Tag: Oil

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. In Keystone XL Decision, Hillary Chooses Primary Votes over Science

Rena Schild / Shutterstock.com

Last week at a New Hampshire town hall, Hillary Clinton was asked her position on the long-delayed Keystone XL pipeline. Instead of offering a simple yes or no, the supposedly spontaneous candidate issued a warning to President Obama: “I’m putting the White House on notice, I’m going to tell you what I think — soon.”

That promise of steely-leadership-as-soon-as-the-polls-come-in was fulfilled today as Clinton publicly revealed her opinion on the seven-year-old controversy:


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Oil, Oil, Everywhere But Not A Drop To Burn?


imageIn the last few decades — indeed, in just the last few years — a combination of demand and technology has greatly expanded the amount of oil and gas reserves that can be economically extracted. Unfortunately, cars and industry can’t run off crude oil anymore than freshly-fracked methane, so those raw hydrocarbons are essentially useless until they’ve undergone a myriad of available processes to refine them into useable fuels. The whole reason for the Keystone XL pipeline, after all, is to bring heavy Canadian crude down to the Gulf Coast for refining.

A little over a year ago, The Wall Street Journal reported that American refineries — already the largest in the world — were pushing to increase their capacity at their existing plants, while others energy firms were trying to get into the business, often at a small scale. The results sounded impressive:


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Geopolitical Shocks from Fracking


Hydro-Fracking-FieldTechnology is great — we all know that. It has given us longer and far more comfortable lives, and enormous increases in wealth of all kinds. Nevertheless, we often make arguments about geopolitics as if we were in a technological stasis field. This is a mistake, because, of course, technological changes lead to unintended consequences that can change everything.

I am speaking specifically not about incremental technological changes (like better cars or air conditioning), but about disruptive changes — the kinds of things that lead to changes that the inventors never imagined.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. The False Panacea of Energy Independence


Politicians, commentators, and some fellow Richochetti often mention “energy independence” as a solution to the conundrum of Middle Eastern politics. Dealing with the complex mess of that region is a thankless and dirty job, and we’ve been stuck doing it because of the importance of Persian Gulf oil to the world economy. I raised this issue last night in a comment to a post by Claire Berlinski, and it seemed to me that it warranted further discussion.shutterstock_78597688

The United States is not involved in the Middle East because we import oil from the Middle East. Rather, events in the Middle East can have a major impact on the worldwide price of oil. This would be true even if the US doubled its oil production and became a net exporter, as the Middle East would continue to produce a large proportion of the world’s oil. Simply put, American “energy independence” will not change the political importance of the Middle East, nor will it insulate the US from oil price shocks resulting from events in the Middle East.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. The Strategika Podcast: Kori Schake on the Mixed Blessings of Energy Abundance


Schake current hi-resThe energy boom has been great for the United States. But in other parts of the world? Not so much. In this final installment of the Strategika series on the international implications of new energy development, I talk with the Hoover Institution’s Kori Schake about the fallout for nations that have traditionally relied on energy resources to prop up their governments. Are places like Venezuela and Russia heading for dramatic upheavals thanks to changes in global markets? Should growing American energy production cause us to rethink our role in the Middle East? Are natural resources just as much a curse as a blessing? You can hear the answers below or by subscribing to the Strategika podcast through iTunes or your favorite podcast player.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. The Strategika Podcast: Williamson Murray on the Strategic Implications of America’s Energy Boom


WickIn the new series of Strategika podcasts from the Hoover Institution, we’re looking at what the revolution in American energy production means for the US’s economic and strategic future. In this first installment, I talk with Williamson Murray, the Ambassador Anthony D. Marshall Chair of Strategic Studies at The Marine Corps University, about what the implications are for our relationships with Russia, Iran, and other countries in the Middle East. Listen in below or subscribe to Strategika through iTunes or your favorite podcast service.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Petraeus Puts the Icing on Bibi’s Iran Cake


Don’t just rely on Benjamin Netanyahu’s passionate advice to Congress on his way to reelection that Iran is our arch enemy. Now we have the counsel of retired general David Petraeus, who gave a remarkable interview this week to the Washington Post. Petraeus agrees with Netanhayhu: Iran, not ISIS, is the real enemy.

His message: “I would argue that the foremost threat to Iraq’s long-term stability and the broader regional equilibrium is not the Islamic State; rather, it is Shiite militias, many backed by – and some guided by – Iran.”


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Thankful for: Shale Oil


It’s nice when good things happen to your friends, but isn’t it nicer when bad things happen to your enemies? From The Guardian:

On Thanksgiving Day, the most powerful oil cartel in the world, the Organization of Petroleum Export Countries, will be facing a dilemma: too much of a good thing.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. The Energy Democrat(s)


HickenlooperIt has been axiomatic, in American politics, that it’s hard to beat a southern conservative Democrat. It can be done, of course, but the combination — in recent years, anyway — of moderate conservative populism and Democratic party muscle has been pretty formidable. Southern Democrats were in many ways analogous to western Republicans: a powerful political profile.

As the Democratic party has moved farther and farther to the left, this became less true. Bill Clinton is often overheard to lament his party’s move to the anti-business left. Hillary Clinton, if she runs and if she has any credible primary challengers will have them, probably, from the left side of her party.