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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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Wed, 07/16/2014 - 09:12 | 4962219 JailBank
JailBank's picture

Well this should make for a nice winter.

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 09:15 | 4962227 90's Child
90's Child's picture

Plenty of coal in Detroit and Chicago.

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 09:17 | 4962237 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture



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

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 09:22 | 4962253 RevRex
RevRex's picture

Obama is an anti-American piece of shit

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 09:24 | 4962259 Arius
Arius's picture

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

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 09:27 | 4962263 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture



You got that right comrade!

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 09:28 | 4962279 Headbanger
Headbanger's picture

Not for long Arius you douche bag!

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 09:32 | 4962293 eclectic syncretist
eclectic syncretist's picture

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

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 09:45 | 4962336 Latina Lover
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. 

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 10:22 | 4962496 Vampyroteuthis ...
Vampyroteuthis infernalis's picture

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

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 10:52 | 4962606 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

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

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 11:02 | 4962638 nidaar
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.

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 13:53 | 4963463 Jack Burton
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.

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 11:41 | 4962734 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

The vile creature in her coal-burning den......


Wed, 07/16/2014 - 10:28 | 4962520 Ghordius
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

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 10:48 | 4962587 Volkodav
Volkodav's picture

Ukraine has never been a sovereign nation.


Kyiv Ukr forces are trapped against Russia Border

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 10:57 | 4962609 Ghordius
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

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 11:37 | 4962726 Panem et Circus
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.

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 11:59 | 4962822 Idaho potato head
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.

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 13:59 | 4963444 flapdoodle
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.

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 14:03 | 4963502 Jack Burton
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,"

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 23:31 | 4965767 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

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

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 11:14 | 4962632 matrix2012
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 gives a good coverage

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

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 14:06 | 4963520 Jack Burton
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!

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 09:47 | 4962365 krispkritter
krispkritter's picture

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

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 09:52 | 4962390 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

Yuck. Please don't say that again.

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 10:17 | 4962464 Manthong
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. “

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 10:20 | 4962491 666
666's picture

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

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 10:42 | 4962561 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

I am afraid his Kwanzaa is full of Reggie.

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 14:34 | 4963647 flapdoodle
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...


Wed, 07/16/2014 - 10:28 | 4962515 ceilidh_trail
ceilidh_trail's picture

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

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 10:59 | 4962627 logicalman
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.


Wed, 07/16/2014 - 09:35 | 4962313 Tall Tom
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?

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 09:40 | 4962330 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!

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 09:44 | 4962354 Yen Cross
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.

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 09:51 | 4962388 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

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

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 10:11 | 4962455 JailBank
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?

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 10:11 | 4962457 Kirk2NCC1701
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.

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 10:21 | 4962492 Arius
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

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 11:09 | 4962667 knotjammin2
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"!!

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 11:43 | 4962749 angel_of_joy
angel_of_joy's picture

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

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 15:57 | 4964029 dizzyfingers
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!!!!!!."

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 13:57 | 4963477 JailBank
JailBank's picture

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

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 11:41 | 4962741 Panem et Circus
Panem et Circus's picture

This is excellent sarcasm!

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 10:20 | 4962489 localspaced
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!

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 10:28 | 4962523 ceilidh_trail
ceilidh_trail's picture

Arius? Is that you MDB?

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 10:39 | 4962555 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture


Wed, 07/16/2014 - 11:16 | 4962679 oklaboy
oklaboy's picture

sure does sound like MDB, same shrill, no content

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 10:34 | 4962544 EverythingEviL
EverythingEviL's picture

Oh how cute, a new Obama loving troll

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 10:41 | 4962557 Arius
Arius's picture

I do not necessarily love Obama


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

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 11:34 | 4962715 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

So, you admit you are a troll.

I think I hear the chow hall bell ringing at Eglin AFB.

Take a break. Reddit! Reddit!

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 11:48 | 4962771 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

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

now wait a minute, that eliminates 99% of both political parties....

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 10:38 | 4962551 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

Please take Backdoor Barry's dick out of your mouth before you type. Many of us cannot understand ypu.

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 11:03 | 4962642 logicalman
logicalman's picture

Go out there and be a slave 3 times over so you can just about survive after the gov steals enough from you.

