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Windfall, by Meghan O’Sullivan
Windfall: How the New Energy Abundance Upends Global Politics and Strengthens America’s Power, by Meghan L O’Sullivan, Simon and Schuster $29.00

the shale revolution has meant the US has become a leading global oil producer and net exporter of natural gas. Extraction from shale rock has upended global oil and gas markets, but could also have geopolitical ramifications. For most of the 20th century, western powers were locked in a scramble for oil across the globe. So what happens when technology unlocks substantial supply on home turf?

According to Meghan O’Sullivan, a professor at the Harvard Kennedy School, the answer is a geopolitical shift that should benefit the US. She provides a powerful argument for how America should capitalize on the “New Energy Abundance”. Having a domestic supply of oil and gas not only strengthens the US economy, it can also provide leverage globally......US gas has transferred low prices to Europe and also offers an alternative source of supply. That “has helped make Europe less vulnerable to one of Russia’s longstanding foreign policy tools — the political manipulation of natural gas markets”, O’Sullivan writes......the book details the benefits to US “hard” as well as “soft” power,....It will not lead to reduced US involvement in the Middle East, .....Nor can the US ever be self-sufficient to provide all the oil it needs,.....The book points out that energy is likely to be a major future determinant of geopolitics....China’s One Belt One Road project shows Xi Jinping’s intent to change the strategic orientation of the Eurasian landmass......a challenge to O’Sullivan’s thesis is that renewables and electric vehicles could drive seismic shifts. If China becomes the Saudi Arabia of batteries, will this give it greater influence? What about those who control the raw materials needed, from lithium to cobalt? O’Sullivan hints at this in her introduction, saying we should expect renewables “eventually to have major repercussions for global politics”. These could include cartels around lithium or the state collapse of some oil producers.
nonfiction  books  fracking  energy  natural_gas  soft_power  policy_tools  shale_oil  hydraulic_fracturing  pipelines  oil_industry  geopolitics  renewable  electric_cars  batteries  One_Belt_One_Road  Xi_Jinping 
december 2017 by jerryking
Bret Stephens: The Marvel of American Resilience - WSJ
By BRET STEPHENS
Dec. 22, 2014

Innovation depends less on developing specific ideas than it does on creating broad spaces. Autocracies can always cultivate their chess champions, piano prodigies and nuclear engineers; they can always mobilize their top 1% to accomplish some task. The autocrats’ quandary is what to do with the remaining 99%. They have no real answer, other than to administer, dictate and repress.

A free society that is willing to place millions of small bets on persons unknown and things unseen doesn’t have this problem. Flexibility, not hardness, is its true test of strength. Success is a result of experiment not design. Failure is tolerable to the extent that adaptation is possible.
resilience  Bret_Stephens  hydraulic_fracturing  flexibility  experimentation  failure  adaptability  autocracies  strengths  innovation  risk-taking  Cambrian_explosion 
december 2014 by jerryking
It’s a big fracking world out there, and people are getting angry - The Globe and Mail
Jun. 21 2013 | The Globe and Mail | By Shawn McCarthy who reviews The Power Surge: Energy, Opportunity and the Battle for America’s Future
by Author Michael Levi.

Levi suggests a grand bargain: Environmentalists should focus less on “stopping things” and more on building support for legislation that will create incentives to cut consumption of coal, oil and, eventually, natural gas. Industry should encourage market-based incentives to reduce carbon emissions and accept reasonable regulation, even as they pursue greater domestic oil and gas production.


Published Friday, , 12:00 AM EDT

Last updated Friday, Jun. 21 2013,
energy  book_reviews  books  natural_gas  natural_resources  fracking  shale_oil  hydraulic_fracturing  pipelines  oil_industry 
june 2013 by jerryking
No to Keystone. Yes to Crazy. - NYTimes.com
By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN
Published: March 9, 2013

If Keystone gets approved, environmentalists should have a long shopping list ready, starting with a price signal that discourages the use of carbon-intensive fuels in favor of low-carbon energy. Nothing would do more to clean our air, drive clean-tech innovation, weaken petro-dictators and reduce the deficit than a carbon tax.... Finally, the president could make up for Keystone by introducing into the public discourse the concept of “natural infrastructure,” argues Mark Tercek, the president and chief executive of The Nature Conservancy, and the co-author of “Nature’s Fortune: How Business and Society Thrive by Investing in Nature.”

