published Monday, March 17th, 2014

Smith: America’s choice: Push for energy independence

The Russian “invasion” of Crimea has caused an international stir with world leaders calling for economic sanctions and a demand for the withdrawal of military forces.

Vladimir Putin, president of Russia, has lived up to his narcissistic, KGB-rooted reputation by placing thousands of soldiers on the border of his nation’s neighbor to the west, Ukraine, and occupying airports and other key locations on the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea, situated as a key hub in the Black Sea.

At the center of all of this lies the economic struggle over natural resources for energy and the staging of Russia’s military in a strategic location.

The Black Sea is home to massive oil and natural gas exploration activities. Ukraine wants to become more self-reliant in its energy production, but Russia still supplies more than 50 percent of the region’s oil and gas demands.

Wow. What a concept — reduce dependency on hostile nations!

It seems that Putin’s taking advantage of Barack Obama on the foreign policy front and is destroying “successful democratic undertakings in the post-Soviet space,” as noted in the New Republic’s March 11 article on the Kremlin’s tactics in the region.

A $750 million drilling project is in immediate danger just 50 miles off the Crimean coast, according to the March 10 Bloomberg Report. The plans to drill two wells that received permits from Kiev, the Ukrainian capital, may be void with Russia’s apparent success in wrestling Crimea from the Ukraine government.

How does this even remotely concern anyone in our area?

Have you noticed the cost of gas and petroleum products increasing lately? Are you experiencing increases in natural gas prices?

Funny how those pesky natural resources keep resurfacing in the international security picture.

The madness of America’s costs lies in Washington in the hands of a political agenda that ignores reality.

The fatigue of war and fighting, combined with the centuries-long hatred between countries in the Middle East, entangles America in large part because of our energy partners. Now, Russia pushes itself to center stage through its disruption of a global energy market, with the impact felt here at home.

I was able to pump gas for $2.90 per gallon just weeks ago but now am paying $3.23 per gallon at the same station for regular unleaded.

Due to drilling advances and the use of hydraulic fracturing, the U.S. could be independent of foreign sources of oil and natural gas.

As of last month, Russia was ranked No. 1 in fossil fuel reserves, Iran No. 2, Venezuela No. 3, Saudi Arabia No. 4, the United States No. 5, Canada No. 6, and Iraq No. 7, with China closing out the top 10, according to Business Insider.

Yet, the approval of the Keystone Pipeline sits dormant. Filed in September 2008 during the last days of the Bush White House, the necessary infrastructure to join our neighbors in Canada to harness the natural resources of North America to cut the economic hold of rogue and unstable nations over our economy is being intentionally delayed by the Obama administration.

In making the deliberate decision to stall and impede exploration, the left panders to the extreme environmentalists by continuing higher fuel costs, in preventing job creation and, sadly, the enslavement of our nation by foreign interests.

Benjamin Franklin’s quote applies to those “leading” America’s energy policy: “We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.”

Robin Smith served as chairwoman of the Tennessee Republican Party, 2007 to 2009. She is a partner at the SmithWaterhouse Strategies business development and strategic planning firm and serves on Tennessee’s Economic Council on Women.

Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
nucanuck said...

Robin must have missed the part about the US meddling in the illegal coup in Ukraine that set off the call from Crimeans for union with Russia. Russia was glad to oblige and may well end up with Eastern Ukraine depending on the response of the largely Russian population in the region.

The twenty year effort by the US to pry Ukraine away from Russia's sphere of influence seems to have turned into a major geopolitical blunder on the part of the US and the EU. The Black Sea oil and gas drilling rights will now likely go to Russian companies and Ukraine no longer has a good port with access to the Black Sea.

Robin also shows that she is OK with the dirtiest fossil fuel of all, tar sands oil and she does want to help Canada market their tar sands oil overseas, the environment be damned. Funniest of all, she thinks that the US can become oil and gas independent with the right policies. She must be living proof of the Ben Franklin quote in her closing, because that fairy tale is ignorance persisted in!

March 17, 2014 at 12:42 a.m.

There you again, "dirtiest". Add that to "raping mother earth", "sodomizing mother earth" and other emotionally charged phrases. We do a great job with the environment in this country.

March 17, 2014 at 9:01 a.m.
nucanuck said...

The rape term I used came from a prior poster from yesterday's cartoon. The sodomy comment must have come from another, I didn't see it.

The US uses approximately five times the amount of natural resources that could be sustained if each earth resident used the same. If you call that doing a great job with the environment, you must be one twisted puppy.

Do you have any relevant observations about the above editorial or are you just flexing your lack of general information?

March 17, 2014 at 10:22 a.m.
PlainTruth said...

nuc: how many of these forums across the nation do you subscribe to?

March 17, 2014 at 10:50 a.m.
GaussianInteger said...

Truth, was that question so important that you had to post it in two different threads?

March 17, 2014 at 1:25 p.m.
Plato said...

Here is a direct quote from Philip K. Verleger, a noted oil economist:

“Overall, the (Keystone) pipeline will have no impact on prices consumers pay. None. The reason is that the products produced from the crude will be sold into the world market -- exported -- if prices fall below world levels,” he said in an email. “This means that consumers outside the Midwest will get no benefit from the line while consumers in the upper Midwest may pay more.” source - WaPost

The Pipeline is a great deal for TransCanada and the Texas refineries but there is absolutely no benefit to the public except for a few thousand temporary construction jobs it would create. The downside is, it's being built over the largest aquifer in the country that serves much of the heartland (farm belt) if a significant leak occurred and contaminated the water supply there it would be an economic and environmental catastrophe for which there would be no solution.

I realize that we have to trade some risks for rewards. I live very close to a nuclear power plant. It could have a breach someday but I think the risk is very small compared to the reward of living where I live. But in the case of Keystone, I just don't think the reward justifies the risk.

March 17, 2014 at 7:32 p.m.
Hunter_Bluff said...

Robin, What on Earth are you talking about? Markets are set by supply/demand. The USA can't move world oil prices unless we swamp the world with our oil. To what point? Or we can close our markets to the rest of the world and rely on our own supply. This winter we had shortages of natural gas - a substance we're supposed to absolutely awash in. But the first tiniest spike and we're short. Does that sound like a good idea?

And what in God's name does this 8th grade level writing mean?

READ THIS BREATHLESSLY JUST AS ROBIN DID..........A $750 million drilling project is in immediate danger just 50 miles off the Crimean coast, according to the March 10 Bloomberg Report. The plans to drill two wells that received permits from Kiev, the Ukrainian capital, may be void with Russia’s apparent success in wrestling Crimea from the Ukraine government. Why Robin - Why should we give a rip?

March 17, 2014 at 10:52 p.m.
please login to post a comment

videos »         

photos »         

e-edition »


Find a Business

400 East 11th St., Chattanooga, TN 37403
General Information (423) 756-6900
Copyright, Permissions, Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, Ethics policy - Copyright ©2014, Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc. All rights reserved.
This document may not be reprinted without the express written permission of Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc.