Sunday, November 30, 2014

German Greens face political extinction. Children of Lenin and the Club of Rome, purified Maoists, Trotskyists, hardcore Communists, travel by air more than voters of any other party-Die Welt

.
11/24/14, "Apocalypse Comes Spring - the Greens are running out of topics," Die Welt, 

"There is merit as weakness of the Greens, owe their existence to a split zeitgeist. To date, he separates the party more than the disagreement between fundamentalists and realists. Origin is the future, especially in the countryside. They are the children of Lenin and the Club of Rome.  

Uncle Sam represented in the left-wing narrative that is progressive, drunk, macho and authoritarian.
Mother Nature represented by the environmentalism of the Club of Rome, is anti-modern, emancipated - and actually authoritarian. Both schools of thought have a penchant for the Apocalypse.
In the historical materialism of the destruction of the bourgeois world was anticipated in the course of the world revolution, the environmentalism resulted in a "unhappy end", where people only when the last tree has been cut, the last river poisoned, the last fish is caught, would realize you can not eat money.
 
The Greens have both operated and fueled social and ecological fears. Whether or acid rain forest dieback, ozone hole or nuclear energy - the Greens were and are masters of the inner needs of the Germans, so irrational as they may be to use. The disruption of the Green reflects their constituents and the country. Germany, which are poets and thinkers, but also natural romantics and engineers, waste separator and speeders, Neuland meat fetishists and Aldi savers.

Often Green was an invisibility cloak for red 

Who chose the open, then felt better. He had done something good, saved the world a bit. The land of the - some of unbridled - economic miracle was missed a meritorious sustainability guardrail, the relentless use of resources attacked before the controlling departments of the companies did so for reasons of efficiency.

Since political parties like how the CSU realized early Christian motifs from the protection of creation as directions for action and the FDP ownership of the consumer in its ecological dimension - it was the Greens, who were thus identified since the early 80s. The name helped. He was clear and unambiguous. 

Often Green was only the cloak of invisibility for red. Theoretically alive was the heritage left by the Greens. The Greens are today smartest purified Maoists, Trotskyists, hardcare communists. The intellectual brilliance of Trittin was quite the solution of the social question, redistribution, and a bourgeois anti-capitalism committed. The Ecological had taught him. After the retirement of alpha animals such as Trittin and Claudia Roth, the new leadership of the Green wanders through the political landscape.
.
This also has the lack of employment and often inadequate to deal with the cultural history of ecological thinking. The Greens are mainly the children of Martin Heidegger in their leitmotif. The still controversial German philosopher of the 20th century was revolutionary and conservative at the same time, the sharpest critics of modern technology and its alienation tornadoes.
 
"Rule of the frame" called the Swabian wooden hut dwellers the dictates of engineers. You should be terminated by a "Return". This bend understand Heidegger as the most unlikely case of world events. She was a kind of miracle, something that can only succeed if people are torn from their "forgetfulness of Being".
 
The Greens were obviously more pragmatic. She channeled the popular and populist reservations technology and modern life and beat understandable solutions. It called for no Heideggerian turn, but only a departure from the technology and a retreat to a more conscious, more modest life that left less CO2 traces on the planet.
 

There is a risk of stress fracture

The green flagship municipalities have totalized junk charm the left WG. Whether free Republic of Wendland or the eco-district in Freiburg-Vauban: The green painted remix of the bourgeois status quo seems getting old. The loss of beauty and harmony through the blessings of modernity have other illustrated.
 
Hollywood, for example. Blockbusters such as "2001", "The Dances with Wolves" and especially the pop-heideggerianische masterpiece "The Last Samurai" reflected the ratio of progress, happiness and modernity exciting and more profound than the noisy barren and often opportunistic debates of the countryside.
 
In the fourth decade of its existence, the apocalyptic narrative approaches an end. There is a risk of stress fracture. The mantra-like invocation of doom has hardly excitation potential. And the much-maligned art shines with discoveries that were formerly classified in the mythical realm of science fiction.

Conversion of CO2 into oil and gasoline 

Nuclear fusion could in ten years, provide energy, architects build skyscrapers that produce more energy than they consume, 900-horsepower sports car can be moved with three liters of gasoline, the conversion of CO2 into oil and gasoline is on the verge of series production.
 
Contemporary capitalism has adopted the innovation challenge by the ecology. Green thinkers like Ralf F├╝cks have recognized this, without sacrificing their apocalypticism. The Hyperrealos in the southwest of the country to discover the SMEs as an authentic resource saver and efficiency magician.
 
