Trump And Putin

He has Vlad over a barrel (of oil).

Funny, I’m old enough to remember when Barack Obama told Sarah Palin we couldn’t drill our way out of our energy problems. But then, I’m old enough to remember lots of stupid things that Barack Obama said.

18 thoughts on “Trump And Putin”

  1. I too thought that the reference to energy was a key part of the speech. When you consider the possibilities facing the Trump administration, prospects for Vlad are not looking too great. Possible moves include:

    Opening up vast areas of federal land for conventional and unconventional oil and gas exploration.

    Keep the Alaska oil pipeline relevant by opening up ANWR.

    Remove the idiotic “finding” that CO2 is a dangerous pollutant.

    Free up the development of high temperature, high efficiency coal plants for low cost baseload (and forget the useless idea of CC&S).

    Open up the Atlantic Coast to offshore development.

    Offer to use US fracking technology to develop European shale deposits, especially those in Eastern Europe, as their Greens are less likely to torpedo it.

    Now not all of these initiatives will be immediately economical, but the combined effect would be to finally put a stake through the heart of Peak Oil, a concept I’ve been hearing about for as long as I can remember (and that’s a looong time). I’m sure there was Peak Bronze back in 1200 BC!

    Add in thorium reactors and off-world space industries and the sky, literally, is the limit. I suspect fusion will continue to march into the future at the rate of at least one year per year, as it’s been doing happily for about the last sixty years.

    1. You’re not going to see much, if any, new coal-fired capacity added in the US. Natural gas is too cheap and the risk of stranded assets from future CO2 restrictions is too great.

      1. Yes, the threat of eco-zealots hangs over us like the Sword of Damocles. Only time can prove them wrong but every failed prediction just meets new predictions and we will all be dead before the Earth is supposed to mildly increase in temperature.

        They certainly are a punative lot so worrying about being attacked in the future is a legitimate concern. There is a lot of crossover with ANTIFA, so lawfare is only one thing to worry about.

      2. That’s short term. Don’t forget that the CO2 “scare” will soon be over, at least domestically. Natural gas is too valuable (in the long run) to waste for baseload. In the long term, it will take over the transportation energy market (electrical is likely a dead end – sorry Elon – energy density is too low). And it can be easily used as a raw material. Coal is perfect for baseload until nuclear takes over. Hopefully, that nuclear energy will be 233-U based (i.e. 232-Th). In any case, no matter how things play out, we can control the price of energy and have at least a millenia’s worth of supply as proven reserves. It will be hard to blackmail us (or our friends) with regard to energy. That’s the brass ring. That’s what will make Russia and the Middle East irrelevant.

    2. I’m sure there was Peak Bronze back in 1200 BC!

      Og, if you make more of these atlatls, we won’t have any more spears!

      Offer to use US fracking technology to develop European shale deposits, especially those in Eastern Europe, as their Greens are less likely to torpedo it.

      This is an interesting one. Putin uses energy to gain influence in Europe. The Eastern Europeans could do the same and finally get the international socialists to stop being such jerks.

      1. “finally get the international socialists to stop being such jerks”

        Sorry, nothing’s going to do THAT.

        But give Eastern Europe fracking tech anyway.

    3. “..the combined effect would be to finally put a stake through the heart of Peak Oil, a concept I’ve been hearing about for as long as I can remember”

      Oh it will be back just give it time. I remember the “Energy Crisis” of the 1970’s; Americans have a short memory. Just wait a couple of decades or so and just give it a fancy new name people won’t know the difference. The number of suckers taken in by “Global Warming” I mean “Climate Change”. Like P.T. Barnum said, “There is a sucker born every minute”; that and “Nobody ever lost money underestimating the intelligence of the average American” or something like that.

      1. Its not so much that we have a short memory, it’s that we are continually dying off. Every new generation has to relearn the lessons of its forbears.

        One of the good things about this internet thingy – institutional memory. The Global Warming brigades have managed to convince the younger people who weren’t there that the Global Cooling scare of the 1970’s never really was. When the next Global Cooling scare rolls around, they won’t be able to bury all the records again.

  2. Did you watch the signature ceremony between Putin and Xi Jinping the other day? The Russians already have another client lined up. Right now China does not have a lot of gas demand because they have few natural gas power plants, but their cities are clouded with smoke, so they have a plan to reduce air pollution in the coastal cities. Nuclear by itself is not going to ramp up quickly enough and hydropower is mostly available in areas far, far, away from the coast. The rather obvious answer is to use natural gas generation. While the Chinese have fracking potential they have still not been able to generate enough gas from it. Their economy is growing quickly and they need all the energy they can get.

