What lies beneath the Chukchi Sea 1

That ex-governor Sarah Palin is a lot smarter and better informed than vice-president Joe Biden is proved yet again by a new report on energy, commented on by Investor’s Business Daily (at their Investors.com website):

As Palin jousts with Biden on energy independence, the government reports that we lead the world in energy reserves. From oil to gas to coal, we are sitting on prosperity. So why are we importing anything?

One of the interesting sidelights of the NY-23 race was an exchange on energy independence between Vice President Joe Biden and the former governor of energy-rich Alaska, Sarah Palin. Biden, who came in to campaign for Democrat Bill Owens, was reminded of the issue of energy.

“The fact of the matter is that Sarah Palin thinks the answer to energy was ‘Drill, baby, drill,'” Biden said at an Owens fundraiser, referring to Palin’s own campaign slogan last year. “No, it’s a lot more complicated, Sarah, than ‘Drill, baby, drill.'”

Actually, it’s not, according to a new report produced by the Congressional Research Service, hardly an outpost of the vast right-wing conspiracy or on the payroll of Big Oil. The report says that if all our energy resources are added up and converted to a barrels of oil equivalent (BOE), the U.S. has the largest reserves in the world.

According to the CRS, the U.S. has 1,321 billion barrels of oil (or barrels of oil equivalent for other sources of energy) if you combine its recoverable natural gas, oil and coal reserves. Russia is close behind with 1,248 billion barrels BOE. Other energy-producing nations, including many that export oil to the U.S., lag behind.

Of course, much of our world-leading reserves are off-limits by government edict. We recently commented on the federal government designation of 200,541 squares miles off the coast of Alaska as critical habitat for the abundant polar bear, effectively killing hopes to exploit the vast energy riches of the American Arctic.

Alaska’s Chukchi Sea, part of the designated habitat, holds more oil and gas than anyone thought — 1,600 trillion cubic feet of undiscovered gas, or 30% of the world’s supply and 83 billion barrels of undiscovered oil, 4% of the estimated global resources.

The CRS report also notes the U.S. has 28% of the world’s coal reserves, with Russia again coming in second with 19%. …

Palin cites the Tenth Amendment 5

She’s coming out fighting! Let’s cheer her on!

This is by Chelsea Schilling at WorldNetDaily (read it all here):

Gov. Sarah Palin has signed a joint resolution declaring Alaska’s sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution – and now 36 other states have introduced similar resolutions as part of a growing resistance to the federal government.
Just weeks before she plans to step down from her position as Alaska governor, Palin signed House Joint Resolution 27, sponsored by state Rep. Mike Kelly on July 10, according to a Tenth Amendment Center report. The resolution “claims sovereignty for the state under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States over all powers not otherwise enumerated and granted to the federal government by the Constitution of the United States.”
Alaska’s House passed HJR 27 by a vote of 37-0, and the Senate passed it by a vote of 40-0.
According to the report, the joint resolution does not carry with it the force of law, but supporters say it is a significant move toward getting their message out to other lawmakers, the media and grassroots movements.
Alaska’s resolution states:
Be it resolved that the Alaska State Legislature hereby claims sovereignty for the state under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States over all powers not otherwise enumerated and granted to the federal government by the Constitution of the United States.
Be it further resolved that this resolution serves as Notice and Demand to the federal government to cease and desist, effective immediately, mandates that are beyond the scope of these constitutionally delegated powers.
While seven states – Tennessee, Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Alaska and Louisiana – have had both houses of their legislatures pass similar decrees, Alaska Gov. Palin and Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen are currently the only governors to have signed their states’ sovereignty resolutions.
The resolutions all address the Tenth Amendment that says: “powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Gov. Sarah Palin has signed a joint resolution declaring Alaska’s sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution – and now 36 other states have introduced similar resolutions as part of a growing resistance to the federal government.

The resolutions all address the Tenth Amendment that says: “powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Just weeks before she plans to step down from her position as Alaska governor, Palin signed House Joint Resolution 27, sponsored by state Rep. Mike Kelly on July 10, according to a Tenth Amendment Center report. The resolution “claims sovereignty for the state under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States over all powers not otherwise enumerated and granted to the federal government by the Constitution of the United States.”