The party at the weekend has shown that the Greens run out of topics after the nuclear phase-out and the mainstream environmentalism. Anton Hofreiters effort to promote the "Return" in agriculture, goes in the right direction. But capitalism has long recognized this. The Greens will it hardly needed.
 
They begin to sound like a nostalgic project. The Zeitgeist after 40 years Apocalypse tired of pessimism. Engineers and scientists swim in a sea of ​​hopes and concrete breakthroughs. Who needs the Greens still when air, water and food are clean?" via Climate Depot, via No Tricks Zone













 

Saturday, November 29, 2014

CEO's who supported ObamaCare have second thoughts now that Obama EEOC is suing them for their wellness programs-Reuters

.
11/29/14, "CEOs threaten to pull tacit Obamacare support," Reuters, Sharon Begley

"Leading US CEOs, angered by the Obama administration's challenge to certain “workplace wellness” programs, are threatening to side with anti-Obamacare forces unless the government backs off, according to people familiar with the matter.

Major US corporations have broadly supported President Barack Obama's healthcare reform despite concerns over several of its elements, largely because it included provisions encouraging the wellness programs. 

The programs aim to control healthcare costs by reducing smoking, obesity, hypertension and other risk factors that can lead to expensive illnesses. A bipartisan provision in the 2010 healthcare reform law allows employers to reward workers who participate and penalize those who don't. 

But recent lawsuits filed by the administration's Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), challenging the programs at Honeywell International and two smaller companies, have thrown the future of that part of Obamacare into doubt. 

The lawsuits infuriated some large employers so much that they are considering aligning themselves with Obama's opponents, according to people familiar with the executives' thinking. 

The fact that the EEOC sued is shocking to our members,” said Maria Ghazal, vice-president and counsel at the Business Roundtable, a group of chief executives of more than 200 large US corporations. “They don't understand why a plan in compliance with the ACA (Affordable Care Act) is the target of a lawsuit,” she said. “This is a major issue to our members.” 

There have been conversations at the most senior levels of the administration about this, she added.  

Business Roundtable members are due to meet Obama in a closed-door session on Tuesday, where they may air their concerns.

It is not clear how many members of the group, whose companies sponsor health insurance for 40 million people, are considering any action. It is also not clear if the White House can stop the EEOC from challenging wellness programs. 

A threat of a corporate backlash comes at a time when Obama faces criticism even from his Democrats' ranks that he had devoted too much political capital to healthcare reform. 

Such action could take the form of radical changes in health benefits that employers offer. It could also mean supporting a potentially game-changing challenge to Obamacare at the Supreme Court next year and expected Republican efforts to eviscerate the law when they take control of Congress in 2015. 

Obamacare allows financial incentives for workers taking part in workplace wellness programs of up to 50 percent of their monthly premiums, deductibles, and other costs. That translates into hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars in extra annual costs for those who do not participate. 

Typically, participation means filling out detailed health questionnaires, undergoing medical screenings, and in some cases attending weight-loss or smoking-cessation programs. 

One of the arguments presented in the lawsuit against three employers is that requiring medical testing violates the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

That 1990 law, according to employment-law attorney Joseph Lazzarotti of Jackson Lewis P.C. in Morristown, N.J., largely prohibits requiring medical tests as part of employment

“You can't make medical inquiries unless it's consistent with job-necessity, or part of a voluntary wellness program,” he said. 

The lawsuits are based on the view that it is no longer voluntary if employees face up to $4,000 in penalties for non-participation, loss of insurance or even their jobs. 

Employers, however, see the lawsuits as reneging on the administration's commitment to an important part of the healthcare reform. 

On Nov. 14, Roundtable president John Engler sent a letter to the Labor, Treasury and Health and Human Services cabinet secretaries who oversee Obamacare asking them to “thwart all future inappropriate actions against employers who are complying with” the law's wellness rules, and warning of “a chilling effect across the country.” 

Asked for a response to the letter, an administration official told Reuters that it supported workplace health promotion and prevention “while ensuring that individuals are protected from unfair underwriting practices that could otherwise reduce benefits based on health status.” 

In practical terms, large corporations have several ways to undermine Obamacare if they decide to.

One is to support legal challenges to the subsidies given to low-income individuals who buy health insurance on the federal exchange established under the law. Neither the Business Roundtable nor any of its CEO members have done this so far. The Supreme Court is expected to hear oral arguments in the case in 2015. 