“Forests, wetlands and other ecosystems are nature’s infrastructure for controlling floods, supplying water, and doing other things we need to adapt to climate change.
Tom_Friedman  climate_change  books  nature  hydraulic_fracturing  petro-dictators  petro-politics  natural_gas  Keystone_XL  pricing  carbon_tax  public_discourse  natural_infrastructure 
march 2013 by jerryking
True innovation doesn’t flow from a pipeline
Feb. 22 2013 | The Globe and Mail |Konrad Yakabuski.

... If the oil companies can’t ship raw Canadian resources using that 150-year-old technology, they will rely on an even older one – rail. And if not rail, they might just float their bitumen on barges down the Mississippi.

Huckleberry Finn might have marvelled at this inventiveness, but it doesn’t quite cut it as a 21st-century national strategy for wealth creation. Yet our frantic obsession with exporting minimally processed bitumen is sucking up all the oxygen in the national conversation. Getting Alberta’s oil to market is “the most important economic issue” facing the country, says former federal cabinet minister Jim Prentice. There is “no more critical issue facing Canada today,” adds Enbridge chief executive Al Monaco.

In fact, the most critical issue facing Canada today may just be figuring out why we find ourselves in this situation. Raw resources can be a tremendous source of income, but they are volatile, and we’ve always known that overreliance on them is a recipe for economic stuntedness. As Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney says: “Real wealth is built through innovation.”

Innovation is not wholly absent from Canada’s oil patch. But it’s hardly a first line of business. You’d think it would be a top priority, given the vexatious characteristics of Alberta bitumen, the oil sands’ distressing environmental footprint and the Canadian industry’s growing global image problem. Even in boom times, however, the Canadian oil and gas industry spends a piddling proportion of its revenues on research and development......Last week, PricewaterhouseCoopers predicted that the coming boom in global shale oil production could slash the price of crude by $50 (U.S.) a barrel over the next two decades. “One effect will be to cut the need for expensive, environmentally destructive extraction techniques like the Arctic and tar sands,” the head of PwC’s oil and gas team told Reuters.... the real issue facing Ontario is its failure to make the shift from making low-tech goods to advanced manufacturing, the only kind that can support middle-class wages. Governments have showered the industry with tens of billions of dollars trying to make Canadian firms more innovative, to little avail. Cash-strapped and fed up, federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty slashed R&D tax credits in last year’s budget. The result will be even less innovation, as domestic companies cut back and foreign-owned firms shift R&D elsewhere.

“Canada’s problem,” says Robert Atkinson, the author of Innovation Economics, “is that it’s not Germany, which has a much better engineering innovation system, and it’s not the U.S., which has a very good system of science-based entrepreneurship. You’re mediocre in both.”
Keystone_XL  pipelines  crossborder  oil_industry  Mark_Carney  Ontario  innovation  oil_patch  wealth_creation  books  natural_gas  natural_resources  fracking  shale_oil  hydraulic_fracturing  Konrad_Yakabuski  oil_sands  complacency  mediocrity  commodities  volatility  cash-strapped  national_strategies  environmental_footprint  science-based 
march 2013 by jerryking
China needs West's energy know-how, not resources
November 16, 2012 | Reuters | Christopher Swan.

A change in tactic could smooth China's path. The country has plenty of its own hydrocarbons and lacks only the know-how to extract them. In fact, at about 36 trillion cubic metres, China's shale gas reserves are estimated by the U.S. government to be 50 per cent larger than those of the United States. Acquiring services and technology companies would help increase domestic output.

