Tuesday, December 19, 2017

GWPF Newsletter: Trump's National Security Plan: Energy Dominance, Not Climate Change








US Fuels The World As Shale Boom Powers Record Oil Exports

In this newsletter:

1) Trump’s National Security Plan: ‘Energy Dominance,’ Not ‘Anti-Growth’ Climate Policy
Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller, 18 December 2017 
 
2) Trump To Remove Climate Change From List Of National Security Threats
Mollie Hemingway, The Federalist, 16 December 2017 


 
3) US Fuels The World As Shale Boom Powers Record Oil Exports
Bloomberg, 12 December 2017
 
4) Criminals, Crackpots And Extremists Have Poisoned Anti-Fracking Camp Protests
David Rose, Mail on Sunday, 17 December 2017
 
5) Green-Russian Anti-Fracking Campaign Paying Off As Britain Turns To Russian Gas
Russia Today, 14 December 2017
 
6) Old Coal Remains King In ‘Green’ Germany
Bloomberg, 18 December 2017 
 
7) Grün? Nein Danke! Social-Democrats Should Focus Less On Climate Change, German Foreign Minister Says
Clean Energy Wire, 18 December 2017


Full details:

1) Trump’s National Security Plan: ‘Energy Dominance,’ Not ‘Anti-Growth’ Climate Policy
Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller, 18 December 2017 

President Donald Trump’s administration prioritizes U.S. “energy dominance” through promoting exports, innovation and cutting regulations, according to the federal government’s National Security Strategy.

The White House’s security strategy is a rejection of former President Barack Obama’s administration, that prioritized fighting man-made global warming. Trump’s strategy no longer lists global warming as a nation security concern.

The Trump administration plans on “[u]nleashing these abundant energy resources— coal, natural gas, petroleum, renewables, and nuclear” to boost the economy and aid U.S. allies, according to an “America First National Security Strategy” plan.

“Energy dominance—America’s central position in the global energy system as a leading producer, consumer, and innovator—ensures that markets are free and U.S. infrastructure is resilient and secure,” reads the document.

“Our Nation must take advantage of our wealth in domestic resources and energy efficiency to promote competitiveness across our industries,” reads the document, that the White House released on Monday morning. The environment is best served through “innovation, technology breakthroughs, and energy efficiency gains, not from onerous regulation,” the document says.

Trump has re-positioning the U.S. from “climate leader” to a promoter of energy in the past year, in particular for fossil fuels and nuclear power.
Trump announced in June the U.S. would withdraw from the Paris climate accord, and his administration promoted “more efficient and cleaner fossil fuels” at the subsequent G20 meeting and at other events.

Energy Secretary Rick Perry has already made several international trips to promote U.S. energy, and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt flew to Morocco in December to discuss natural gas exports.

Climate policies will continue to shape the global energy system. U.S. leadership is indispensable to countering an anti-growth energy agenda that is detrimental to U.S. economic and energy security interests,” the security document reads. “The United States will remain a global leader in reducing traditional pollution, as well as greenhouse gases, while expanding its economy.”

“As a growing supplier of energy resources, technologies, and services around the world, the United States will help its allies and partners become more resilient against those that use energy to coerce,” the document adds. “America’s role as an energy exporter will also require an assessment of our vulnerabilities and a resilient American infrastructure.”

On the homefront, Trump already took steps to unravel Obama-era global warming and energy regulations.

Here are five main points listed in Trump’s “America First” energy strategy:

Reduce Barriers: The United States will promote clean and safe development of our energy resources, while limiting regulatory burdens that encumber energy production and constrain economic growth. We will streamline the Federal regulatory approval processes for energy infrastructure, from pipeline and export terminals to container shipments and gathering lines, while also ensuring responsible environmental stewardship.

Promote Exports: The United States will promote exports of its energy resources, technologies, and services, that help our allies and partners diversify energy sources and bring economic gains back home. The U.S. will expand export capacity through the continued support of private sector development of coastal terminals, allowing increased market access and a greater competitive edge for U.S. industries.

Ensure Energy Security: The United States will work with allies and partners to protect global energy infrastructure from cyber and physical threats. The United States will support the diversification of energy sources, supplies, and routes at home and abroad. The country will modernize strategic petroleum stocks and encourage other countries to develop their own — consistent with their national energy security needs.

Attain Universal Energy Access: The United States will seek to ensure universal access to affordable, reliable energy, including highly efficient fossil fuels, nuclear, and renewables, to help reduce poverty, foster economic growth, and promote prosperity.