Another option is to make top executives available for hearings on repealing or diluting Obamacare.

“We never did this before,” said the person familiar with the executives' thinking. “But they could turn up the noise. I don't think the White House would want the CEOs turning on them and supporting these efforts on the Hill.” 

The nuclear option would be to radically change employer-sponsored health insurance. Large corporations are highly unlikely to eliminate it, but they might give workers a fixed amount of money to buy coverage on a private insurance exchange. That would allow employers, almost all of which pay workers' medical claims out of their earnings, to cap their healthcare spending." via Free Rep.

============================

Comment: There will be maggots in US medical offices as there are in the UK NHS. US corporations who sign deals for maggots deserve to go out of business:

12/11/13, "'Maggot-infested' GP surgeries exposed by inspectors," BBC, By Nick Triggle

"Failings that put patients at risk had been allowed to continue for years, he said....He said many hospitals needed radical reform."...

====================

12/20/13, "NHS 'was too powerful to criticise' says regulator," BBC

"The NHS "became too powerful to criticise" despite many patients receiving a "wholly unsatisfactory" service, the health regulator has said.

David Prior told the Daily Telegraph that even the most senior staff were afraid of speaking out."... 





.

Genocide of Kurds continues, ISIS launches attack on Kobane from inside Turkey for first time-UK Guardian. US close friend Turkey previously refused to stop ISIS, now aiding it. Too bad Kurds don't speak Spanish, Boehner and McConnell would grant them refugee status in the US

.
11/29/14, "Isis launches attack on Kobani from inside Turkey for first time," UK Guardian staff
.
"Assault by Islamic State militants reportedly began with suicide attack on border between Turkey and strategic Syrian town."
.

"Islamic State (Isis) has launched an attack on the Syrian border town of Kobani from Turkey for the first time, a Kurdish official and activists said. 

The assault began with a suicide attack by a bomber in an armoured vehicle on the border crossing between Kobani and Turkey, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), a UK-based opposition group, said.

Nawaf Khalil, a spokesman for Syria’s Kurdish Democratic Union party, said that Isis “used to attack the town from three sides” but “today, they are attacking from four sides”.

Turkey has previously backing the Syrian rebels fighting to topple the country’s president, Bashar al-Assad, has it has been reluctant to help the Kurds in Kobani for fear of stoking Kurdish ambitions for an independent state.

There was no comment from Ankara on Saturday about Isis fighters launching the assault from Turkish soil.

SOHR said heavy fighting also took place south-west of the town, where Isis brought in tanks to reinforce their fighters.

The group began its Kobani offensive in mid-September, capturing parts of the town and dozens of nearby villages. The town later became the focus of air strikes by the US-led coalition against the militants.

Kurdish fighters have slowly been advancing in Kobani since late October. Hundreds of people have been killed in the fighting.

SOHR said on Saturday that the latest fighting killed at least eight Kurdish fighters and 17 jihadists."

Image: "People watch smoke rise from the Syrian town of Kobane on October 26, 2014, on the Turkish side of the border, near the village of Mursitpinar ©Bulent Kilic (AFP/File)," via UK Mail

===================== 

ISIS snipers said to be positioned in grain storage units within Turkey:

11/29/14, "Kobane attackers came from Turkey, claims Turkey's main Kurdish party," Reuters via UK Telegraph


"Four Islamic State militants blew themselves up in Kobane, one detonating a car bomb at the Mursitpinar border crossing, having apparently come into the besieged city from Turkey."

"The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the vehicle used in the dawn car bombing had come from Turkish territory. A second bomber detonated an explosive vest in the same area, before two more suicide attacks hit the southwestern edge of the town, it said.
.
Idris Nassan, a Kurdish official in Kobane, said Islamic State snipers were hiding among grain depots on the Turkish side of the border and firing on the town.

Turkey's pro-Kurdish HDP also said the militants were using state grain storage facilities as a base and described their presence in an area patrolled by Turkish security forces as a "scandal". 

"As we have been pointing out for months, this once more proves that Islamic State is being supported (from within Turkey)," the HDP said in a statement.
Turkey has vehemently denied supporting the jihadists, saying they are also a threat to its own national security. 

A Turkish official had no immediate information on the attacks and Reuters could obtain no independent confirmation of the HDP's accusation that Islamic State fighters were firing from Turkish soil. 