If I didn't have half what I earn stolen under the threat of violence, I'd be laughing.

I don't like to make personal comments very often, but your post is just plain dumb.

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 14:40 | 4963661 flapdoodle
flapdoodle's picture

What you are basically saying Arius is that we need to act like good slaves, keep our head down and work extra hard with our hoe to get an extra ration of slop rather than pay attention to what the masters are doing, or heaven forbid actually entertain any doubt that they have the divine right to be our masters...

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 09:43 | 4962349 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture


Not for long Arius you douche bag!

Although he'll only be president for another two and a half years, a lot can happen during that time.

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 09:34 | 4962309 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture


A foreigner who grew up speaking fluent Bhahasa Indonesian and Arabic.

Bet you did not know his speech in Cairo in about 2009 was in fluent Arabic.

The video of the speech only has him speaking English in the long shots, which were edited with English later added.

Furthermore, he is not "African." He is of the Indo-Malay ethnic group, which has offshoots in the Philippines,

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 09:42 | 4962346 Arius
Arius's picture


what is your point? shoot ...remember Tuco?


Wed, 07/16/2014 - 09:46 | 4962361 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

He is a fake.

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 09:49 | 4962375 Arius
Arius's picture

give me a break .... so, Bush, clinton, Reagan, Nixon etc... to name a few were real ?

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 10:36 | 4962534 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

Perhaps I should have said, Fakir.

Fake as in everything about him was created.

This is what Bill Clinton meant when he said Backdoor Barry was a "fairytale." He was not describing his homosexuality in that particular case.

To wit: Fakir

  1. <a traveling carnival that was run by fakirs preying on small-town rubes>
  2. <a fakir peddling patent medicines that were mostly liquor and sugar.
  3. <fakir (political) an illegal alien brought to power to subvert a free republic>


Wed, 07/16/2014 - 10:54 | 4962611 Arius
Arius's picture

"perhaps I should have said" ...

WHY dont you answer my question above instead of quoting the dictionnairy?

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 11:31 | 4962702 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

I did, assholio. I said he is a fake.

Obviously English is not your first language. May I suggest a few rides on the short bus to remedial ?Ingles?

Are you sure you aren't MDB??

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 11:37 | 4962725 Tall Tom
Tall Tom's picture

He is using this to sidetrack the issue that the USA is sanctioning Russia for setting up the BRICS Bank.


That is the NSA agenda on this thread.

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 11:33 | 4962712 Tall Tom
Tall Tom's picture

Because I had already answered your question previously with my statement that there have not been any good Presidents for the past 100 years.


You seem to have a short memory. Scroll up to my post above...where you wrote as a response your bullshit about getting three jobs and all o' that nonsense.

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 11:04 | 4962647 logicalman
logicalman's picture

Glove puppets all.

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 09:38 | 4962323 Yen Cross
Wed, 07/16/2014 - 09:41 | 4962338 RealityCheque
RealityCheque's picture

Who is this "Obama" of which you speak?

All I see is a Kenyan called Barry Sotero. 

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 09:47 | 4962362 EverythingEviL
EverythingEviL's picture


Wed, 07/16/2014 - 09:52 | 4962389 Arius
Arius's picture

Right Back at YOU!

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 12:29 | 4962972 Jerk_Store
Jerk_Store's picture

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

you forgot to add "arguably the most powerful man in the world".

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 09:23 | 4962255 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

Coal is the one energy source the US has in undisputed vast abundance.  Hundreds of years of supply.

But put a socialist in charge of things and what do you get?  Shortages of coal.  

By the time he leaves the WH (two and a half long damned years from now) I fully expect toilet paper shortages like Venezuela.

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 09:26 | 4962265 ParkAveFlasher
ParkAveFlasher's picture

Don't you know how many un-raped bitches a container of coal buys in Sierra Leone?

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 09:50 | 4962373 gmrpeabody
gmrpeabody's picture

There are no un-raped bitches in Sierra Leone. You've been duped.

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 15:34 | 4963961 SmackDaddy
SmackDaddy's picture

i'll give you that.  but we can still probably round up a few with all their limbs...  you know it's a shame what the white man made those civilized, peaceful people do to each other...

