White House Readies Unilateral Sanctions On Russia As US Utilities Scramble For Russian Coal

Tyler Durden's picture

"It's not clear to us that breaking commercial ties with the Russia partners, consumers gets anyone to where they want to be," warns one political think tank as AP reports, The White House is considering imposing unilateral sanctions on Russia over its threatening moves in Ukraine - a move reflecting frustration at Europe's reluctance to bit off its nose to spite its face. Until now, the U.S. has insisted on hitting Russia with penalties in concert with Europe in order to maximize the impact, but, as Putin warned, those same economic ties have made Europe fearful that tougher penalties against Russia could boomerang and hurt their own economies. Obam has faced criticism over a lack of action, as Bob Corker blasted "sometimes I'm embarrassed for you, as you constantly talk about sanctions and yet, candidly, we never see them put in place," but the European 'concerns' are just as valid in America as Utilities in the U.S. are scrambling for coal, on pace to increase imports 26% this year.


As AP reports,

The United States is considering imposing unilateral sanctions on Russia over its threatening moves in Ukraine, a shift in strategy that reflects the Obama administration's frustration with Europe's reluctance to take tougher action against Moscow, according to U.S. and European officials.


Until now, the U.S. has insisted on hitting Russia with penalties in concert with Europe in order to maximize the impact and present a united Western front. The European Union has a far stronger economic relationship with Russia, making the 28-nation bloc's participation key to ensuring sanctions packages have enough teeth to deter Russia.


But those same economic ties have made Europe fearful that tougher penalties against Russia could boomerang and hurt their own economies. After weeks of inaction, the officials say the U.S. is now prepared to move forward alone if EU officials fail to enact strong sanctions during a meeting Wednesday in Brussels.




The White House's willingness to punish Russia without European backing comes as the Obama administration faces criticism that its repeated warnings about tougher sanctions are little more than empty threats.


"Sometimes I'm embarrassed for you, as you constantly talk about sanctions and yet, candidly, we never see them put in place," Sen. Bob Corker, a Republican, said during a Senate hearing on Ukraine with administration officials last week.




Heather Conley, director of the Europe program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said the West's failure to follow through on its threat of sector sanctions has raised a "credibility question" for the Obama administration.


If Obama moves forward with unilateral sanctions, he'll face opposition from the private sector. U.S. businesses have been pressing the administration to hold off on sanctions that could put them at a disadvantage in the global economy.


"It's not clear to us that breaking commercial ties with the Russia partners, consumers gets anyone to where they want to be," said Gary Litman, vice president for international strategic initiatives at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

*  *  *
And indeed, as Bloomberg reports, US power plants are 'desperately' turning to Russia for their coal...

Utilities in the U.S. are scrambling for coal, on pace to increase imports 26 percent this year, as railroad bottlenecks slow deliveries and electricity demand climbs with an improving economy. Russia, the world’s third-largest exporter of the fuel, will boost shipments 3.9 percent to 106 million metric tons this year, IHS Energy forecasts, part of President Vladimir Putin’s plan to expand Russia’s role in the global coal market.

“Everyone’s aware that a number of plants have low stockpiles, so you hear Russian coal and they say, ‘Oh wow, people must really be desperate,’” James Stevenson, Houston-based director of North American coal at IHS, said in a July 8 telephone interview.

The Russian fuel appeals to power producers because it emits less sulfur than other coals, making it easier to comply with environmental rules, and has a high heat content, meaning it can produce more power per measure of fuel, Stevenson said.

“If you are on the Atlantic Coast, you have a chance to buy imported coal,” Stevenson said. “If you’re a utility you have to act now and throughout the second half of the year in case there’s a colder winter than last year.”

*  *  *
Boomerang indeed... Be careful what you wish for President Obama. As Putin warned before...

Putin was asked why the US can do whatever it wants and no one punishes them, while attempts are being made to punish Russia.

“The US is certainly one of the world’s leaders. At some point it
seemed that it was the only leader and a uni-polar system was in place.
Today it appears that is not the case. Everything in the world is
interdependent and once you try to punish someone, in the end you will
cut off your nose to spite your face,
he said.

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JailBank's picture

Well this should make for a nice winter.

90's Child's picture

Plenty of coal in Detroit and Chicago.

GetZeeGold's picture



Expensive coal makes the lights glow just that much brighter....but it could cause global cooling.

RevRex's picture

Obama is an anti-American piece of shit

Arius's picture

Mr. Obama is the President of the United States of America!

GetZeeGold's picture



You got that right comrade!

Headbanger's picture

Not for long Arius you douche bag!

eclectic syncretist's picture

Somebody better tell Obama Sin Laden how much petro it takes to make a golf ball.

Latina Lover's picture

This is good news for Russia. The Kiev Kriminals are losing the civil war, hence their  USSA puppetmasters are forced to impose unilateral sanctions. The Europeans don't want to play since they have nothing to gain and a great deal to loose. 