Ankara has refused to take a frontline role in US-led action against Islamic State, fearing it could strengthen Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces or Kurdish militias, both of which it sees as a threat. 

The stance has infuriated Turkey's Kurds, prompting violent protests in October in which around 40 people were killed. 

The Observatory said clashes broke out across Kobane on Saturday. It said Islamic State fighters fired at least 110 shells and were bringing in tanks. Two air strikes had targeted Islamic State positions to the east, it said. 

At least 30 fighters were killed, said Rami Abdulrahman, the Observatory's director. Twenty-one were Islamic State fighters, including the four bombers. The rest were Kurdish forces."

Image: "A Kurdish peshmerga fighter talks on the phone during fighting against Islamic State group in the Syrian beseiged border town of Kobane on November 8, 2014 ©Ahmed Deeb (AFP/File)," via UK Mail





.

Howard Dean says ObamaCare was basically written by insurance companies but everyone got their deal. 'You can't do that if you're the president of change'-Howard Dean on MSNBC

.
11/29/14, "Howard Dean: ObamaCare Process, Bill Problematic," Breitbart tv, Ian Hanchett

"Former Gov. Howard Dean (D-VT) argued that Sen. Chuck Schumer's (D-NY) recent attempt to distance himself from the Affordable Care Act was "revisionism" on Schumer's part, but that the bill and the process by which it was passed were flawed on Saturday's "Up" on MSNBC.

"The process was the problem and the bill was the problem" he stated. And, "The way this was handled, into the White House went 

the insurance companies, 

the lawyers, 

the doctors, 

the hospitals, 

the drug companies. 

Everyone got their deal, incredibly publicly. You can't do that, 

 especially if you're the president of change."

Regarding Schumer's comments, Dean said, "this is revisionism. The fact of the matter was he was leading the charge. It got screwed up in [Sen. Max] Baucus' (D-MT) committee, it was basically written by the insurance companies. And we have this bill now and it's going to work, but it was a really bad way to go about it."" via Lucianne


 

.

US gov. says Nigeria hasn't treated savage Boko Haram Islamic terrorists humanely enough so won't sell them weapons to fight the savages and perhaps prevent future kidnapping of young girls-NBC News

.
11/29/14, "Needle on Zero: Nigeria's Economy Tanking as U.S. Oil Exports Dry Up," Robert Windrem, nbcnews.com

"Earlier this month, a delegation from the Council on Foreign Relations visited the Nigerian Embassy in Washington where they were lectured by Ambassador Ade Adefuye on the lack of U.S. support for his government's operations against Boko Haram. Adefuye told the visitors that Washington at first refused to share intelligence with the Nigerian government and also withheld "lethal equipment that would have brought down the terrorists within a short time on the basis of allegations that Nigeria's defense forces have been violating human rights of Boko Haram suspects when captured or arrested.".

The comments were posted on the front page of the embassy's website, which Pham said wouldn't have happened without approval from the Nigerian goverment. And the angry rejoinder itself wouldn't have happened at all in the past, when relations between the countries were considered too important to risk ruffling feathers in Washington. 

Pham suggested that the lack of oil trade also could lead the U.S. to step back or even away from Nigeria. 
.
Six years ago, he noted the U.S. played a key role in negotiations between the Nigerian government and a group of insurgents known as the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), who felt they had been left out of the economic boom fueled by oil production in the delta. When they rose up, a third of the nation's oil production was cut off. 

"The U.S. coaxed Nigeria into peace talks with amnesty payments, training, etc., (and) successive U.S. ambassadors were involved," noted Pham. "Would they be involved again? Although U.S. companies, like Chevron would be affected, the U.S. oil supply would not. Would it be easier for a U.S. administration to not make it a priority?" 
.
The answer to that question may be revealed soon. The Nigerian government's agreement with MEND expires next year and must be renewed. It is not clear if the U.S. intends to get involved in those negotiations. 

Pham also recalled that several years ago the U.S. Navy's Sixth Fleet helped coordinate a response to pirate attacks on Nigerian oil tankers, but has not been as forceful in recent months,  

despite an increase in the attacks.

"The pirates in the Gulf of Guinea are aggressive, but if piracy is not affecting our supply, there is a danger that our response won't be as robust, particularly when there are so many other demands on a U.S. Navy that has fewer ships," he said."...



.
.

