Voices from Russia

Monday, 8 May 2017

Dissent Denied: “Emergency” US State Law to Silence Protesters

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New laws intended to punish those exercising their constitutional right to disagree with existing legislation and policy will now see possible fines of up to 1 million USD (58.1 million Roubles. 6.9 million Renminbi. 64.3 million INR. 1.37 million CAD. 1.35 million AUD. 910,000 Euros. 770,000 UK Pounds) in the US state of Oklahoma after legislators rushed “emergency” anti-protest laws into effect. The new laws allow for increased fines on those found guilty in Oklahoma of engaging in protest actions that result in the damage of infrastructure, especially oil and gas equipment. They also include a new wrinkle, in which the state could fine those who support, or “conspire” (in the terms of the bill), with the protest up to one hundred times the amount levied on the guilty party. The new statutes allow fines for up to 10,000 USD (581,000 Roubles. 6,900 Renminbi. 643,000 INR. 13,700 CAD. 13,500 AUD. 9,100 Euros. 7,700 UK Pounds) against anyone found guilty of simply intending to destroy infrastructure. The state can assess fines up to 100,000 USD (5.81 million Roubles. 690,000 Renminbi. 6.43 million INR. 137,000 CAD. 135,000 AUD. 91,000 Euros. 77,000 UK Pounds) if protestors actually do real damage. However, the real kicker is a 1 million USD fine for any person or organisation found to be supporting an activist found guilty, including, ostensibly, human rights groups or medical, legal, and logistical assistance at the protest site.

The laws are in direct correlation with increased attempts across America to stymie any dissent against new petrochemical infrastructure, including pipelines and fracking wells. Considered a major oil and gas transfer hub for much of the USA, Oklahoma has a long history of its state government acting as a front for oil companies. According to The Intercept, the town of Cushing OK (the so-called “Oil Pipeline Crossroads of the World”) and surrounding regions saw a striking rise in earthquakes during the fracking boom due to the pumping of a toxic mix of wastewater and chemicals directly into the ground. The Oklahoma Oil and Gas Association is a vocal supporter of the new legislation.

Many are suspicious of the loose wording of the new Oklahoma anti-protest laws, however. Doug Parr, a lawyer who has represented several environmental activists in Oklahoma, told The Intercept that the statute’s claims are too broad:

Say they lock themselves to a piece of construction equipment, and a claim can be made that there were damages from that trespass. Does this statute create a civil action for a pipeline company to then go after a person or organisation that posted a bond or helped pay for a lawyer for that civil disobedience? Those organising peaceful actions of civil disobedience can now be heavily penalised if any attendee chooses to take on a solo act, such as spray-painting a message on a wall. Suppose an organisation decides they want to support a perfectly legal, no civil disobedience, action. Somebody in that crowd, who came to the protest at the request of that organisation, then jumps the fence and runs in there, and spray-paints on a storage tank, “This equipment causes earthquakes. Shut it down”. These statutes could be used to attack that organisation and impose financial liability on them.

The Sierra Club’s Oklahoma head, Johnson Bridgwater, pointed out the possibly illegal ramifications of the new laws, stating:

We don’t necessarily know everyone who’s attending the events. There’s a strong and real fear that this could be used as an attempt to crush a group or a chapter of Sierra Club unfairly.

Common Dreams identified 19 new anti-protest bills in the USA, as of April 2. Similar legislation in Colorado, North Dakota, and South Dakota aims directly at civil disobedience actions that seek to stop or limit the expansion of petrochemical operations. Many see new laws in Minnesota and other states as responses to previous protest actions blocking roads and highways after white police killed unarmed black men and women in US cities. Referring to an earlier high-profile action of civil disobedience seeking to shut down the Dakota Access oil pipeline, the Sierra Club’s Bridgwater observed:

We see all of these bills as nothing more than corporate America being fearful of how successful the Standing Rock protests were.

8 May 2017

Sputnik International

https://sputniknews.com/business/201705081053369767-us-state-law-silences-protest/