Vampyroteuthis infernalis's picture

Send the Kenyan back to his backwater formerly known as Chicago!

lakecity55's picture

Further! Abort him from Ann's ravaged, coal-burned pussy!

nidaar's picture

He's just doing what he's told to do. Just two days ago I saw a street demonstration demanding "sanction Putin" in one of the most upscale neighborhoods of Toronto. A very unusual place for such publicity, because average net worth is above 1 $M in the area. I just laughed and ignored the instinct of taking a photo. Now I understand what it is all about, the %0.01 wants war. That's as simple as that.

Jack Burton's picture

That was a brilliant deduction "nidaar". America is hell bent on forcing Russia into war. The underlying reasons are not apparent, but underneath the media lies the "deep state" has many reasons to want war on Russia now. They see Russia on the rebound after the disaster of communism. Now that communism is buried and two decades of economic collapse are in the rear view mirror, Russia is becoming a real functioning state with a free marktet economy. America can't face down both Russia and China at once. So, Russia must be destroyed this decade, as next decade China will be so powerful America will have to attack them. Take the Rusasians out now in war is what Washington's powerful leaders seek.

Ghordius's picture

correct. with the exception of Poland and the Baltic Nations (who are having second thoughts themselves) we don't want to play that war

yet what you call the "Kiev Kriminals", i.e. the legitimate sovereign country called Ukraine is winning against it's eastern rebellion

and imho that's an internal affair of them. I still hope they will stop shedding unnecessary blood, federate properly, secure minority rights and have peace

Volkodav's picture

Ukraine has never been a sovereign nation.


Kyiv Ukr forces are trapped against Russia Border  http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.com/

Ghordius's picture

Volkodav, the sovereign nation of Russia said so. in treaties, in the Nineties. do you need a link? photographs of the Russian Foreign Minister signing and shaking hands?

in another treaty, Sevastopol was deemed to be used by the Russian Black Sea Fleet. yes, Sevastopol is in Crimea, the new Russian Federation member

the price for sovereign independence from the previous Rodina was... all that nuclear-tipped forest of missiles that used to be in Ukraine

here a link Partition_Treaty_on_the_Status_and_Conditions_of_the_Black_Sea_Fleet

if Ukraine was recognized by Russia as a sovereign nation - and the very fact that both signed treaties together is a recognition for itself... who am I to say otherwise?

if you really want to troll... be more subtle

Panem et Circus's picture

He's not a troll. He's just a propaganda bot. They're all the rage, and all of the major players on the world stage have them now.

Idaho potato head's picture

Heh, wonder how the US will hold together after it's imminent collapse. Do you think it can hold on to, for example Texas? Crimea has always been Russian and will remain so, no matter what the Obama administration wants.

flapdoodle's picture

Winning? You need to read a bit more mate - looks like you take MSM rantings about the great Ukraine victory at Slavyansk at face value. A bit of research is in order, and reading between the lines.

A tactical, fairly ordered retreat against overwhelming odds is pretty thn gruel, not a huge victory. Note the amount of squabbling and second guessing in Kiev about letting Stelkov get away with most of his men...

Kiev has shot their wad and things are not looking very rosy for them. Regardless of the stockpiles from ex-Warsaw Pact supplies to replace what they are losing to the eastern Ukraine, IMHO opinion they are starting to lose the average people of the Ukraine and will have to replace them with "volunteers" from the EU or other NATO satrapies.

The campaign against the East had a chance right at the beginning due to the Militias disorganization but it was obvious Russia would not let Kiev win, pouring in just enough resources to stay just slightly ahead of the resources being poured in by the Zionist neocons in Washington and their EU puppets.

If you plot the trajectory, Kiev will not defeat the Eastern militia, nor drag Russia into an overt invasion.

Those who say this is a game of chess are wrong. Its a game of 'go' and its obvious to me at least that the strategic position of Kiev is a guaranteed loss. The chocolate magnate is praying to whatever god he worships (Yahweh or Satan?) that Russia goes overt so he can blame the defeats he is suffering on the Russian military.

No doubt Russia has "accidentally" misplaced some supplies and perhaps made it too easy for Russians to volunteer to fight with the Militia, but in fairness they are just playing exactly the same game NATO is playing in Ukraine, in Syria, and now in Iraq.

Karma, like payback, is a bitch.

Jack Burton's picture

The military action in East Ukraine is very ugly. This is real combat, not the type Americans think of as war. This time men are fighting on the ground and with armored vehicles. The non stop shelling of towns and cities is happening, and it is Kiev who is doing it. BUT, that is not why I posted, war is happening, BUT the real story is Kiev's economic collapse. By winter west Ukraine will be unable to maintain it's minoroty grip on power. The non-fascists, who are a majority, will be at the throats of Kiev when food and heat and even water are either too expensive for average people or not available at all. Right now America is funding the war Kiev wages. So that can continue with out pause. BUT, again, Kiev's fascist coup leaders are useless idiots and can't run a country other than to loot it. By February 2015, I suggest we revist this topic, and I will gladly defend my opinions in future. Kiev is a dead man walking, held up by the CIA and American tax dollars and East European Soviet Era arms.