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 09:58 | 4962416 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

Like oil, the energy density and quality of coal is rapidly falling. From Richard Heinberg:

Coal fuels about 50% of US electricity production and provides a quarter of the country’s total energy. China and India’s ferocious economic growth is based on coal-generated electricity.

Coal currently looks like a solution to many of our fast-growing energy problems. However, while coal advocates are urging full steam ahead, increasing reliance on the dirtiest of all fossil fuels has crucial implications for climate science, energy policy, the world economy, and geopolitics.

Drawbacks to a coal-based energy strategy include:


  • Scarcity—new studies prove that the peak of usable coal production may actually be less than two decades away.
  • Cost—the quality of produced coal is declining, while the expense of transport is rising, leading to spiralling costs and potential shortages.
  • Climate impacts—our ability to deal with the historic challenge of climate change may hinge on reducing our coal consumption in future years.

    Blackout goes to the heart of the tough energy questions that will dominate every sphere of public policy throughout the first half of this century, and it is a must-read for planners, educators, and anyone concerned about energy consumption, peak oil, and climate change.

    Richard Heinberg is a journalist, editor, lecturer, and senior fellow of the Post Carbon Institute. He is one of the world’s foremost peak oil educators and the award-winning author of seven previous books, including Peak Everything and The Party’s Over.

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 10:16 | 4962479 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

forget the "heated" climate change debate, try this one from the Oil Drum: 

Coal aint the ticket out of this.

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 11:53 | 4962795 Government need...
Government needs you to pay taxes's picture

Another shilly article written by the politically motivated enviro-freaks supplemented by scant (and shoddy) relevant data.  The relevant data is BTUs per pound.  Charting BTUs per pound through time would be insufficient to inform shill's hypothesis without adjusting for the decline in the US steel industry.  The equivalent false argument in the oil business is that 'all the light, sweet crude' has been discovered and consumed.  According to this canard, all the oil that remains in the ground is the tarry, high-sulfur junk that must be mined out of the Orinco oil belt or the tar sands in Canada.  That argument gained traction right up until the shale oil revolution, and then exploded as a myth.  But dont worry, those 'peak oilers' will adjust their tactics and shift emphasis back to fracking chemicals, earthquakes, and the hypothesis that 6 years from now, the shale oil supplies will be exhausted.  With these folks, the sky is always falling, and unless you buy some carbon credits from Goldman Sachs, we're all going to be living in hell on earth.  The last successful scamster to pull this off was Johann Tetzel, selling his religious indulgences in the late 15th/early 16th century.

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 11:22 | 4962689 Government need...
Government needs you to pay taxes's picture

Dick is an unabashed shill for the Global warmist scam.  There is no coal scarcity in the US.  Anytime you hear 'peak coal may be as little as 20 years away' from a global warmist, the translation is 'we've got a nearly unlimited supply.'  The quality of produced coal is declining is another absurd statement.  In periods of economic malaise, less met coal is produced.  Met coal (including anthracite) has a MUCH higher NRG content than thermal coal.  The relative heat content of thermal coal does vary, but the miner decides based on depth of seam, proximity of clients, and variety of nearby clients, which quality of thermal coal to mine first.  In other words, sometimes it is more profitable to mine lower quality coal.  Climate impacts:  the warmists haven't gotten much right in 30+ years of trying to predict temperature changes, and there isn't any good science out there to credibly support their claims.  The whole effort is politically driven to enrich the likes of Al Gore and Goldman Sachs, while also enabling enviro-freaks (and government) more control.  Blackouts occasionally occur, but I'd be far more concerned with this following the disintegration of the unsustainable, tyrannical, criminal Federal government.  To repeat, Dick Heinberg is a paid shill whose arguments are easily refutable.

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 11:06 | 4962650 logicalman
logicalman's picture

At the present rate of 'progress' lack of TP may be the least of your worries.

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 09:27 | 4962270 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

Chimpouts too.

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 09:16 | 4962236 Old Man River
Old Man River's picture

Energy prices will necessarily skyrocket. Another means to an end. Long beeswax candles.

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 09:22 | 4962249 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Just pulled another 50lbs of honey from hives on the home property.  The rest are out in the orchards.  People still fail to understand who runs bartertown...

same as it ever was...

