Ministry of Foreign Affairs calls on U.S. for shale gas supplies in connection with crisis in Ukraine

On Saturday, March 9, 2014 the server Novinky.cz reported that ambassadors from the V4 (Czech Rep., Poland, Slovakia and Hungary) in connection with the crisis in Ukraine and on the initiative of the V4 Presidency wrote a letter to John Boehner, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives on Friday, March 7, 2014 requesting support for the rapid export of gas: “U.S. natural gas would be very welcome in Central and Eastern Europe,” it states. Obviously it’s about shale gas.

All this in a situation where the EU expects no interruptions in gas supplies from Russia via Ukraine!

COMMENT by Coalition STOP HF (CSHF): CSHF strongly disagrees with this step! This does not mean that we want gas from Russia and not the U.S. The coalition supports the retreat from fossil fuels in general. Their extraction is harmful everywhere. We reject this request because hydraulic fracturing of shale is the worst method of extracting hydrocarbons ever to see the light of day anywhere on the planet.

We reject this request because we do not agree with the U.S.’s fracking on 30% of its territory (or anywhere else)! Nature suffers, the water is polluted by toxins and radioactivity, and the number of sick people and mortality increases. The deadly trail of slate gas extraction destroys drinking water and kills more people than conventional drilling and threatens future generations. It is a threat to the national security of states where it is used, and is in fact a crime of epic proportions that accelerates climate change! Shale drilling must be rejected worldwide. It doesn’t matter whether it’s done by Gazprom or Chevron! It is wrong. A world without fracking is the only good solution. If you could choose between two bad solutions (between unconventional and conventional drilling), it is clear that conventional drilling has a smaller environmental footprint, causes less damage to the health of people on the planet, and so it is undisputed that unconventional drilling must be rejected under all circumstances, everywhere. Politicians should quickly start to respect these higher ethical principles of protecting planet Earth. Money and business are secondary.

We can understand the request the Foreign Ministry as a request to kill innocent Americans so that we can stay warm by the fireplace! It is a moral sewer!

If the United States complied and started importing shale gas, every expert knows that this would be utopia. How could we keep a clear conscience if the CR rightly rejects exploration and drilling? How much hypocrisy does the Foreign Ministry have? And could we, after hypothetically accepting shale gas, continue to claim that we do not want shale gas?

The world is already so damaged and is so small that damaging nature and people in the U.S. or elsewhere is damaging to our nature and our health. We cannot be indifferent and must refuse the ruptured oil pipeline of Gazprom in Russia, the gasification of coal seams in Australia, the Alberta Tar Sands in Canada, etc.

The letter further states: “Gas competition is a vital aspect of our national security and the key to safeguarding U.S. interests in the region.”

CSHF: Ensuring U.S. interests where? In the V4, or even in Ukraine? And what U.S. interests? Economic or interests in democracy?

What are the ambassadors actually writing about? Who prepared such a vague text? It is clear to those who know the situation that the V4 is requesting the impossible. Despite the promises of the shale lobby in recent years even in the Czech Republic and the EU as a whole, that shale gas will be exported massively from the U.S., only four licenses have been granted so far and not a single terminal for LNG is standing. Gas will certainly not come to the EU if it cannot compete with an improved network of sellers of oil and gas from eastern countries, which moreover can always make it cheaper, while costly trans-oceanic transport cannot be made cheaper. Gas from the east, provided there is enough, will always be cheaper for the EU than from the U.S. And most importantly, shale gas is rapidly depleting. Obviously much faster than conventional sources, though they are also running out. It is therefore far more appropriate today to aim for independence from fossil fuels, which some states are already applying or are approaching.

The article further states: “There has also been unsubstantiated speculation that the Ukrainian crisis was artificially induced precisely in order to open up the European market to cheap American gas and thus weaken Russia.”

COMMENT by CSHF: There was just speculation? Certainly cheaper shale gas from the U.S. is speculation for the EU (after LPG tankers cross the ocean). The leaked British government document (we wrote earlier) clearly shows that the V4 systematically and on the basis of classified cooperation undermines the tightening of the EIA process in the EU, which CSHF together with MEP Pavel Poc helped to pursue. Didn’t the V4 pursue the interests of the U.S. and the shale lobby of the country which in the past two years attacked the EU in an attempt not only to explore and drill shale, but also to export its dirty technology here? And the same efforts to mitigate laws to protect the environment from the same people apply to the oil and shale lobby in the U.S. today. On its list of paid lobbyists is the same John Boehner, congressman for Ohio, where frackers over the last decade have paid over 700 million dollars in Ohio(!) to eliminate government efforts to reduce fracking. Mr. Boehner, an adherent of Bush, is furthermore the best paid lobbyist through shale in the U.S. House of Representatives! He is paid by the company Oil and Gas, which operates among other places in Poland! And he was the one who received the letter from Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and Czech Republic. Coincidence?