Sunday, 9 August 2015

KSA Determined to Crash Oil Prices Until American Shale Oil Breathes Its Last

russia-oil

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American-German economic researcher and historian F William Engdahl observed that never in its wildest dreams did the Obama administration expect that it’d face a financial disaster after it conspired with Riyadh to drop oil prices and flood the market with cheap petroleum, trying to rerun the highly successful American-Saudi deal of 1986 that weakened the USSR. Although it wasn’t  not made public, on 11 September 2014 US Secretary of State John Kerry and King Abdullah concluded a secret deal to use Saudi “oil muscle” to bring Russia and the Kremlin to its knees. Remarkably, on the very next day, the US Treasury’s aptly-named Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, headed by Treasury Under-Secretary David Cohen imposed new sanctions on Russia’s energy companies Gazprom, Gazprom Neft, Lukoil, Surgutneftgas, and Rosneft and prohibited American oil corporations from participating in Russian offshore oil projects in the Arctic. Engdahl said, with a touch of irony, “Then, just as the rouble was rapidly falling and Russian major corporations were scrambling for dollars for their year-end settlements, a collapse of world oil prices would end Putin’s reign. Clearly, that was the thinking of the hollowed-out souls who pass for statesmen in Washington today. Victoria Nuland was jubilant, praising the precision new financial warfare weapon at David Cohen’s Treasury financial terrorism unit”.

Meanwhile, nothing hinted at any trouble in July 2014… West Texas Intermediate traded at 101 USD (6,460 Roubles. 627 Renminbi. 6,440 INR. 133 CAD. 136 AUD. 92 Euros. 65 UK Pounds) a barrel, and Engdahl noted, “The shale oil bonanza was booming, making the USA into a major oil player for the first time since the 1970’s”. However, when WTI slid to 46 USD (2,940 Roubles. 286 Renminbi. 2,930 INR. 60 CAD. 62 AUD. 42 Euros. 30 UK Pounds) per barrel in January 2015, American strategists suddenly realised that they’d cut their own throat. Indeed, “the over-indebted US shale oil industry” was about to breathe its last because of the plummeting oil price. Although Washington and Wall Street made every effort to artificially stabilise the dire situation (resulting in a slowly rising oil price since February to May, when it hit 62 USD (3,970 Roubles. 385 Renminbi. 3,950 INR. 82 CAD. 84 AUD. 57 Euros. 40 UK Pounds) per barrel), the American political and financial élite underestimated the Saudi factor’s importance.

Engdahl said, “Reportedly, al-Naimi [the Saudi Oil Minister] saw a golden opportunity in the Kerry proposal to use the chance to, at the same time, kill off the growing market challenge from the rising output of the unconventional American shale oil industry. Often, al-Naimi said that he’s determined to eliminate the American shale oil ‘disturbance’ to Saudi domination of world oil market”. Alas, the Saudis are very unhappy with Washington’s shale oil advance and the Iranian nuclear deal negotiated by the Obama administration with Tehran. Engdahl emphasised, “In fact, the Saudis are beside themselves with rage against Washington. This has all added up to an iron Saudi determination, aided by close Gulf Arab allies, to further crash oil prices until the expected wave of shale oil company bankruptcies. On 29 July 2015, WTI fell to 49 USD (3,140 Roubles. 305 Renminbi. 3,130 INR. 65 CAD. 66 AUD. 45 Euros. 32 UK Pounds)”.

Morgan Stanley, the Wall Street bank, reported in panic, “We anticipated that OPEC wouldn’t cut, but we didn’t foresee such a sharp increase. This downturn would be more severe than that in 1986. As there was no sharp downturn in the 15 years before that, the current downturn could be the worst of the last 45+ years. If this were to be the case, there would be nothing in our experience that would be a guide to the next phases of this cycle… in fact, there may be nothing in analysable history”. What makes matters even worse for Washington, is that Saudi Arabia, its longstanding and subservient ally, has begun to play its own geopolitical games. On 18 June 2015 Muhammad bin Salman, the Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Defence Minister and son of King Salman visited Russia and met with  President V V Putin. The parties discussed up to 10 billion USD (640 billion Roubles. 62.07 billion Renminbi. 637.48 billion INR. 13.14 billion CAD. 13.48 billion AUD. 9.12 billion Euros. 6.46 billion UK Pounds) trade deals.

Engdahl remarked, “Today, Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest oil producer and Russia a close second. A Saudi-Russian alliance on whatever level was hardly in the strategy book of Washington State Department planners”. Engdahl went on to say, “October 2015 is the next key point for American shale oil companies… banks will decide whether to keep funding fading American shale oil production or rollover their loans. At the same time, if the Federal Reserve raises American interest rates in September, highly indebted American shale oil manufacturers would face “disaster of a new scale”. Unfortunately, such a “doomsday” scenario may be accompanied with further unintended consequences for American and global financial system. Indeed, as a proverb says, “Curses, like chickens, come home to roost.”