Be it further resolved that this resolution serves as Notice and Demand to the federal government to cease and desist, effective immediately, mandates that are beyond the scope of these constitutionally delegated powers.

Alaska’s House passed HJR 27 by a vote of 37-0, and the Senate passed it by a vote of 40-0.

Be it resolved that the Alaska State Legislature hereby claims sovereignty for the state under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States over all powers not otherwise enumerated and granted to the federal government by the Constitution of the United States.

According to the report, the joint resolution does not carry with it the force of law, but supporters say it is a significant move toward getting their message out to other lawmakers, the media and grassroots movements.

Alaska’s resolution states:

While seven states – Tennessee, Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Alaska and Louisiana – have had both houses of their legislatures pass similar decrees, Alaska Gov. Palin and Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen are currently the only governors to have signed their states’ sovereignty resolutions.

Posted under Conservatism, News, United States by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, July 22, 2009

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The Palin solution 1

The excellent governor of Alaska has it right again. 

From Investor’s Business Daily:

Back in July, when IBD first interviewed the then-little-known governor, Palin emphasized developing Alaska’s Chukchi Sea resources. Under those icy waters, it was then believed, was enough oil and gas to supply America for a decade.

“It’s a very nonsensical position we’re in right now,” Palin told us. “(We) ask the Saudis to ramp up production of crude oil so that hungry markets in America can be fed, (and) your sister state in Alaska has those resources.”

At the time, it was thought that Chukchi’s waters northwest of Alaska’s landmass held 30 billion cubic feet of natural gas.

Today, Science magazine reports that the U.S. Geological Survey now finds it holds more than anyone thought — 1.6 trillion cubic feet of undiscovered gas, or 30% of the world’s supply and 83 billion barrels of undiscovered oil, 4% of the global conventional resources.

That’s enough U.S. energy to achieve self-sufficiency and never worry about it as a national security question again.

The only thing left to do is drill. “Congress can do that for us right now,” Palin told IBD, urging Washington to open the territory.

That Congress hasn’t is the biggest part of the problem.

“Alaska should be the head, not the tail, to the energy solution,” Palin said.

It ought to be reassuring to Americans that energy can be developed here. Americans are environmentally conscious, and Palin herself has a good record on balancing development with ecology.

The alternative isn’t reassuring: If we don’t drill, the Russians will. Situated over on the eastern end of the Chukchi Sea, they have global ambitions of dominating the energy trade and no qualms about muscling in on the U.S.

Already, undersea volcanic activity has melted much of the Arctic ice cap and enabled more exploration than in the past. The U.S. has as much claim to the region as the Russians, but only the Russians seem to be taking advantage of the geological bounty.

It’s pure energy, not theoretics. That’s significant because Steven Chu’s Energy Department is spending too many resources trying to figure out how to turn all the weird wind power and switchgrass schemes into viable energy resources.

His latest idea is to paint roofs white. None of this puts significant energy out to consumers. Nor does it come close to matching oil in energy value…

Posted under Commentary, News, United States by Jillian Becker on Saturday, May 30, 2009

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Russia’s energy sense 0

From the Investor’s Business Daily:

Oil prices jumped to nearly $58 a barrel Thursday in Singapore in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Benchmark crude for June delivery was up $1.31 at $57.68 on expectations for a global economic recovery by year’s end and rising demand for the fossil fuel.

As oil prices rise again, the Guardian reports that Russia is planning a fleet of floating and submersible nuclear reactors to provide power for drilling and exploration for oil and natural gas in Arctic areas that Moscow claims as its own

A prototype floating nuclear power station being constructed at the SevMash shipyard in Severodvinsk is due to be completed next year. Four more 70-megawatt plants, each of which would consist of two reactors aboard giant steel platforms, are planned.

The self-propelled vessels would store their own waste and fuel and would need to be serviced only once every 12 to 14 years. Russia’s stimulus program for energy includes planned submersible nuclear-powered drilling rigs that could allow eight wells to be drilled at a time.

The U.S. Geological Survey believes the Arctic holds up to 25% of the world’s undiscovered oil and gas reserves, leading some experts to call the region the next Saudi Arabia. Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin underscored that point at an April 14 Interior Department field hearing in Anchorage chaired by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.