How can the Czech Republic request such assistance as stated above? Where is the Foreign Ministry’s mandate for such negotiations? Did the Foreign Minister consult the Trade Ministry and the Environment Ministry? And why did it do this right now? Does the Foreign Ministry really intend to advocate as part of “energy security of the State” for the CR to receive expensive shale gas from the U.S.? Is it just the stupidity of V4 officials, or do bold gifts from the Bahamas appear in their bank accounts?

Some answers can be found in the Washington Post of March 6, 2014.

Here Mr. Boehner even criticizes “the Obama administration’s slow process of granting licenses for the export of LNG, which supposedly allows Putin to achieve his geopolitical goals” (are we to understand that at the expense of U.S. geopolitical goals which the context indicates that this is also about Ukraine?). It is probably not surprising to see a “typo” in the V4’s request for U.S. gas, where the letter calls for the fulfillment of “safeguarding the interests of the United States (sic!) in the area.” There is perhaps speculation that Mr. Boehner in the service of oil corporations has such influence that he ordered the letter in the V4 or he was ordered directly by the corporations themselves in the V4!? That would be another side of the coin, advantageous only for the U.S. oil/shale lobby. The PR campaign in the U.S. would then be: “See how in these unstable times our gas is needed. We will drill in the interest of democracy, and so we must also take some victims ..”

For completeness, we should add that former Prime Minister Rusnok had a secret agreement with Polish Prime Minister Tusk where Poland was to support the development of the core here and the Czech Republic was to support the development of shale in Poland. How and from whom did former Prime Minister Rusnok have the mandate to try to find out?

And we repeat, the whole shale situation started in Europe with the visit of U.S. President Barack Obama to Poland (Poland was considered a testing site to test the possibilities to penetrate the EU) in 2011, when his shale “advisors” started off in Central Europe and held secret meetings to launch the shale campaign. In the Czech Republic, a secret meeting was held in Prague. (Http://www.datex.cz/clanek_110802_4.htm)

Another interesting link to the Washington Post on the situation in Ukraine relating to this issue is here:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/03/07/boehners-plan-to-save-ukraine-its-full-of-gas/

We believe that the “Ukraine affair” is different than the mainstream media-generated images. Certainly part, and perhaps most of the public in Ukraine and beyond believe they are making a (legitimate) revolution. But for the reading of our shale gas affair, where we still retain an apolitical perspective (without favoritism to west or east) and we try to investigate the truth, a different picture emerges. It looks like this:

Mr. Boehner is probably more than just Speaker of the House of Representatives. Yes, he is certainly interested in “solving” and “rescuing” the situation in Ukraine, as is clear from our cited sources. His efforts to export U.S. gas to Europe are so great that even encourages what some American media labeled as “teleportation” of shale gas, because so far there is not a single LNG terminal standing and the first LNG terminal, if built, will not be completed until 2015. And it will be used, as it seems in the already concluded contracts, once such a large investment is assessed. One of the major questions is whether the interest of Mr. Boehner can be reconciled with democratic principles or whether it is simply an economic war that is now shrouded in fine PR terms like “geopolitical influence.” As pure speculation, which we allow ourselves in two years of completely serious journalism, there is the question whether Mr. Boehner was not one of those who planned the conflict in Ukraine in advance or if he knew that such a plan existed. We must ask this question no matter how unpleasant or how it shakes our confidence in American democracy with regard to the export of hydraulic fracturing of shale from the U.S. to the world. This export has already registered so many dirty tricks that our question is not surprising but is unfortunately forced by the necessity of the unfair practices of the shale lobby.

The question we ought to pose and explore in the interest of the health of millions of people in Ukraine (and around the world regarding the export of this extremely dangerous technology which Mr. Boehner undoubtedly approves), where American companies have already begun exploratory work by hydraulic fracturing (Chevron, known for its violations of human rights and laws in Poland and elsewhere, and the second company is Exxon) in two of the most populous parts of Ukraine (sic!). Mr. Boehner should explain what the oil companies are actually paying for. And we ask these questions to the U.S. Congress and its boss.

And the most important question at the end. Isn’t this situation a classic example of the regular failure of democracy when politicians, subsidized by industry, do anything to not lose their fat bank accounts?

All these facts are of great interest to us and we will monitor them.

The entire article is here:

http://www.novinky.cz/zahranicni/evropa/329797-cr-a-dalsi-zeme-visegradske-ctyrky-zadaji-po-usa-dodavky-bridlicoveho-plynu.html

Who is John Bohner and his contributions from the oil (and shale) lobby:

http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/summary.php?cid=N00003675

http://www.commoncause.org/site/pp.asp?c=dkLNK1MQIwG&b=7831813

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Posted in News, News Europe, News North America

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