Further America’s Technological Edge: The U.S. will improve America’s technological edge in energy, including nuclear technology, next-generation nuclear reactors, better batteries, advanced computing, carbon-capture technologies, and opportunities at the energy-water nexus. The United States will continue to lead in innovative and efficient energy technologies, recognizing the economic and environmental benefits to end users.
 

2) Trump To Remove Climate Change From List Of National Security Threats
Mollie Hemingway, The Federalist, 16 December 2017 

The Trump administration will reverse course from previous Obama administration policy, eliminating climate change from a list of national security threats.

The National Security Strategy to be released on Monday will emphasize the importance of balancing energy security with economic development and environmental protection, according to a source who has seen the document and shared excerpts of a late draft.

“Climate policies will continue to shape the global energy system,” a draft of the National Security Strategy slated to be released on Monday said. “U.S. leadership is indispensable to countering an anti-growth, energy agenda that is detrimental to U.S. economic and energy security interests. Given future global energy demand, much of the developing world will require fossil fuels, as well as other forms of energy, to power their economies and lift their people out of poverty.” […]

The draft of the National Security Strategy makes this approach policy, emphasizing national security and economic growth over climate change.

Full story
 

3) US Fuels The World As Shale Boom Powers Record Oil Exports
Bloomberg, 12 December 2017

Americans are expected to end the year pumping oil out of the ground at rates unseen since the early 1970s.

The world’s largest oil consumer exported more hydrocarbons than ever before in 2017 and shows no signs of slowing down.

You name it — crude oil, gasoline, diesel, propane and even liquefied natural gas — all were shipped abroad at a record pace. While the surge comes many years after the shale boom started, it can be traced straight back to the growth of horizontal drilling and fracking. U.S. exports are poised to expand even further, as the fear of peak oil supply has all but vanished just as a new demand threat emerges in the form of electric vehicles.

Crude Oil

Americans are expected to end the year pumping oil out of the ground at rates unseen since the early 1970s. More and more of it is going overseas, giving OPEC a headache as the group restrains its own output.

Last year the U.S. tested the export waters after a nearly four-decade-old ban was removed. But this year, purchases of U.S. light, sweet crude have skyrocketed as pipeline and dock infrastructure was built out and the wider price spread between Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude coaxed more cargoes abroad.

Canada, once the only regular buyer of U.S. crude, finds itself competing with refiners in Europe and Asia. China’s appetite for American oil is voracious: in April, China bought more than Canada did for the first time.

“It’s pretty amazing, really,” said Matt Smith, ClipperData LLC’s director of commodity research.

“You learn to never say never in this market.”

Of all the emerging trade flows this year, crude deliveries into Europe and Asia are most surprising, according to Smith. And if the price of European oil stays suspended into the New Year — a good possibility after the Forties oil pipeline was shut this week to repair a crack — U.S. exports will continue hold above 1 million barrels a day.

“The U.S. has fully integrated itself into the global market,” Smith said. “You have U.S. crude going into Europe, and European crude heading elsewhere because the U.S. is selling crude into its own backyard.”

Full story
 

4) Criminals, Crackpots And Extremists Have Poisoned Anti-Fracking Camp Protests
David Rose, Mail on Sunday, 17 December 2017

Anti-fracking protest camps in two areas of the country have been infiltrated by violent criminals, drug users, wild conspiracy theorists and ‘professional’ political activists, a Mail on Sunday investigation reveals today.

Policing the protesters, who frequently resort to ‘direct action’ such as blocking roads to hold up shale gas drilling, has cost local taxpayers almost £4 million this year and led to more than 400 arrests.

The protesters claim on their websites that they represent communities near the drilling sites and are protecting them from the dangers posed by fracking.
But analysis of those arrested shows only about a quarter had ever lived nearby until they joined the camps.

Many genuine locals – including those opposed to fracking – have vehemently condemned the protesters and the disruption their tactics cause.

At Kirby Misperton, near Malton in North Yorkshire, they have formed an anti-protester protest group, which already boasts more than 800 members.

And last week it emerged that on seven separate occasions, protesters in Lancashire made bogus 999 calls to the ambulance service, claiming they had been injured by police – but then refused to go to hospital, saying they were unhurt. Meanwhile, traffic chaos caused by protesters has delayed the response to genuine emergencies at least twice.

