sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Friday, December 7, 2018

Energy Dominance

On December 6, 2018, the US Geological SurveySummary announced an assessment of continuous oil and gas in Texas and New Mexico's Delaware Basin. It is the largest USGS has ever conducted, with an estimate of 46.3 billion barrels of oil and 281 trillion cubic feet of natural gas

The Wolfcamp Shale and overlying Bone Spring Formation in the Delaware Basin portion of Texas and New Mexico's Permian Basin province contain a lot of energy that is just waiting to be extracted. It means that American energy dominance is within our grasp. Infrastructure needs to be built, refineries need to be built, and government needs to get out of the way and allow industry to do what they do, safely and with an eye toward protecting the environment.

This could be bad news for the Middle East because US/Canada could be the new OPEC. It is clearly horrible news for Russia because they had entertained hope that one day THEY would be able to set the price of crude oil - and change the mandatory exchange currency from dollars to rubles. If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.

The new oil field will produce many tens of thousands of dollars of jobs in the US and will lead to trillions in profit (and taxes for the US Treasury). I've often said that oil is the American escape clause for the massive and increasing national debt. I still believe that could be possible but it's impossible to implement with a government intent on growing larger and spending more.

The location of that much energy under the ground in America's heartland means that it is local, easy to access and easy to defend.

Will the Marshall Islands be the Next Chinese Outpost?

It's December 7, and for many of the old silverbacks who haunt this blog, it brings to mind the dastardly and unprovoked attack at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii in 1941. Never forget. Never EVER. So, I asked myself as I sit a couple of miles from Pearl Harbor this week, what I could blog about that would be significant for this day, near this hallowed ground?

On December 7, we were not prepared as the Empire of Japan annexed everything in its path and folded it into the Greater Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. Does that sound somehow familiar in 2018? Maybe it should. Consider this dear readers, as my cautionary note.

It's no secret that China wants to make the entire Pacific Ocean part of the Middle Kingdom. The Marshall Islands would seem to a focus of ambitious efforts.

A little background: The US government formed the Congress of Micronesia in 1965, a plan for increased self-governance of Pacific islands. The Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands in 1979 provided independence to the Marshall Islands.

More on current background here, at Asia Times. The article may not be up for long so I'll excerpt it, below.
Marshall Islands President Hilda Heine has accused “Chinese interests” of trying to force her from office after her administration refused to back plans to establish an investment haven in the central Pacific country 
...Eight senators behind the no-confidence vote cited the planned introduction of a state-backed cryptocurrency, known as the “sovereign”, that they said risked harming the country’s image and making the nation a potential hub for money laundering and terrorist financing.
The International Monetary Fund has said the cryptocurrency’s introduction puts the country in “uncharted waters” and raises the risk of losing its correspondent banking relationship with the US dollar. 
The currency will now be introduced, but Heine said it wasn’t the main issue. “Really the vote of no-confidence is about the so-called Rongelap Atoll Special Administrative Region, or RASA scheme, which is an effort by certain foreign interests to take control of one of our atolls and turn it into a country within our own country,” she told Radio New Zealand.
Ceng Xian Xi (also known as "Steve"), CEO of The Buffalo Group, which operates out of Thailand as a cat's paw for the Chinese central government is said to be behind much of the effort. He, and his employee, Marcus Maher, an Australian are alleged by some of their former associates to be key in this effort to turn former US Territory into a Chinese satrap.  Ceng Xian Xi (Steve) holds both Chinese and US Citizenship.
Again citing the Asia Times article: Located southwest of Hawaii, home to key US military installations, the country’s 1,200 islands are also close to key central Pacific shipping routes. 
Chinese military analysts have said that China wants a base in the area. Australian media reported in April that China and Vanuatu had engaged in preliminary discussions about China building a permanent military base on the South Pacific island nation. 
China has defended its push into the Pacific, which it says is driven by “friendship and cooperation” with the island nations. “No country should try to obstruct the friendship and cooperation… China has no intention to touch the cheese of any country, instead China is committed to make the pie of cooperation larger,” said Chinese Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Zheng Zeguang, according to news reports.
About six months ago, Marcus Maher, acting on behalf of Ceng Xian Xi, approached my company to ask for assistance in furthering their scheme and advancing the Chinese effort. We declined. There was information in the press that concerned us. You can read more about the politics that HERE at China Daily. We conduct serious due diligence before taking on a client/customer and disturbing information about kidnapping Chinese citizens in Thailand, for ransom was made by at least one former employee of The Buffalo Group. It became readily apparent to me that Chinese efforts politically subvert the Marshall Islands so that the nation would "embrace China" were underway. 
There is huge (nearly unlimited) funding behind the effort, some of it put up by Bai Shi Yuan, said to be one of the wealthiest men in China. An ambitious and expansionist China certainly would offer additional patronage and nearly unlimited funding to gain control of the Marshall Islands, and a center piece in the Central Pacific. 
If they are not stopped, China will eventually pay enough money to overwhelm the island nation and will take control of it "by peaceful means". Military (friendship) bases will be established to "protect the Marshall Islands". It's the Chinese vision. It's why China is expanding its navy. It's imperialism on a grand scale. It's an extension of their Belt Road Initiative. 

I've discussed this with friends at the US State Department, but they have much bigger fish to fry, and there's a trade deal to be concluded.

Submitted for your consideration on December 7.