The goal is to force Russia into this war. Putin has said in public he knows what Kiev's and Washington's goals are and he will not cooperate in their plans. His best bet is to do like NATO does in wars they start. Supply the rebels with masses of arms, modern arms. Supply them from safe havens on the Russian side of the border. Slip men, arms and supplies across the border. When confronted by NATO about it, simply say "No we aren't doing that,"

StychoKiller's picture

F#^$%(@!! What do you do if you throw a war and no one shows up?

matrix2012's picture

Latina Lover, do you follow how's the civil war development in UKR? where is the reliable source to cover the updated news?


I answer my own question, seems http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.com/ gives a good coverage

from Saker's site, come this source opposite to the MSM:


Jack Burton's picture

Thank you "matrix2012". I have been reading the "saker" site. But the second new link you posted is very new to me and very useful to be able to get this english translation. My thanks to you!

krispkritter's picture

Obammy never had any balls.  He's playing with ours...

lakecity55's picture

Yuck. Please don't say that again.

Manthong's picture

“Utilities in the U.S. are scrambling for coal”

That’s rich..
If you will recall, the impeached, admitted (plea deal, $90K fine, lose law license cover-up) perjurer BJ. Clinton (Bill Jefferson) locked up 1.7 million acres containing a lot of the scarce, richest low-sulphur coal on the planet as a  “National Wilderness area". Do the names James Riady, Mochtar Riady and Lippo Group ring a bell to anyone?

“Scientists and land managers of the BLM concluded that the land that would be affected by the coal mine wasn’t — as Clinton claimed — “the most remarkable land in the world.” Significantly, “its high potential for future development outweighed its low wilderness values.”

Folks living in the area wore black arm bands the day of the signing - but Clinton didn't see them. He chose to make his announcement in a neighboring state..   WHY? Why did he do it? Why lock up $1 trillion worth of coal?..   At the center of the controversy was another set of people to whom Clinton owes a few favors: the Lippo Group, a powerful $5 billion Indonesian conglomerate, founded and owned by the Riady family who, it turned out, had raised and funneled millions of dollars into campaign coffers. “



666's picture

I hope a piece of the Russian coal makes it into Obummer's stocking on Xmas. Or should I say Kwanzaa?

lakecity55's picture

I am afraid his Kwanzaa is full of Reggie.

flapdoodle's picture

The psyops engineers who came up with the divisive concept of the "Kwanzaa"holiday  left their calling card in plain sight: when it first came out one of the main symbols for the synthetically created holiday is, of course, the menorah to hold the seven candles...

That little fact now seems to have disappeared from Wikipedia (surprise, surprise) but is clear enough if you google it...


ceilidh_trail's picture

Thanks for the reminder. Forgot about all the clinton sleaze.

logicalman's picture

Everyone needs to be reminded about Clinton sleaze.

We all know the true rulers want Hitlary for pres.

Imagine how disastrous that would be.


Tall Tom's picture

The current President of the United States of America is an anti-American piece of shit. MOST of them have been in the past 100 years.


Is that better, Arius?

Arius's picture

No, it is not!


and if you have personal problems, don't expect to be solved by the President.  Go out there, work hard ... do two three jobs ... take responsibility for your own actions!

That is the American way!

Yen Cross's picture

    Go out there, work hard ... do two three jobs ... take responsibility for your own actions, and don't forget your free Obama phone.

DaveyJones's picture

...and don't forget to blame all countries but your own for your pathetic situation 

JailBank's picture

If you work 3 part time jobs you are stealing 2 part time jobs from other people? If you have 3 part time jobs do you covered by Obamacare 3 times over?

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

"Go out there, work hard ... do two three jobs ... take responsibility for your own actions!  That is the American way!"

Actually, it is not so much of an "American" thing, since this kind of commitment to the Work Ethic or act of desperation is universal, and has been around 'forever'.  If you know anything about history or anthropology.

Arius's picture

good point.


however, you would agree that not all people have that kind of commitment to the "Work Ethic or act of desperation" ...

my point is that America more than any other country attracted that kind of people... and Obama is an example

knotjammin2's picture

Why is that you Valarie?  Obama is the most scum sucking piece of shit president since Jimmy Carter.  Anyone  that disagrees is not only a fool but most likely a "head up their ass liberal"!!

angel_of_joy's picture

Sorry, but even Carter was somewhat smarter. Obozo really scrapes the bottom of the IQ barrel.

dizzyfingers's picture

Carter had some actual accomplishments in his background, I hate to admit but he did. He may have been played for a fool by the Ayatola (sp? sorry), but Obama looks like a grade-school kid...stamping his feet and yelling "it isn't FAIR!!!!!!."

JailBank's picture

Obama is the worst parts of Carter and Nixon combined in to one horrible egomaniac.

Panem et Circus's picture

This is excellent sarcasm!

localspaced's picture

Yes, with a job at mac donalds, one at burger king and one at KFC youre definitely moving up the food chain.

All three of them! Wool!

oklaboy's picture

sure does sound like MDB, same shrill, no content

EverythingEviL's picture

Oh how cute, a new Obama loving troll

Arius's picture

I do not necessarily love Obama


I do not like losers who try to blame their problems on others