During the recent Presidential elections much was made about how the US economy could drill its way to a more secure energy future. December’s issue of the Journal of Energy Security throws a damper on this notion with some clear-headed if not sobering analysis of just how far US domestic oil and gas drilling can really take us. While this stark, apolitical analysis is not music to the ears it may be just what the doctor ordered to catalyze realistic political debate in the new Obama administration for arranging the hard policy choices needed for securing America’s energy future.
On August 4, 2007 a submarine planted a rust-proof Russian titanium flag on the bed of the Arctic sea-floor. As the Arctic ice melts, countries are competing for what is believed to be vast reserves of oil and natural gas hidden beneath this icy core. The big-boy on this block, Canada not Russia, must deal with competition over these resources and how it impacts on its own national security. Balancing domestic considerations over energy, the environment, and the rights of Canada’s Arctic indigenous peoples is but the tip of this melting iceberg in this first analysis of Canadian Arctic energy security from a Canadian intelligence perspective.
Remiss it would certainly be to ignore the implications of the global financial meltdown on energy markets and supply security. As the world’s largest non-OPEC oil producer, economic calamity is particularly egregious for Russian oil output and its stalled gas industry aka Gazprom. The stakes are high for import dependent European Union member states and others in Russia’s neighborhood. So here we take a look. And if this wasn’t enough, in October Russia, Iran and Qatar announced their intention to coordinate "gas policy." The Journal of Energy Security offers two views on this development from Ariel Cohen at Washington’s venerable Heritage Foundation and from Warren Wilczewski with the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs who believes the muscle behind a pending "Gas Troika" is but a lot of hot air. Finally, we are interested in your thoughts and suggestions for our coverage of global energy security issues. Letters to the editor are welcome and warmly encouraged.