    Also, do you really think shipped natural gas is ever going to compete on price with piped gas? There is a reason a lot of European countries switched to Russia natural gas. It was the cheapest energy source available. Watch how the Germans squirm at the same time Nord Stream 2 is being built. It is fine to cancel pipelines to poor European countries like Bulgaria, but they won’t cancel their own pipelines because of the economic advantage. Hah.
    It is true a lot of seaports were built to ship gas from abroad and the USA can be one of the suppliers. But it is never going to be cheaper than piped gas. Europe is setting itself up to have the most expensive energy in the world as usual. The French have some of the largest fracking potential yet they stubbornly refuse to allow it.

    1. I think your contention that piped gas is always cheaper than shipped gas is, at best, questionable. Pipelines are hardly a free medium of transport. They cost a lot to build and they require a lot of pumping stations to keep the gas moving. Russia is a long way from Western European markets. It’s cost to lift and transport gas are fairly high.

      And there would appear to be quite a bit of maneuvering room available anent pricing. Wikipedia says current U.S. gas prices are roughly 1/3 those in Europe. That certainly tracks with the longstanding pattern anent gasoline prices. U.S. natural gas is so cheap at the ports of embarkation, LNG tankers might well be an economically viable way to get non-trivial quantities to both Eastern and Western Europe.

      Fracked gas from native shale formations should, in the long run, be both cheaper and far more reliably available than either Russian gas or shipped LNG of U.S. origin. The length of the necessary new transport piping would be comparatively trivial.

      And there is plenty of frackable shale in Europe. Pretty much the entire Baltic seacoast sits atop a sizable shale formation, for example. Many other parts of Europe have frackable shale in sizable quantity too; Poland, Slovakia, Bulgaria and – Ta-da! Ukraine are among the examples. The better shale-endowed among these are also disproportionately among the poorer nations of Europe so getting local fracking booms started in these places would be a double plus.

      The Germans and the French, as has been noted by you and others here, are stark, staring loony anent energy policy. And much else besides. Too bad. But our newer, poorer and more Eastern NATO allies seem to have all their marbles and their territory has to be the platform for Containment 2.0 anent Russia so that all works out fairly well for us if we’ve the wit to do what is obviously necessary.

      It’s good to see the Trump administration already moving in this direction. After eight long years of the progressive Children’s Crusade, it’s nice to finally have some adults back in DC who understand things like grand strategy and aren’t rooting for American failure.

  3. I’m old enough to remember when they said oil was too valuable to burn because it’s feedstock to plastics.

    France doesn’t need much oil because they are heavily nuclear.

    Pipeline vs tanker is not the issue that will benefit Russia because their gas prices have to support their entire inefficient economy.

    Oil export is a temporary fix which is smart to do now even if it costs us extra. That extra cost is buying us something that’s very much worth it… independent, freedom loving allies willing to pull their own load.

    The problem with John McCain is foreign policy is the only thing he often gets right. Of course, doing the exact opposite of anything Obama says is probably more reliable.

      1. One day I expect to be called too compassionate for wanting to just marginalize the left.

        1. We must never drive the Left so far underground that people forget what they stand for, or why is is so colossally stupid. Their ideas are just too simple and seductive to not be reinvented by the next fool who didn’t learn about the failures of the Left. By the same token, the Left should be driven forever from any position of real power.

      2. Yeah no shit. When I was in France I heard so much anti-nuclear propaganda you couldn’t believe. They enjoy clean air, inexpensive electricity, and they are going to throw it all away on a whim. It is really stupid.

    1. Most plastics are sourced from natural gas, not petroleum. (*)

      Did you know half the new manufacturing investment in the US last year was in petrochemicals? Fracking has had a hugely positive effect, making the US the low cost plastics maker in the world.

      (*) The five highest volume plastics in the world, accounting for about 3/4 of all plastics producion, are polyethylene, polypropylene, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polystyrene, and PET (polyester). The first three come predominately from light hydrocarbons in natural gas. The aromatic rings in the last two come from petroleum (although non-petroleum routes to their production do exist.)

  4. The hilarity today is America is no longer the leader of the free world because we don’t follow the G-19!

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