Full story
 

5) Green-Russian Anti-Fracking Campaign Paying Off As Britain Turns To Russian Gas
Russia Today, 14 December 2017

With gas supplies crippled amid a freezing winter by the shutdown of a major pipeline, the UK has apparently turned to a Russian project targeted by US sanctions, with reports indicating that a deal was struck for a shipment of gas by the end of December.



Some 170,000 cubic meters of liquefied natural gas (LNG) carried by the Christophe de Margerie ice-class tanker, the first vessel of the Novatek-operated Yamal project in the Arctic, has been bought by a British energy company. It is now heading to the Isle of Grain terminal in the UK, the Telegraph reported.

One of the largest Russian natural gas producers, Novatek, revealed Monday that the cargo was sold to Petronas LNG UK Limited (PLUK), the UK branch of Malaysia’s Petronas.

PLUK has a 50 percent stake in the Dragon LNG Terminal at Milford Haven, so that’s where the tanker could also be heading, S&P Global Platts reports. 
Novatek has so far issued no comment on the vessel’s ultimate destination.

As a deep freeze settles over Britain, the shutdown of the North Sea’s most important fuel transport route has left authorities in a precarious position. Ineos, a private company which owns a key refinery near Aberdeen, said it discovered a crack in a vital 42-year-old oil and gas pipeline, which will require at least two weeks’ maintenance work.

The disruption was compounded by an explosion at a major processing facility in Austria, the combination of which has caused wholesale gas prices to hit their highest level for six years, increasing by more than 50percent in the space of 24 hours.

To add to the problems, the Morecambe gas field in the Irish Sea is processing half its usual supply and there have also been stoppages in the Dutch and Norwegian operations that supply the UK’s energy needs.

And all this comes as temperatures in central England have plummeted to minus 13 degrees Celsius: almost 15 degrees chillier than the usual average December low.

All this come as British Prime Minister Theresa May has escalated her anti-Russian rhetoric in recent weeks, accusing Moscow of interfering in elections and looking to “weaponise information to challenge the West.” And the Conservative-led British government has been among the loudest voices calling for penalties and embargoes against Russia.

Ironically, the Christophe de Margerie which might now be carrying gas to the UK was loaded at the personal command of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Full story

see also 
Green-Russian anti-fracking campaigns


 

6) Old Coal Remains King In ‘Green’ Germany

Bloomberg, 18 December 2017 

For all the new wind parks, solar farms and hydro plants that will help Europe’s biggest economy generate yet another renewable energy record this year, the world’s dirtiest power fuel still rules in Germany and sets the price for how much factories are paying for electricity.

Wind turbines will this year for the first time produce more power than plants burning hard coal as the nation’s unprecedented shift toward renewable energy has pushed output from solar and wind to more than a third of the nation’s total. Yet, it is coal prices at their highest level since 2013 that’s pushing up electricity rates for the first time in six years because of the way the market works.

As coalition talks drag on a third month, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s bloc and its potential partners agree at least on one thing: coal power must be capped. Even after consumers have paid some 650 billion euros ($770 billion) in subsidies for everything from solar panels on roofs to offshore wind farms, grids and giant batteries, the nation is on course to miss its high-profile 2020 target for cutting carbon dioxide emissions. […]

Brown coal is still the nation’s biggest individual source of power, with fossil fuels making up almost half of the total. Nuclear’s share has halved to 10 percent since Merkel’s decision to exit atomic energy after the Fukushima disaster in Japan in 2011.

Full story
 

7) Grün? Nein Danke! Social-Democrats Should Focus Less On Climate Change, German Foreign Minister Says
Clean Energy Wire, 18 December 2017

Germany’s foreign minister and former SPD head Sigmar Gabriel says his party should focus less on environmental and climate protection and instead emphasise topics that concern its traditional voting bloc, such as industrial job security and upholding Germany’s cultural principles.



“We Social Democrats have often been culturally at ease in these post-modern liberal debates. Environment and climate protection have sometimes been more important to us than preserving industrial jobs, data protection more important than internal security,” Gabriel says in a guest article for Der Spiegel, according to a report on the magazine’s website. The SPD should rather focus on parts of society “who disagree with the post-modern slogan ‘anything goes’” and who “no longer feel at home, and sometimes even endangered”.

Full post


The London-based Global Warming Policy Forum is a world leading think tank on global warming policy issues. The GWPF newsletter is prepared by Director Dr Benny Peiser - for more information, please visit the website at www.thegwpf.com.

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