Surge in US oil and gas production on non-federal land equates to fall of Soviet Union in its global implications says CFR official-NBC News

.
11/29/14, "Needle on Zero: Nigeria's Economy Tanking as U.S. Oil Exports Dry Up," Robert Windrem, nbcnews.com

"When the terrorist group Boko Haram kidnapped more than 250 Nigerian schoolgirls last spring, many news reports noted that Nigeria had long been one of the biggest suppliers of oil to the United States, suggesting that economic relationship gave Washington a strong incentive to help track down the kidnappers. 

That was wrong. 

In April, the same month the girls were snatched from an elementary school in Chibok, only 4.5 million barrels of Nigerian oil arrived at U.S. ports, down from a record high of 40 million barrels seven years earlier. 

And by July, the spigot was shut off completely. Over the next six weeks, not a single drop of Nigerian light, sweet crude arrived in the U.S. - all of it replaced at Gulf Coast refineries by fracked oil from fields like the Bakken formation in North Dakota and Eagle Ford in Texas. 

The big fat zero was a milestone not only on the United States' journey toward energy independence, but a signpost pointing to a new world. With it, Nigeria became the first formerly flush oil producer to essentially lose its entire share of the U.S. market, leaving it scrambling for new customers, less able to fund its internal war on terror and less important to the U.S. 

"Nigeria is facing a sea change in relations with the United States, a sea change in its geopolitical position in the world," says Peter Pham, director of the Africa Program at the Atlantic Council, searching for words to capture the magnitude of the moment. 

Experts are just beginning to sort through the implications of the U.S. switching from being the biggest single consumer of petroleum to a producer and - eventually perhaps - a competitor. They see Nigeria, which generates 70 percent of its budget from oil sales, as a test case that may hold important clues about how other oil-rich nations like Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Russia will react as their oil-driven economies come under additional pressure. 

"The collapse of the price of oil brought on by the rise in American production is fundamentally changing the world," said John Campbell, former U.S. ambassador to Nigeria and now director of the Ralph Bunche Center at the Council on Foreign Relations. "This energy shift is akin to the collapse of the Soviet Union in its foreign policy implications." 

Daniel Yergin, an energy researcher with IHS Cera and author of "The Quest," a history of oil and geopolitics, said that, in the near term at least, the road will remain rocky for the government of Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan. 

"Nigeria as a country has three big issues: The loss of its biggest market in the U.S.; secondly, the price decline has really hit them; and the third thing is, of course, they're suffering this insurgency in the north," he said. 

John Kilduff, a veteran oil trader with Again Capital, agrees that Africa's most populous nation faces "a rough decade" as it struggles to find new customers for the oil formerly exported to the U.S. In the interim, he said, he expects "economic upheavals and social unrest." 

The financial impact already is getting serious. 

Nigeria's Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala announced last week that a 6 percent drop in oil revenue would force the government to cut non-essential spending, raise more revenue and spend half of its $4.1 billion sovereign wealth fund - down from $11.5 billion at the start of 2013 -- to cover budgetary shortfalls. There also have been calls for the government to print more of its national currency, the naira, to cushion the impact of the recent oil price declines, though Okonjo-Iweala has so far rejected them. 

The government in Abuja is simultaneously struggling to address the violent Islamic insurrection in the north, where Boko Haram continues to terrorize the citizenry with bombings, butchery and mass abductions. The government recently announced it has authorized taking out a billion dollar loan from Western banks to finance the war against Boko Haram. 

Will 'bunkering' [theft] of oil cease?
 
Campbell, the former U.S. ambassador to Nigeria, says that the country could descend into chaos if the price of oil falls beyond its current $78-a-barrel price, because its finances already have been pushed to the breaking point by oil "bunkering" - or theft by Nigerian officials - which he estimates represents around 10 percent of Nigerian production. 

"That oil finances the patronage, clientage network," he said. "It is all illegal (but) it's the grease to the system, and as the value falls … the grease dries up and the system doesn't work." 

And Carl Levan, a professor at American University and author of "Dictators and Democracy in African Development," says turmoil in Nigeria could quickly spread through west Africa, already beset by long-running civil wars, an Ebola epidemic and political crises. 

Many observers say the shift in oil production also will have broad ramifications outside of west Africa. It could lead the U.S. to focus on new priorities -- including Asia - and make it less likely to intervene when faraway national or regional conflicts don't threaten its economic wellbeing. That, in turn, could mean that small battles will become global ones, without a superpower willing to check them in their infancy, they say. 

And the situation could get even worse for oil-reliant nations -- and regions. With U.S. production soaring at the same time its consumption is declining, the U.S. may become a competitor in the longer term, with an ability to undercut producers like Nigeria. 

