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Home Archive October 2008 Issue

October 2008 Issue


From the Editor

From the Editor

“As the voracious demand for oil increasingly outstripped new sources of supply in recent years, an energy crisis crept up on the world with fateful inevitability,” so commented Time magazine on November 19, 1973 some 35 years ago when Arab nations tried to squeeze concessions out of Israel and its Western supporters in response to what has come to be known as the Yom Kippur war.   It seems like a case of back-to-the-future seeing that it is now October 2008: growing global demand for diminishing oil reserves are increasingly concentrating back on a handful nations in the Middle East.  Like in 73’ consumers are suffering from high oil prices forcing drivers to cut back on non-essential transport.  The cost of heating and fuel oil will make the coming winter tough on the citizens of oil importing nations double whamied by the US financial crisis and looming global recession.  So we revisit that event and others central to the burning international security issue of energy security in this first issue of the Journal of Energy Security

Continuing with the 1973 Time magazine article “The Arabs' New Oil Squeeze: Dimouts, Slowdowns, Chills,”  the writer went on to add, “In the Moslem Middle East, only non-Arab Iran continues to pump and ship oil in normal amounts.”  Well that was written 6 years before the Iranian revolution which plunged that state into a period of dark transition that continues to this day.  So we revisit an Iran still in transition thirty-plus years hence and examine the energy security implications of a state now seeking nuclear weapons capability. 

Energy terrorism, the emergence of China as the world’s largest producer of methanol which it considers a strategic transportation fuel, and the energy and security implications of Russia’s invasion of Georgia remember Soviet Georgia that transits the only non-Russian pipeline in the FSU are new and emergent realities that the nations of the world are grappling with.   

Our goal in the months and yes unfortunately years ahead- as the world wobbles towards its next industrial revolution and struggles with energy driven security issues in the meantime- is to provide a space to think aloud on shaping a more secure energy future.  Creative thinking, accurate reporting and thoughtful analysis of the nexus between energy and security are the aspirations of this new publication.  As always you and history will be the judge.

Take The ‘Post’ Out of Cold War: Russia’s Invasion of Georgia

Kevin Rosner writes that Russia’s invasion of Georgia meant to shake the foundations of the Saakashvili government, expand Russian influence inside this strategic Caucasus state and to reassert its dominance in a neighborhood it considers its own. The act marks the end of the post Cold War era and thrusts the world into unchartered territory with Europe’s energy security in the balance.


Germany's Energy Insecurity

As Europe’s industrial powerhouse, structural changes to the country's energy and power sectors have staggering implications both for its economy and for the security of its own energy supply.  Is Germany sacrificing its national security to climate change and environmental concerns?  The anti-nuclear lobby has morphed into the anti-coal lobby and, if successful, Germany's dependence on imported Russian hydrocarbons will only deepen. 


China Takes Gold in Methanol Fuel

In 2007 China surpassed Japan as the world’s second largest importer of oil behind the United States.  Yet it is not sitting idly by content with increasing oil imports.   According to U.S. Methanol Institute President & CEO John Lynn, “China is showing the rest of the world how clean transportation fuels can be made from coal.”  Methanol is now a strategic transportation fuel in China and the rest of the world should take note.


35 Years After the Arab Oil Embargo

35 Years After the Arab Oil EmbargoWith the price of oil at historic highs and U.S. oil import dependency holding steady Jay Hakes presents new information that has come to light on the first Arab oil embargo.  What does OPEC’s past performance tell us about its future behavior?  

Energy Security Implications of an Iran in Transition

If the radical Islamic regime in Tehran acquires a nuclear weapons arsenal, it entirely changes the balance of power across the region.   But Europe and Asia are hungry for Iranian oil and gas. What are the energy implications of an empowered, and likely assertive, Iran and what are the scenarios that policy makers need to consider?  


Terrorism & Public Utility Infrastructure Protection

Terrorism & Public Utility Infrastructure ProtectionPublic utilities are not only a preferred target of terrorists but can also be used as a weapon to launch chemical or biological attacks against human populations.  Can the nation stand up to the myriad challenges we face and act to improve utility and energy infrastructure security? Whom do we turn to for answers?


US Energy Security Council RT discussion

New Books

Petropoly: the Collapse of America's Energy Security Paradigm
Energy Security Challenges for the 21st Century

"Remarkable collection spanning geopolitics, economy and technology. This timely and comprehensive volume is a one stop shop for anyone interested in one of the most important issues in international relations."
U.S. Senator Richard G. Lugar

"A small masterpiece -- right on the money both strategically and technically, witty, far-sighted, and barbeques a number of sacred cows. Absolutely do not miss this."
R. James Woolsey, Former CIA Director

"The book is going to become the Bible for everyone who is serious about energy and national security."
Robert C. McFarlane, Former U.S. National Security Advisor
Russian Coal: Europe's New Energy Challenge