FROM Mead Treadwell
The Consequences of Shell Leaving the Arctic In 1968, oil was discovered in Prudhoe Bay, and the State of Alaska experienced a bonanza. The next bonanza was expected to come from the Arctic Ocean — but now, it just might not happen. Courtesy of Shell Oil Royal Dutch Shell invested $7 billion exploring for oil in the Arctic Ocean. President Obama took heat from environmentalists when he approved further drilling. But yesterday, the company said, " Never mind ," and announced that it's leaving. Mead Treadwell is President of PT Capital, which invests in Arctic opportunities. He's a former Lieutenant Governor of Alaska.
America's Rejoining the Race for Arctic Oil President Obama has protected some parts of the Arctic Ocean from oil and gas development — but he's permitted exploration in other parts . Royal Dutch Shell will be towing massive rigs back and forth from Seattle to far Northern waters for drilling during brief summer respites from icy storms. In the waters off Seattle, small boats and kayaks are gathered to protest exploratory oil drilling. Outraged environmentalists see potential disasters worse than Deepwater Horizon, which devastated the relatively placid Gulf of Mexico. Meantime, Russia, Norway — and even China — are also looking at opportunities for Arctic oil drilling created by climate change.
Global Warming and the Rush to Claim the Arctic's Riches CNN calls it "an irony that even Al Gore might appreciate." As global warming causes the polar icecaps to recede, frozen oceans become navigable and undiscovered oil and natural gas becomes accessible. Russia's most famous Arctic explorer, Artur Chilingarov , has placed a flag on the seabed beneath the North Pole. Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper is out on the Arctic Ocean making plans for an Army training center and a deep-water port. Melting ice may free up both the Northwest Passage and one quarter of the world's undiscovered oil and natural gas. It's the Wild, Wild West all over again. Will the US assert its national interests? What are the prospects for international conflict?
White House flip flops: NATO, Syria and China In less than 100 days, President Trump has contradicted himself on a host of foreign policy issues — Syria, NATO, China and Vladimir Putin’s Russia. Is it a strength — or a weakness — for the United States when the world of power politics never knows what to expect?
Is Venezuela becoming a dictatorship? Venezuela may have the world's largest oil reserves, but it's a nation in trouble… economically and politically. Is a populist promise to rescue democracy turning out to be a prelude to dictatorship?
Mixed Messages from US diplomats on the new hard line on Syria Since President Trump's surprise retaliation against Syria's use of chemical weapons, Bashar al-Assad has used the same airport to launch conventional attacks on his own people. It's not clear what the US, its allies — or Vladimir Putin's Russia -- plan to do now.