KEYWORDS TODAY: Crimea
From National Public Radio in US (story by Christopher Werth):
Title of story: Seeking Energy Independence, Europe Faces Heated Fracking Debate
While watching the turmoil in Ukraine unfold, you may feel as though it has little to do with the United States, but the conflict is stirring a contentious debate in Europe over a topic familiar to many Americans: fracking.
Much of the continent depends on Russian natural gas that flows through pipelines in Ukraine. European countries are asking themselves whether to follow the U.S. example and drill for shale gas. While France and Bulgaria have even banned fracking.
U.S. natural gas prices have fallen to as little as a quarter of those in Europe as a result of shale gas. That raises big concerns over the competitiveness of European companies, Lee says.
A more pressing worry, however, is energy security. On the whole, Europe imports at least a quarter of its natural gas from Russia. That leaves Europe in a vulnerable position.
The current conflict in Ukraine is just another reason for European countries to develop their own shale gas industries, Molchanov says. Those efforts have been sluggish so far; there is no commercial shale gas production anywhere in Europe today.
One reason for that slow pace: property rights. In the U.S., landowners own the rights to the minerals under their property. In Europe, the subsoil minerals are the property of the state, not the landowner. So all the benefits and profits go to the governments."
This reduces the incentives for shale gas drilling, he says. But the U.S. government is trying to help Europeans clear those types of hurdles.
"The State Department's motive, particularly in Poland and Ukraine, was diplomatic because we saw that their political survival, their economic survival, depended on diversifying their sources of energy because they're so dependent on Russia for gas," Goldwyn says.
Ukraine imports roughly two-thirds of its natural gas from Russia and it has just started to explore for shale gas. That topic could come up when President Obama travels to Brussels later this month for a U.S.-European Union Summit. And shale gas development could be part of the proposed free-trade agreement between the U.S. and the EU.
Goldwyn says shale gas has been on the agenda for past U.S.-EU summits and he says the goal this time should be to use American expertise to finally develop the region's nascent shale gas industry.
The Ukraine has the 4th largest fracking gas reserves in Europe, a lot of it is in the Eastern Ukraine.
See attached link
A quote from Friedrich Gustav Emil Martin Niemöller (14 January 1892 – 6 March 1984), a Protestant pastor and social activist:
When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.
When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.
When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.
When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I wasn't a Jew.
When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.
What percentage of US gas comes from fracking?
How do you know about fracking gas reserves in eastern ukraine and crimea, do you have any links you can post?
Significant fracking gas reserves are not on the political agendas that we see at the moment.
Big gas reserves in these places explains EU US interest in the Ukraine and if ethic Russians are sitting on this gas, complex issues?
Interesting comments. A capitalist entrepreneur might think to start manufacturing sweaters. More likely, "fracking" (hydraulic fracturing of shale to release natural gas) in eastern Ukraine and Crimea might ease Europe's dependence on Russian fuel (as long as they don't become part of Russia).
This will be expensive for them, the transport costs alone will bs enormous.
It is time to break up the Ukraine into federal states and allow each state to hold referendums to decide whether the want to be part of an EU NATO linked Ukraine or to join the Russian federation.
Sanctions such as we will not talk to you about trade, we will stop giving your people visas, this is a joke right?
Look EU/IMF hurry up and lend Ukraine the 11 billion so that the Ukraine can pay its 2 billion gas bill to Russia.
The leaders in Kiev are happy to enslave their people to the West and the big beneficiary will be Russia.
The UK doesn't want sanctions against Russia as it will hurt the UK economy, Germany gets a lot of its gas from Russia and could the EU supply themselves and the Uraine with gas if Russia cuts them all off? I doubt it.
To An American, your post is thought provoking especially the choice between freedom and security.
For me if given a choice between security and freedom, I am happy that freedoms can be limited to protect security.
Would I risk my life for freedoms, no, but for security yes.
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Clashes in Ukraine's Crimea Region