Palin testified: “The world-class potential of Arctic Alaska was verified in the recently released Circum-Arctic Oil and Gas Assessment by the U.S. Geological Survey, which highlighted that Arctic Alaska was second only to the West Siberian Basin in total Arctic petroleum potential and the highest Arctic potential for oil.”

The Russians fully intend to develop the West Siberian Basin and any other Arctic areas their technology can reach. We may someday find ourselves importing Russian oil extracted off the Alaskan coast by Gazprom instead of Exxon or Shell.

As Palin pointed out to Salazar, the USGS assessment “estimates that Arctic Alaska has mean technically recoverable resources of approximately 30 billion barrels of oil, 6 billion barrels of natural gas liquids and 221 trillion cubic feet of conventional natural gas.”

Continued Arctic exploration is also necessary for the continued viability of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. Production at Prudhoe Bay is in decline. North Slope production is one-third of its peak, and unless we are allowed to produce oil and gas from ANWR and in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas, Palin said, reduced flow will cause the pipeline to close.

The [US] administration’s game plan is to force energy prices to “skyrocket” to make alternative sources of energy more competitive. We don’t see the Russians dotting Siberia with wind turbines and solar panels. They recognize the sun doesn’t always shine and the wind doesn’t always blow.

Alaska’s environmentally friendly natural gas, according to the Energy Information Agency in its 2009 Energy Outlook, would lower the cost to consumers by 63 cents per thousand cubic feet in 2002.

The only way we might be able to get at these resources may be to sell Alaska back to the Russians.

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Friday, May 8, 2009

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Who will defend us? 4

 Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has never struck us as an ardent patriot or a conservative, any more than Colin Powell did. (Donald Rumsfeld was both, we thought.) No wonder Obama was happy to keep Gates on as his Defense Secretary. They apparently share an uneasiness with America’s military might and are working together to decrease it.  North Korea’s firing of a long-range missile was not something they wanted to interfere with. ‘I don’t think we have a plan’ to do anything about it, Gates said absurdly. Doesn’t think he has? Doesn’t he know his own mind? 

Contrast this from the Heritage Foundation –

The key assumption running through the Gates/Bush 2008 National Defense Strategy, is that “Although U.S. predominance in conventional warfare is not unchallenged, it is sustainable for the medium-term given current trends.” Really? “Medium-term” means the next 10 to 15 years. Considering America’s aging military equipment, projected shortfalls in fighter aircraft, attack submarines, aircraft carriers and the rate at which China is building a military that seeks to offset American power with high-end asymmetric capabilities, Gates supposition that American conventional power will remain an effective deterrent is questionable at best.

Following this theme, Gates said yesterday [April 6] that America’s “conventional modernization goals should be tied to the actual and prospective capabilities of known future adversaries, not by what might be technological feasible for a potential adversary given unlimited time and resources.” This contention is fundamentally flawed. A defense budget, especially one that attempts such a fundamental strategic shift, cannot afford to be tied to the present and “prospective” threats America faces. The unpredictability of future events combined with the decades-long cycles it takes to buy sophisticated military equipment means that the U.S. must plan for the future with a focus on the core capabilities the nation will need to remain prepared for any type of future military operation.

Should the defense budget Obama submitted to Congress be implemented along with the many ill-advised cuts outlined by Gates, America’s ability to project power throughout the global commons and maintain its military primacy across the spectrum will be doubted by friend and foe alike. A narrowly-focused approach that looks only to the present and what we can hope to predict of the future is a strategy unbecoming of a nation that counts itself as the world’s indispensable nation. This path will ensure America becomes a declining military power. 

With this – 

April 6, 2009, Juneau, Alaska – Responding to the missile test by North Korea, Governor Sarah Palin today reaffirmed Alaska’s commitment to protecting America from rogue nation missile attacks.

“I am deeply concerned with North Korea’s development and testing program which has clear potential of impacting Alaska, a sovereign state of the United States, with a potentially nuclear armed warhead,” Governor Palin said. “I can’t emphasize enough how important it is that we continue to develop and perfect the global missile defense network. Alaska’s strategic location and the system in place here have proven invaluable in defending the nation.”

Governor Palin stressed the importance of Fort Greely and the need for continued funding for the Missile Defense Agency. The governor is firmly against U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates’ proposed $1.4 billion reduction of the Missile Defense Agency. Greely’s isolated location in Alaska as well as its strategic location in the Pacific allows for maximum security and development of the country’s only ground-based missile defense complex.

