Monday, October 7, 2013

Naturally Changing the World Balance of Power

America's "gas revolution," combined with stepped up domestic oil production could undermine a US foreign rival.

After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Russia relied heavily on its natural gas production to rebuild its economy.  By the ascension of Vladimir Putin to the presidency, Russian dominance in gas production helped to steady its economy while Europe, Japan, and the United States experienced uncertainty.

Gas revenues helped Russia to rebuild its state and military over the past decade, but the country's inability to diversify its economy could lead to disaster.

Europe for decades relied heavily on gas exports from first the USSR, then Russia, to help satisfy its energy needs.  Now, as Washington Free Beacon reports, a sudden upwelling of gas exports from the United States has forced prices to drop worldwide.  Russia feels the pinch as their gas revenues decline.

The IMf, according to the story, revised down its estimates for Russian economic growth in 2014.  Though three percent still qualifies as fairly robust, it pales in comparison to the expected seven.

All this comes as the federal government considers dropping many of the remaining gas export restrictions.  This could help to open the markets in South Central Asia as well as Europe, hurting Iranian exports as well as Russia.

A hundred years ago, President William Howard Taft pioneered "dollar diplomacy."  He tried to use US economic power instead of force in pushing other states to act more in line with American interests.  The US has been stung many times by energy diplomacy from Russia and the Middle East.  Increasing output, raising exports, and becoming self-sufficient is the right call for US jobs and national security

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