Well, it turns out that in the United States, thanks to are fracking technologies, is able to get at much more of our natural gas. This has been a windfall for the supply side of that equation, while it has been a rather tough time on the commodity price due to oversupply in light of demand. Luckily, for the gas industry more and more energy generation plants are going to gas because it is a lot cheaper than coal. Also it pollutes less, and allows electrical generation some leeway with regulators.
Right now, we have so much natural gas that the industry would like to export some of it to get rid of that oversupply, and to make money on the open market. Natural gas prices around the world are much higher, and not everyone is using fracking technology yet. In Europe, there are rules against it, as environmentalists are standing up and worried that it might pollute the groundwater.
Remember water is also very important for human life, more so than electrical energy actually, I guess that goes without saying – so even if this is a false argument, the people are concerned and who knows maybe the Russian propaganda is attempting to spoil the fracking concept in Europe, as they do have a lot to lose. Yes, I suppose we can talk about why.
Much of the natural gas in Europe comes from Russia and because Europe is beholden to Russia for natural gas for heating in the cold winters, the Europeans and NATO have to mellow out because Russia has that big bargaining card over their head.
Global Intelligence Magazine – Analyzing World Affairs, Autumn 2012 had an article (an Op-Ed) titled; “Russian Energy Supremacy Threatens NATO,” by Probir K Sarkar. Then there was another article in the same issue titled; “The Age of Gas – The Coming Energy Boom Will Be America’s Thanks to Shale Gas,” by John McNeil.
Indeed, many of the NATO nations which wish to put in missile defense shields are beholden to Russia for natural gas, and there are pipelines that Russia can shut off at any time if the negotiations on such issues become too tumultuous. Russia has already shut off the gas to more than one country during disputes, so you might say that’s a big ace card in international negotiations. What if the United States started selling natural gas to Europe and elsewhere, perhaps in Japan too, what if we sell our excess around the world?
This would drive the global price down giving Russia far less leverage than they’ve had in the past in many places and territories around the planet. It could even sink their economy. Thus, it could be one more way to play the economic hard ball to serve our political will. Do we dare? Many in the US do not want our natural gas industry to export our excess as they want to make sure we have plenty far off into the future.
While that is good energy policy, there is this other question; do we dare to export our natural gas excesses to the rest of the world for profits, and greater leverage in international negotiations? I say we might wish to, for many reasons, only a couple I’ve mentioned above. Please consider all this and think on it, because we are at our think tank. You have any comments or questions you may e-mail me.