Building a world of
resilient communities.



Politics & economics - Jan 24

Click on the headline (link) for the full text.

Many more articles are available through the Energy Bulletin homepage

McCain: U.S. can't be held hostage for oil

Foster Klug, Assoicated Press via Yahoo!News
WASHINGTON - A top Republican lawmaker said Sunday that America must explore alternate energy sources to avoid being held hostage by Iran or by "wackos" in Venezuela - an apparent reference to Hugo Chavez, Venezuela's populist president.

Sen. John McCain, a potential presidential contender in 2008, said recent action by "Mr. Chavez" and by Iran's leaders make it clear that the United States will be vulnerable as long as it remains dependent on foreign energy.
(XX January 2006)
McCain joins other conservatives who see oil dependence as a threat ato national security. -BA

Iraq's Oil Bust

Scott Johnson and Michael Hastings, Newsweek
Oil exports were supposed to pay for the reconstruction. Instead they've been stifled
...Only three years ago, before the United States led the invasion of Iraq, the Bush ad—ministration dreamed of liberating the country on the cheap. Billions in untapped oil reserves would pay for reconstruction and nation-building. But hundreds of billions of American tax dollars later, Iraq's oil still isn't flowing at prewar levels. And in a country where 90 percent of the government's $35 billion in revenues comes from petroleum, the old promise has come to seem a curse. "Some people wish we didn't have all this oil," says National Assembly Speaker Hajim al-Hassani, "because it has brought us all these problems."
(30 January 2006 issue)

Thousands throng streets as Bolivian leader sheds tears but talks tough at inauguration

Jonathan Rugman and Dan Glaister, Guardian
...With foreign investment dwindling in the face of Bolivia's lurch leftwards, Mr Morales has been under pressure from the business elite - many of them descendants of the colonial Spanish - to reassure multinationals including BP and British Gas their money is safe. Several firm threaten to sue Bolivia in the face of a big rise in gas extraction fees imposed by the last government. President Morales says he "guarantees investors will recoup their money and make a profit" but will not back down on his pledge to renationalise gas reserves worth a potential $250bn.

His first foreign tour steered clear of Britain and United States but notably took in China. "We are going to guarantee Chinese investment. What's better than state investment? We should have a petro-Americas, a partnership between state enterprise and business. Our land has been looted for 500 years and we are going to assert our right of ownership."

It is an approach that strikes a chord with the millions in Bolivia, where three-quarters of the 8.5-million population are Indian and two-thirds survive on less than $2 a day. Many see in Mr Morales a leader in the mould of Mr Chávez. The Bolivian president has signalled that the Chávez model of tapping energy wealth to fund public spending is one he will follow. Yet despite formidable gas reserves, But Bolivia's revenue does not compare with to Venezuela's oil wealth and the moderating influence of President da Silva of Brazil - a major trading partner - may instil a willingness to compromise.
(23 January 2006)

Great Russian freeze spreads west

Severe cold weather gripping large parts of Russia has now spread west, causing chaos in Ukraine, Belarus, the Baltic states and Scandinavia.

Officials in those countries say there is growing pressure on energy supplies, with power shortages as Russia cuts deliveries to fight the freeze at home.

Dozens have died of the cold, with temperatures as low as -33C recorded.

Forecasters have said that the freeze will last several more days, and could intensify in places.
(21 January 2006)

'Blue' states tackling energy on their own

Justin Blum, Washington Post
Democratic-leaning states increasingly are regulating energy use and emissions, working around a GOP-controlled federal government that state officials say has not done enough.

The states are creating energy efficiency requirements for light bulbs and household appliances, limiting power plant and automobile output linked to global warming, and requiring the use of renewable energy, such as wind and solar.
(22 January 2006)
Related: Building a Better Light Bulb -- at a Cost (Washington Post).

Ukraine gas dispute -- Has Putin gone nuts?

William Engdahl,
It’s more useful to assume that the answer is ‘no.’ Then we must ask what is Russia doing with its gas price policy demands and supply cut-off to Ukraine?

It’s clear that the move is one part of a complex series of Russian moves in the ongoing Grand Chess Game. That game is between Washington as sole global superpower, and Russia as a reconstructing nuclear power--one with a vast resource wealth needed by its Eurasian neighbours from China to Germany and beyond. Russia, which holds far the world’s largest known reserves of natural gas, is playing its own energy card with Ukraine as the current field of that battle.

The Ukraine drama is clearer if we look at it in the context of a series of very quiet but dramatic moves recently by the Putin government in the realm of energy and national military preparedness.
(22 January 2006)
Also by Engdahl: China lays down gauntlet in energy war.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

Sign up for regular Resilience bulletins direct to your email.

Take action!  

Find out more about Community Resilience. See our COMMUNITIES page
Start your own projects. See our RESOURCES page.
Help build resilience. DONATE NOW.


This is a community site and the discussion is moderated. The rules in brief: no personal abuse and no climate denial. Complete Guidelines.

Disabled People Lead the Fight Against Austerity

While the attack on peoples’ lives through social welfare cuts …

Patterns of Commoning

Just like farmers, we cannot really know how big and copious the harvest …

A Conversation with RSF Social Finance CEO Don Shaffer

"People get buried in a blizzard of financial terms that …

The Privilege of Being Privileged

The Ford Foundation believes we have an obligation to strengthen capitalism. …

Prop. 51 Versus a State-Owned Bank: How California Can Save $10 Billion on a $9 Billion Loan

However, there is a much cheaper way to fund this $9 billion school debt. By …

How Democracy Collaborative Will Create 50 Million Employee Owners by 2050

There are currently an estimated 10 million employee owners in the U.S. What …

There's Much that Don't Matter a Fig

Most of us resist new circumstance, and so the finest art is the skill (the …