Although it isn't discussed much in political debates, U.S. officials are well aware of the possible ramifications. "A dramatic expansion of U.S. production could … push global spare capacity to exceed 8 million barrels per day, at which point OPEC could lose price control and crude oil prices would drop, possibly sharply," the National Intelligence Council, the U.S. intelligence community's internal think tank, said in its "Global Trends 2030" report in December 2012. "Such a drop would take a heavy toll on many energy producers who are increasingly dependent on relatively high energy prices to balance their budgets." 

The day of reckoning may not be as far off as 2030. As Citigroup noted in Energy 2020, its own analysis of the oil trade, issued early this month, "Eight years ago, in August 2006, the U.S. imported, net, a little over 13.4 million barrels a day of crude and products; recently the net import number has fallen to 4.7 million barrels a day." 

As a result of the shift, U.S. relations with oil exporters will grow far more complicated as the haves become economic have-nots. It's already happening with Nigeria, says Pham. 

Earlier this month, a delegation from the Council on Foreign Relations visited the Nigerian Embassy in Washington where they were lectured by Ambassador Ade Adefuye on the lack of U.S. support for his government's operations against Boko Haram. Adefuye told the visitors that Washington at first refused to share intelligence with the Nigerian government and also withheld "lethal equipment that would have brought down the terrorists within a short time on the basis of allegations that Nigeria's defense forces have been violating human rights of Boko Haram suspects when captured or arrested."

The comments were posted on the front page of the embassy's website, which Pham said wouldn't have happened without approval from the Nigerian goverment. And the angry rejoinder itself wouldn't have happened at all in the past, when relations between the countries were considered too important to risk ruffling feathers in Washington. 

Pham suggested that the lack of oil trade also could lead the U.S. to step back or even away from Nigeria. 

Six years ago, he noted the U.S. played a key role in negotiations between the Nigerian government and a group of insurgents known as the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), who felt they had been left out of the economic boom fueled by oil production in the delta. When they rose up, a third of the nation's oil production was cut off. 

"The U.S. coaxed Nigeria into peace talks with amnesty payments, training, etc., (and) successive U.S. ambassadors were involved," noted Pham. "Would they be involved again? Although U.S. companies, like Chevron would be affected, the U.S. oil supply would not. Would it be easier for a U.S. administration to not make it a priority?" 

The answer to that question may be revealed soon. The Nigerian government's agreement with MEND expires next year and must be renewed. It is not clear if the U.S. intends to get involved in those negotiations. 

Pham also recalled that several years ago the U.S. Navy's Sixth Fleet helped coordinate a response to pirate attacks on Nigerian oil tankers, but has not been as forceful in recent months,  

despite an increase in the attacks
.
"The pirates in the Gulf of Guinea are aggressive, but if piracy is not affecting our supply, there is a danger that our response won't be as robust, particularly when there are so many other demands on a U.S. Navy that has fewer ships," he said. 

If the U.S. adopts a lower profile in Africa as a result of its diminished hunger for the continent's oil, Nigeria and other nations will look to China and, to a lesser extent, India to take up the slack.
Some experts believe that China may fill the void to some extent, both as a customer for African oil and as an investor and influencer. 

Military analyst William M. Arkin is among them, saying the U.S. Africa Command believes that China is ready to step into a leading role in Africa, targeting its vast mineral resources. "China is exceeding U.S. investments in Africa and that, too, changes the geopolitics," he said. 

But Levan, the American University professor and Africa expert, says it is "questionable" whether India and China can make up for Nigeria's lost U.S. sales, in part because refineries in both countries are set up to process cheaper heavy crude oil, not light, sweet crude oil. He also notes that India is more likely to get its oil from nearby Iraq and Iran, assuming the latter is freed from international sanctions, while China is looking to fracking to become energy independent. 

Kilduff, the oil trader, agrees that China will not be the savior for Nigeria or other diminishing oil economies.

"Every OPEC member facing this crisis has a nice PowerPoint presentation showing how Chinese exports will replace U.S. purchases," he said sarcastically. 

In reality, declining growth in China and the rest of East Asia is going to mean the market is going will shrink worldwide just as more and more oil goes on line, Kilduff said. That could result in a further drop in prices, maybe as low as $50 a barrel, at which point he says Nigeria might be forced to curtail production or store crude, he said. 