“Our early opposition to reduced funding for the Missile Defense Agency is proving to be well-founded during this turbulent time,” Governor Palin said. “I continue to support the development and implementation of a defensive missile shield based in Alaska. We are strategically placed to defend the critical assets of the United States and our allies in the Pacific Theater.”

Governor Palin also requested stimulus funding for the Kodiak Launch Complex. The Kodiak Launch Complex is a commercial rocket launch facility for sub-orbital and orbital space launch vehicles owned and operated by the Alaska Aerospace Development Corporation, a public corporation of the State of Alaska.

Plainly, America and the world would be safer if Palin were president and not Obama.

Russia balked by Governor Palin 0

From Investor’s Business Daily:

It’s as if "Saturday Night Live" satires of Sarah Palin are better cues for gauging media coverage than a possible vice president whose Alaskan leadership is drawing attention from powerful international players.

Media coverage wasn’t entirely absent, but the visit Monday of a delegation from Gazprom in Moscow to Palin’s energy aide didn’t draw attention the way a shouter at a Palin rally or speculation about Palin’s shoes did. But in the Kremlin, Alaska’s on the radar and the media is missing it.

Gazprom is a $107 billion Russian gas giant that controls 17% of the world’s natural gas reserves. It’s controlled by Vladimir Putin’s government, and some of its KGB-trained corporate leaders switch jobs in and out of Russia’s government like musical chairs.

"They made no bones about wanting to be the most highly capitalized company in the world, and their business is gas," said Marty Rutherford, deputy commissioner of the Alaska Department of Natural Resources, one of the Alaskans asked by Gazprom officials for the visit.

"Gazprom wants to have as much power and monopoly leverage as possible," explained Anders Aslund, senior fellow at the Peterson Institute. "You can’t produce gas without Gazprom visiting you."

According to Alaska Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Tom Irwin, the Russians’ interest was piqued by Palin’s move to develop state energy resources, after decades of inaction. The Russians were "very professional," showing what what they could do for Alaska as gas producers. They didn’t bring up Palin or the election.

"But what’s significant," Irwin said, "is what the governor has done. Under her leadership, the state has made a major decision that the best use of our resources is in a natural gas pipeline through Canada."

Rutherford explained that they’ve seen an upswing in international interest ever since Palin signed off on a plan to build a 1,715-mile pipeline across Canada to the Lower 48 and then got it passed in Alaska’s legislature in August.

Irwin and Rutherford said they thought the Russians seemed most interested in new projects for liquefied natural gas terminals, which could eventually make natural gas part of a global market and less attached to long-term contracts and fixed pipelines.

The risk is that it could also make gas supplies more vulnerable to global petro-tyrants who control gas supplies and prices based on politics — as has happened with oil.

Gazprom is the main tool used by Russia to control its neighbors through energy.

Last year, for instance, Russia cut off gas to western Europe to intimidate it. And last summer, Russia unleashed war on Georgia to gain control of Europe’s only energy pipeline independent of Russia. It’s now sending naval ships to patrol the Caribbean’s narrow sea lanes through which 64% of the U.S.’s imported energy must pass.

Gazprom is also at the heart of Russia’s plan to form a global gas cartel, like OPEC for oil. But so far, Gazprom has a habit of gaining control of resources but not boosting output: "Production has not increased," noted Aslund, "and they are not developing their own gas resources."

The Alaskan officials politely told the Russians America’s energy needs would come first. "We think our nation needs our gas and we think (the Alaska TransCanada pipeline) is the most appropriate thing to do," said Irwin.

Could Gazprom eventually get a foothold on Alaska’s energy through the Alaska TransCanada pipeline? Not likely. The pipeline license requires the operator to produce gas. And, Irwin explained, the state would keep firm control over the mission to deliver the 4 trillion cubic feet to the U.S. each day through the Canadian pipeline route.

"We set the pipeline up with open access so that there would be no monopoly," said Irwin. "It’s critical for Alaska to maintain open access (to producers) to keep prices down. We’ll make money off volume, and sending gas to the U.S. market that badly needs gas brings the volume."