8 August 2015

Sputnik International

http://sputniknews.com/politics/20150808/1025540019.html

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Saudi Arabia Collapses Texas Oil to a Critical Level

00 Vitaly Podvitsky. That's Not Real Money! 2014

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Analysts said that reduced prices by Saudi Arabian Oil of WTI light oil exported to the USA and Asia lowered the cost of deliveries WTI in Monday trading on the New York Stock Exchange to 78.78 USD (3,026 Roubles. 481.50 Renminbi. 4,835 INR. 90.08 CAD. 90.58 AUD. 62.94 Euros. 49.24 UK Pounds) a barrel, down 2.2 percent over the price at the previous auction. John Kildaf, an employee of hedge fund Again Capital LLC, said, “This move by Saudi Arabia indicates that it’s trying to keep its market share in the USA, which recently declined slightly. Apparently, the Saudis feel comfortable at this price and this level of demand. It seems that Saudi Arabia expects that growth in demand for oil in the winter will allow them to strengthen their position”. On 31 October, WTI on the New York Mercantile Exchange fell by 0.7 percent to 80.54 USD (3,576 Roubles. 492 Renminbi. 4,944 INR. 91.95 CAD. 92.41 AUD. 64.23 Euros. 50.36 UK Pounds) per barrel. Then, analysts noted that some members of OPEC, particularly Saudi Arabia, are ready to keep prices low to preserve their market share.

4 November 2014

Pravda.ru

http://www.pravda.ru/news/economics/04-11-2014/1234014-neft-0/

Editor:

Crude is now BELOW the breakeven point for shale oil and deep-drilled crude. This means that the oil wells in North Dakota are now unprofitable. Big Oil is in a quandary… it can keep the facilities open, and sell at a loss, hoping that the price will rebound… or, it can shut down the facilities until the price recovers, smashing the local economy. You see, the GOP is in the shitter. Their sugar daddies in Big Oil are going to take big hits, which means that they’ll have less available for greedy corrupt pols such as Rick Perry, Ted Cruz, Mitch McConnell, Marco Rubio, and Rick Santorum. It’ll make them MORE dependent on Big Pharma than they are… which’ll lead to desperate attempts to repeal the ACA, which President Obama will veto, and they won’t have the votes to override. In short, the situation will play right into BHO’s hands. Played correctly and soberly, it’ll snooker all GOP chances for 2016.

Ironic, ain’t it… the GOP “wins big”, only to find out their paymasters are getting the short end. To put it plainly, the GOP’s sponsors no longer have the cash to subsidise the beginning of the 2016 campaign (which it needs IMMEDIATELY). It also means that the USA no longer has any energy alternative to offer the EU. Saudi and Russian crude are cheaper than any American offering… so, what would any normal person choose? There’s nothing that the USA can do, either… short of attacking the Saudis, which isn’t going to happen. The GOP fires the gun… and finds it full of blanks. L’comédie humaine goes on its merry way.

BMD

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

American Craptialist Filth to Rape the Western Ukraine for Shale Gas… The REAL Reason for the Coup and the Civil War

ukrainian gas pipeline

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Editor:

The TRUTH is out… the American oligarchs wanted to topple V F Yanukovich and instigated the Ukrainian Civil War so that they could come in and destroy the Ukrainian countryside in their perpetual search for energy sources (domestic and Canadian sources have peaked out and they want MORE). Note well that Chevron is only going to operate in the Western Ukraine… I believe that the oligarchs have written off the rest of the “Ukraine”… however, the Lvovshchina appears headed for Polish occupation, so, it’s safe for American Corporate rape. Note well that the Americans don’t care if they turn the Western Ukraine into another moonscaped Nikel… and note well that the Uniates, schismatics, and “Evangelicals” just slobber their approval of it all. One wonders how much Langley is paying them…

If you wish to see the Western Ukraine before American crapitalists rip it apart… go now. Otherwise, you’ll see a devastated shell.

BMD

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Rossiya Segodnya, citing Ukrainian media sources, reported that the American oil company Chevron would open a subsidiary in the Ukraine to exploit shale gas, and that the National Bank of Ukraine gave the green light to the deal. To exploit hydrocarbons in the Western Ukraine, Chevron plans to invest about 10 billion USD (400 billion Roubles. 62 billion Renminbi. 614 billion INR. 11.2 billion CAD. 11.4 billion AUD. 7.9 billion Euros. 6.2 billion UK Pounds), with production centred in Lvov and Ivano-Frankovsk Oblasts. According to the NBU, Chevron opened a domestic bank account for its operations. In November 2013, Chevron signed an agreement with “Nadra Olessky”, 90 percent owned by the state enterprise “Nadra Ukraina” (composed of 13 exploration and specialised enterprises). On 3 October, Yaroslav Klimovich, the head of “Nadra Ukraina” board, said that next week the Ukraine intends to approve the final version of an operating agreement with Chevron to produce shale gas.

8 October 2014

Novorusinform

http://www.novorosinform.org/news/id/11309

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