Senator Voinovich understands how Russia holds energy as a weapon against the European nations and does so with effectiveness.

We should also be worried about the uncertainties surrounding a Russia that is reverting back to a KGB-ruled country seeking to weaponize its oil and natural gas resources against Europe and the West. Russia has the world´s largest reserves of natural gas and has the eighth-largest oil reserves. Moscow turned off the tap to Ukraine this past winter. They could do it again. We should be concerned about Moscow using its control of oil and natural gas to pit members of NATO against each other.

Yes indeed we should be worried, because just recently Gazprom has opened an office in Riga Latvia. And Gazprom has taken Shell's storage assignments at the Sempra LNG terminal in Mexico; a terminal that will supply natural gas to the the Los Angles area and any future developments in expanding the pipeline grid it will supply.

Meanwhile, environmentalists here in the United States block every effort to build LNG terminals along the West Coast.

The argument can be made that the United States will find it's dependency on natural gas shipments will play into political decisions that will be based on Russia's wants and not on the wants of the United States.

As for the Senator's hope on the U.N.'s influence with Russia? Don't count on it. Why?

Here is why.

Recently it was announced that Chinese and Iranian companies have signed a $3.2 billion deal to produce more than 10 million tons of liquid natural gas (LNG) over the next three years. Russia already has similar deals in the works with Iran. This should worry the White House on many levels. More importantly, it should worry the average American that our leaders are constantly blindsided – while the world is going on, our leaders are blithely unaware, uncaring or outplayed.

Clearly the Obama administration places great faith in the United Nations (UN) as an honest broker. So how’s that UN sanction effort working against Iran? Like most UN efforts – doomed to failure. As an aside, we’d save a lot of carbon toxicity by shutting down that Tower of Babel off the FDR.

Is it any wonder Iran is celebrating yet another victory against the West, specifically the U.S. and using this latest billion dollar deal as evidence they are winning. Does anyone doubt that they are? Iran – her successes in nuclear programs, energy, weapons, and satellite launch capability – all in spite of our efforts to the contrary. There’s nothing sadder than when an upstart kicks sand in the face of a super power. And as China and Russia continue to invest in or collaborate with Iran, it emboldens the Tehran regime, further weakening any likelihood the U.S. will be able to counter Ahmadinejad’s ambitions. The downstream ramifications to the U.S., Israel and Eurasia should not be overlooked.

While Russian and China are investing billions of dollars in oil, gas, weapon, electronic and other global commercial ventures, what is the U.S. doing? The best that our leaders can come up with is a regressive cap and trade energy policy, pandering to the environmental movement, undermining the reality of clean coal technology, threatening to curtail advanced weapons development, abandoning our allies, and delaying any new initiatives to drill or explore for oil. Is this “change” we can believe in?

A while back I had written on the ADN comments and here that Governor Palin would be wise to contact Blackstone investors and have them provide input to the folks that handle the Alaska Permanent Dividend Fund. I stated if she wanted to get in the game on natural gas, she should look at having the fund invest in energy stocks like Sempra. Invest in a manner as to control it.

Two years back I warned the AGPA folks who wanted shipments of Alaska's natural gas to be shipped to the Sempra facility in Mexico, that Gazprom would control it. That times has come.

The sleeping giant Russia, has been awake for sometime now.

Dr. McFee states what I was stating but on a smaller scale when I was talking about Governor Palin and Alaska investing in Sempra:

Friends expect friendship. Money talks and “you know what” walks. The U.S. is walking; Russia and China are talking. Cha-ching!

It is sad and pathetic to watch a great nation commit suicide. Instead of getting into the game – putting our military, industrial and yes economic might behind efforts to exert influence in Europe, Asia and North Africa, aiding countries that clearly could benefit from our assistance, as well as using our resources to explore the Arctic, the mainland and Alaska for fossil fuels AND using the profits or even finder’s fees to finance research into alternative and cleaner fuels, influence global affairs, and help struggling nations –our leaders suggest putting a brick in the toilet to save water and turning off unnecessary lights to reduce energy consumption. Wow, we are a welfare nation. We’re acting like the poor relative on the world stage.

Now we have Gazprom controlling the only LNG terminal on the West Coast and none to be built soon because the environmentalist are blocking any new development by filing lawsuits.

And when it comes to the U.N.? Dr. McFee nails it.

Clearly the Obama administration places great faith in the United Nations (UN) as an honest broker. So how’s that UN sanction effort working against Iran? Like most UN efforts – doomed to failure. As an aside, we’d save a lot of carbon toxicity by shutting down that Tower of Babel off the FDR.

Senator Voinovich should ponder this next time when he speaks about the U.N.'s influence with Russia. Because their energy influence is right on the United States west coast doorstep.


Jumpin' Jack said...

Russia doesn't control the only West Coast LNG terminal, they own 49 percent of its capacity and 0 percent of its control.

Get your facts straight.

Tom said...

They control it.

Shell had half of the future expansion of the facility through a contract signed before the terminal was built.

Gazprom controls the facility through Shell's contracts in Russia and Mexico.

Educate yourself before making snide comments on something you evidently don't know about.

"...Russian energy giant Gazprom has bought capacity at Sempra Energy's EnergĂ­a Costa Azul liquefied natural gas plant 14 miles north of Ensenada so it can sell gas from eastern Russia to the United States.

In the 20-year, $5 billion deal announced in Moscow yesterday, state-controlled Gazprom is buying a share of Royal Dutch Shell's 50 percent capacity at Costa Azul.
“This deal will enable Gazprom to begin shipment of LNG supplies from Sakhalin II to the United States, the world's largest gas market, and other markets of the Pacific Basin,” Gazprom Chairman Alexey Miller said in a statement.
Gazprom does not now sell LNG in the United States.

Sakhalin II, a gas field in the North Pacific, was initially developed by Shell and other partners, but in 2006, the Dutch oil company was forced to reduce its stake from 55 percent to 27.5 percent. Gazprom now owns 50 percent, plus one share.

Shell bought capacity at Costa Azul after giving up on building its own West Coast LNG terminal, which it planned to operate at the same time as Sakhalin II.
Each company will have access to about 140 million cubic feet of Sakhalin LNG per day, said Phillip Carroll, a Gazprom spokesman in Washington, D.C."

The following is old news.

"Shell Oil Co., the U.S. arm of Royal Dutch Shell PLC, is leasing half the terminal for 20 years. Sempra is retaining control of the other half and is importing gas from Indonesia under an arrangement with BP PLC."

It's was a 50/50 split. Shell kicked in on the cost of building the facility in exchange for the 50% lease rights.

That's 20 years. Gazprom control it now.

Jumpin' Jack said...

Gazprom bought capacity, they do not control it.

Control = being able to tell Sempra what to do with their majority share of the plant.

You are not only sloppy with facts, you are defensive about it.

And thank you for the ancient history on Sakhalin. Are there any other too-obvious points you need to copy from a San Diego newspaper that is 2 years behind on the story?

Tom said...

Gazprom will tell Sempra what to do. Sempra has investments across the world and quite frankly in Europe so they are vulunerable to Gazprom just as European nations are.

Tell me since you know so much, which is bigger, Germany, Great Britian, the Ukraine or Sempra.

It's an easy answer and come back when you you get the answer.

Like I said, I have been talking about this two years ago.

And I know what is going on. The San Diego print is today. The links below are from two years ago.

I have a record on the facts that go back two years. Do you?

It's been a pleasure.