Experts and oil traders say that Nigeria is the first of several smaller OPEC countries to see their connection with the U.S. change as their crude exports drop. Already, Angola has seen nearly all its U.S. market share vanish, and Venezuela is likewise looking for alternative markets for its heavy crude, Citigroup's "Energy 2020" report states. 

"Smaller oil exporter countries like Iraq and Kuwait may be able to hold on to their market share, but only by accepting lower prices," it said. "…Going forward, Colombia, Brazil, Russia, Angola, Ecuador, Iraq, and Kuwait could also see their market share dwindle." 

Campbell, the former U.S. ambassador to Nigeria, says the nations that are most dependent on oil revenue will be the biggest losers 

"The consequences for petro-states, particularly states that have never diversified their economies, is enormous," he said."


.

US oil and gas enterprises on non-federal lands have improved US economy and national security-NY Times. Oil and gas production has declined on US land controlled by fed. gov.

.
NY Times opening sentence/paragraph invites readers to believe that emerging US energy independence is an Obama "achievement." Under Obama, oil and gas development on US public land has declined. US achievement is from state and private land

11/28/14, "Free Fall in Oil Price Underscores Shift Away From OPEC," NY Times, Clifford Krauss, Houston

"Since the economically crippling oil embargo of 1973, every American president has pledged to seek and achieve energy independence.

That elusive goal may finally have arrived, at least for the foreseeable future, with the failure of Saudi Arabia and its 11 oil cartel partners in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to agree to a production cut that would put a brake on plummeting crude prices.

On Friday, the benchmark American price for crude oil continued the free fall that began on Thursday, closing at $66.15, its lowest price in more than four years.

The inability or unwillingness of OPEC to act showed that the cartel was no longer the dominating producer whose decisions determine global supplies and prices. Suddenly, the United States — which is poised to surpass Saudi Arabia as the world’s top producer, possibly in a matter of months — is in that position, although the resiliency of that new command must still be tested.

This is a historic turning point,said Daniel Yergin, the energy historian. “The defining force now in world oil today is the growth of U.S. production. The outcome of the OPEC meeting is a clear indication that the oil exporters now recognize that this is a new market.”

For decades, the United States faced dwindling domestic production and rising demand, leading President George W. Bush to call on the country to get off its “addiction” to imported oil. But around eight years ago a few small oil companies began experimenting to produce oil from hard shale rocks in North Dakota and Texas, using hydraulic fracturing — fracking — and horizontal drilling techniques that proved effective in producing natural gas a few years earlier.

Domestic oil production has soared more 70 percent over the last six years, to roughly nine million barrels a day. The country is still a net importer, but with production growing by more than a million barrels a day every year, it is importing less and less almost every month.

Imports from OPEC producers have been cut by more than a half in recent years, forcing increasing competition among Saudi Arabia and other exporting countries seeking to replace the American market with Chinese and other Asian markets. That has produced more cracks in an organization in which competition between Saudi Arabia and Iran is already fierce.

That remarkable global turnaround has been a windfall for the United States, helping keep inflation in check, lower the trade deficit, strengthen the American dollar and bring relief to consumers.

On Friday, Americans paid an average of $2.79 a gallon for regular gasoline, according to the AAA motor club, nearly 50 cents less than a year ago.
.
For David Goldwyn, the State Department’s coordinator for international energy affairs in the first Obama administration, OPEC’s decision not to cut was “strategic.”

“What we have now is a yearlong game of chicken,” he said. “The Saudis are waiting to see how much U.S. production adjusts because of prices and they are waiting to see how much pain the other major oil producers can take before they are willing to make meaningful cuts.” Referring to the global oil benchmark, he added, “If Brent sinks below $60, I think you will see OPEC hit the panic button pretty fast.” That would mean an extraordinary OPEC meeting, and emergency cuts in production.
The Brent price has fallen more than a third since June and closed on Friday at $70.15 a barrel. For OPEC producers like Venezuela and Iran, the tumbling price in oil has produced economic hardship and potential political problems.

Venezuela and Algeria contend that OPEC needed to band to together to cut production and raise prices. But Saudi Arabia has by far the most sway in OPEC, since the kingdom produces roughly one-third of OPEC output alone. It also has the financial muscle and spare capacity to lower or raise production whenever the Saudi royal family deems necessary.

Saudi Arabia resisted calls for lower production mainly because the countries that were most vociferous in calling for cuts would be the countries least able to actually cut their production since their cash-short governments are dependent on more, not less oil revenue.
And there was no guarantee that a cut in OPEC production would raise prices. Even if it did, that would only encourage more American output. So far, United States oil production has proved resilient no matter the price.