Targeting a giant like Halliburton might stir the same sort of resistance China experiences now. There are, however, plenty of smaller rivals that probably wouldn't.
China  CNOOC  Halliburton  mergers_&_acquisitions  M&A  nationalism  shale_oil  hydraulic_fracturing  backlash  protectionism  economic_nationalism  knowledge 
december 2012 by jerryking
Struggle for Water in Colorado With Rise in Fracking
A race for water is rippling through the drought-scorched heartland, pitting farmers against oil and gas interests that use the water-intensive hydraulic fracturing process.
Hydraulic_Fracturing  Natural_Gas  Anadarko_Petroleum_Corp|APC|NYSE  Water  from google
september 2012 by joewiz
Taking One for the Country - NYTimes.com
By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN
Published: June 30, 2012

"I found myself applauding for Chief Justice Roberts the same way I did for Al Gore when he gracefully bowed to the will of the Supreme Court in the 2000 election and the same way I do for those wounded warriors — and for the same reason: They each, in their own way, took one for the country.

To put it another way, Roberts undertook an act of statesmanship for the national good by being willing to anger his own “constituency” on a very big question. But he also did what judges should do: leave the big political questions to the politicians. The equivalent act of statesmanship on the part of our politicians now would be doing what Roberts deferred to them as their responsibility: decide the big, hard questions, with compromises, for the national good. Otherwise, we’re doomed to a tug of war on the deck of the Titanic, no matter what health care plan we have. "...Our newfound natural gas bounty can give us long-term access to cheap, cleaner energy and, combined with advances in robotics and software, is already bringing blue-collar manufacturing back to America. Web-enabled cellphones and tablets are creating vast new possibilities to bring high-quality, low-cost education to every community college and public school so people can afford to acquire the skills to learn 21st-century jobs. Cloud computing is giving anyone with a creative spark cheap, powerful tools to start a company with very little money. And dramatically low interest rates mean we can borrow to build new infrastructure — and make money.
Tom_Friedman  John_Roberts  U.S._Supreme_Court  judges  statesmanship  hydraulic_fracturing  natural_gas  cloud_computing  smartphones  robotics  software  interest_rates  infrastructure  automation  constituencies  low-interest  compromise  blue-collar  manufacturers  politicians  hard_questions  high-quality 
july 2012 by jerryking
WSJ: Galleon and the Trouble With Insider Trading
Jan/Feb 2010 | The Corporate Board | Andy Kessler.

Information now travels at the speed of light. The edge to human traders
is mostly gone, arbitraged out by fast computers.
Near-term blips in stocks will always be driven by those with industry
contacts, legal or illegal. The only way to truly beat the market long
term is to use your head, think out long-term trends, figure out where
productivity and therefore wealth is being created in the economy,
and invest alongside it. This might include investing in wireless commerce, gigabit broadband, personalized prescription drugs, oil shale extraction, or electric smart grids that can better allocate power to where it is needed.
**********************************************************************
[January 06, 2020 |WSJ| Tech Will Rule These ’20s, Too by Andy Kessler]
So what’s next? My fundamental rule for finding growth trends is that you need to see viable technologies today, and then predict which ones will get cheaper and better over time. Microprocessors, storage, bandwidth—all still going strong after half a century.
2020s  alpha  Andy_Kessler  arbitrage  beat_the_market  broadband  commoditization_of_information  hydraulic_fracturing  ideas  insider_trading  JCK  long-term  personalization  power_grid  productivity  productivity_payoffs  Raj_Rajaratnam  shale_oil  smart_grid  strategic_thinking  technology  traders  trends  trend_spotting  wealth_creation 
june 2011 by jerryking
NYTimes 20090617 - Estimate Puts Natural Gas Reserves 35% Higher
Thanks to new drilling technologies that are unlocking substantial amounts of natural gas from shale rocks, the nation’s estimated gas reserves have surged by 35 percent, according to a study by the Potential Gas Committee. Estimated natural gas reserves rose to 2,074 trillion cubic feet in 2008, from 1,532 trillion cubic feet in 2006, when the last report was issued. This includes the proven reserves compiled by the Energy Department of 237 trillion cubic feet, as well as the sum of the nation’s probable, possible and speculative reserves. Much of that jump comes from estimated gas in shale rocks, which drilling companies have only recently learned how to tap. That the nation’s gas reserves were bigger than expected does not mean they will necessarily be developed. Gas prices needed to be around $4 to $6 per thousand cubic feet to justify developing shale beds.
energy  natural_gas  gas_reserves  hydraulic_fracturing 
july 2009 by mjaniec

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