So even if Gazprom produced natural gas, it wouldn’t be able to get control of energy supplies to exert political control, the officials said.

"There’s worldwide interest," Irwin said. "But our country can’t keep being subservient to foreign suppliers. Look at the history of Gazprom: They say ‘if you don’t do this, we will raise your prices’ " — or cut supplies, Irwin said.

Alaska’s re-emergence as a major world energy player tells us a lot about how a Palin vice presidency could shape up. Alaskans in the energy sector say Palin has been a far-sighted leader in developing the state’s energy resources.

"I wish other people in other states would get to see her as we get to see her," Irwin said. "The bottom line is we will get the gas line in operation and there will be bidders, and we have the strong will of the governor who has made this happen."

Posted under Uncategorized by Jillian Becker on Saturday, October 18, 2008

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Governor Palin’s brilliant success in Alaska 0

 The Wall Street Journal tells how Governor Sarah Palin beat  the establishment. 

And so it came as no surprise in 2004 when former Republican Gov. Frank Murkowski made clear he’d be working exclusively with three North Slope producers—ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips and BP—to build a $25 billion pipeline to move natural gas to the lower 48. The trio had informed their political vassals that they alone would build this project (they weren’t selling their gas to outsiders) and that they expected the state to reward them. Mr. Murkowski disappeared into smoky backrooms to work out the details. He refused to release information on the negotiations. When Natural Resources Commissioner Tom Irwin suggested terms of the contract were illegal, he was fired.

What Mr. Murkowski did do publicly was instruct his statehouse to change the oil and gas tax structure (taxes being a primary way Alaskans realize their oil revenue). Later, citizens would discover this was groundwork for Mr. Murkowski’s pipeline contract—which would lock in that oil-requested tax package for up to 40 years, provide a $4 billion state investment, and relinquish most oversight.

Enter Mrs. Palin. The former mayor of Wasilla had been appointed by Mr. Murkowski in 2003 to the state oil and gas regulatory agency. She’d had the temerity to blow the whistle on fellow GOP Commissioner Randy Ruedrich for refusing to disclose energy dealings. Mr. Murkowski and GOP Attorney General Gregg Renkes closed ranks around Mr. Ruedrich—who also chaired the state GOP. Mrs. Palin resigned. Having thus offended the entire old boy network, she challenged the governor for his seat.

Mrs. Palin ran against the secret deal, and vowed to put the pipeline back out for competitive, transparent, bidding. She railed against cozy politics. Mr. Murkowski ran on his unpopular pipeline deal. The oil industry warned the state would never get its project without his leadership. Mrs. Palin walloped him in the primary and won office in late 2006. Around this time, news broke of a federal probe that would show oil executives had bribed lawmakers to support the Murkowski tax changes.

Among Mrs. Palin’s first acts was to reinstate Mr. Irwin. By February 2007 she’d released her requirements for pipeline bidding. They were stricter, and included only a $500 million state incentive. By May a cowed state house—reeling from scandal—passed her legislation.

Read the whole impressive story here

 

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Friday, September 5, 2008

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The importance of Alaska 1

 In relation to the issues of energy and national security, Alaska is right now the most important state in the US, not only for America but also for its allies in Europe and the Far East. In this consideration alone, Palin is an excellent choice of McCain’s to be his running-mate. 

 Investor’s Business Daily explains:  

Palin knows energy. She’s already figured out how to deliver energy to the U.S. without Congress — by championing state legislation to create a 1,712-mile natural gas pipeline across Canada to the U.S.

It was a major feat, negotiating with the Canadian government, educating lawmakers and getting the public behind her. In a decade, the $30 billion project will ship 4.5 million cubic feet of gas a day from the North Slope to Houston’s air conditioners, Iowa’s farm machines and Boston’s winter furnaces.

There’s little doubt this is the kind of leadership the U.S. needs. Not only will getting serious about Alaska help the economy, it will also help our allies in Europe and the Far East whose economies are severely battered by high energy prices and who are seeing some of the most direct threats from the petrotyrants.

John McCain’s pick of Palin shows he’s serious about energy — and about securing America’s future. Congress mustn’t ignore Alaska any longer. Petrotyranny is moving beyond economics and becoming a national security issue. Alaska is a big part of the answer.

 

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, September 3, 2008

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