Even as prices slid in October, production in the Bakken shale field in North Dakota and the Eagle Ford field in Texas— the two primary promoters of the American oil production boom — increased more than 3 percent over the month before.

That is because American producers keep improving the efficiency and output of their wells with new technology, and because in the short run, lower prices can actually encourage companies to produce more to pay debts and dividends.

Energy experts caution that there is no guarantee that the United States will permanently keep its new powerful edge on world markets. Eventually, low oil prices will drive down production in higher-cost fields, drive marginal companies that are deeply in debt out of business and encourage major companies to slow down their investment in new wells. Several companies have already shaved their 2015 exploration budgets.

And OPEC has been weakened before, only to stage a comeback. The cartel is still able to produce about a third of the global oil market.

After the oil price spikes of the 1970s, the United States and other industrialized countries raised their strategic reserves, put into effect conservation policies and incentivized oil production. New output from places like Alaska and the North Sea in the 1980s helped produce a glut, sending oil prices plummeting. Saudi Arabia lobbied its OPEC partners for production quota cuts, and the kingdom cut its own production. When other OPEC members failed to comply with the new quotas, prices collapsed in 1986, and Saudi Arabia lost valuable markets for years to come.

OPEC has never completely regained the power it once had, but in the early 2000s, oil prices spiked again primarily because of the rapid growth in demand from China and other developing countries and increasing unrest in several oil-producing countries like Nigeria and Venezuela. With the oil market growing tighter, Saudi Arabia expanded its spare capacity and kept a lid on spiraling prices.

An equilibrium price of around $100 a barrel kept producing and consuming countries reasonably happy. But now the United States production, combined with slowing economic activity, in China and Europe, have broken the balance.

“OPEC still has power in that they can still cut production and raise price if they choose to do so,” said Michael C. Lynch, president of Strategic Energy and Economic Research and sometimes an adviser to OPEC. But he added, “They don’t have the same power they once did because so many of the members are in bad financial condition and so it’s harder for them to cut production and lose revenues in the short term to raise prices.”"

"A version of this article appears in print on November 29, 2014, on page B1 of the New York edition with the headline: Free Fall in Oil Price Underscores Power Shift."


====================

From 2009-2013 production of crude oil dropped by 6 percent and natural gas by 28 percent on US federal lands and offshore areas:

11/21/14, "WH Vows to Boost Fossil Fuel Production – in Ukraine," CNS News, Penny Starr
 
"The Obama administration, no fan of fossil fuels, has delayed a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline for six years, but today it announced its support for fossil fuel production in Ukraine.

“We are supporting Ukrainian efforts to enhance its own energy production, including through technical assistance to help restructure Ukraine’s national oil and gas company, Naftogaz, and through the introduction of new technologies to boost outputs from existing and new conventional gas fields in Ukraine,” says a fact sheet released by the White House.

The fact sheet, which lists all the ways the U.S. is assisting Ukraine, was issued in conjunction with Vice President Joe Biden’s visit to that country.

There is no mention in the fact sheet of developing alternative energy sources such as solar or wind energy generation in Ukraine, as the Obama administration insists the U.S. must do.

Moscow cut off gas supplies to Ukraine over unpaid debts in June, and Ukraine is now relying on domestic supplies and shipments from other countries.

The development of oil and gas resources on public lands in the United States has declined under the Obama administration, which is making a multi-billion investment in renewable energy.

U.S. production of crude oil and natural gas on state and privately owned lands rose from 2009 to 2013 by 61 percent and 33 percent, respectively, according to the Congressional Research Service. But on federal lands and offshore areas, production of crude oil dropped by 6 percent and natural gas by 28 percent over the same period.

While he's in Ukraine, Biden will announce that the U.S. is giving $3 million to the United Nation’s World Food Program to help “displaced” people and others suffering from the ongoing conflict with Russia in eastern Ukraine.

That brings the total U.S. financial commitment to Ukraine to $320 million for the year. “The United States stands ready to continue to work with our partners to provide Ukraine with sufficient financing as it stabilizes its economy and carries out urgently needed reforms,” the fact sheet states.

The fact sheet also includes a wide range of other assistance, from defending human rights to trade diversification.

According to the White House, Biden, who is traveling with his wife, Jill, is meeting today with Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and will next travel to Turkey."