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 09:29 | 4962280 Old Man River
Old Man River's picture

I pulled 50 lbs of garlic this year and hope to harvest north of 150 lbs. of butternut squash. Small time. But coincidentally I trade garlic and butternuts to a buddy for his honey. Good stuff!

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 12:47 | 4963081 COSMOS
COSMOS's picture

Yah but you better be armed and ready, I hear those Africanized honey bees can be quite deadly when they storm

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 09:33 | 4962302 Headbanger
Headbanger's picture

Mother Nature runs Bartertown and good job with those buzzy friends of yours.

And it's time to start some serious fire wood stacking.

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 09:52 | 4962387 Cruel Aid
Cruel Aid's picture

Thats on the list, enjoy your fire.

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 10:02 | 4962424 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

you must not be using the "right" pesticides

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 09:56 | 4962405 TheReplacement
TheReplacement's picture

Best to not have candles - the light makes it easier for drones to drone you.

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 09:45 | 4962359 doctor10
doctor10's picture

The amusement offered by the White House so obviously shooting itself in the ass is offset by the misery their foolishness will incur on the rest of the country.

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 09:49 | 4962379 post turtle saver
post turtle saver's picture

this article is stupid and easily debunked with simple research

the US imported ~1.5M short tons of coal in 2013 and has imported ~2.5M short tons year to date... yes, that's going up, but hold on...

the US exported ~31.8M short tons of coal in 2013 and has exported ~27.7M short tons year to date

on the import side, the majority comes from Venezuela and Indonesia; that trend is not changing

on the export side, the majority goes to Europe and Asia... hmmm

perspective... the US mines ~920 million tonnes of coal per year... which is about 2.5x the amount Russia mines in a given year... the only country that mines more is China, who by far leads the way at ~3600 million tonnes a year

imports into the US from Russia don't even show up in the statistical noise for the import data, they're not even listed

to add to this, the US has the worlds largest proven reserves of anthracite and bituminous coal... you know, the good stuff that everyone wants, especially US plants that are under strict EPA regs

RThedge strikes again... all propaganda, no research

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 10:02 | 4962429 Doctor Faustus
Doctor Faustus's picture

And the U.S. has low-sulphur coal as well. That would be the Powder River Basin region located in Wyoming & Montana. 


So we got that going for us. 

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 10:29 | 4962524 Axenolith
Axenolith's picture

Of note, as I recall the Clintoon put a large anthracite deposit out of bounds in a wilderness area as a sop to his Indonesian camaign contributors.

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 10:58 | 4962594 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

Hmmm, Indonesians....Backdoor Barry...Indonesian.....

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 10:33 | 4962537 BandGap
BandGap's picture

There are patents of engines that run on low sulphur coal.

This technology was tested out by -tada! - the DoD in the late 80s, early 90s. They ran an Abrams tank coal water slurry fuel and a Huey helicopter, too. At the time it was touted as the safest fuel around since out did not explode when the fuel tanks were breached.

BTW - higher octane rating than aviation fuel. And cleaner.


Wed, 07/16/2014 - 10:42 | 4962565 magnetosphere
magnetosphere's picture

i believe the germans used coal to drive cars in ww2 because they were so desparate for oil

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 10:45 | 4962576 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

both Germany and South Africa had plants that made something resembling liquid fuel for cars out of coal, yes. Brazil still uses sugar cane, and the US uses corn

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 10:56 | 4962616 magnetosphere
magnetosphere's picture

no i mean having coal onboard the car as the fuel.  japan as well.  apparently some cars even used wood

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 11:03 | 4962644 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

I fear you are mistaken. technically, the only way to use wood or coal directly is by steam generation. which is fine for bigger units like trains, but it's a bitch for smaller units like cars. there were some steam powered cars, but their use is very limited

look up small boats powered by steam, and look how they have to be used. it takes a while to have a good "head" of steam

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 11:08 | 4962657 magnetosphere
magnetosphere's picture

they can gasify and/or liquefy the coal/wood on board for use in an internal combustion engine


Wed, 07/16/2014 - 12:15 | 4962885 Government need...
Government needs you to pay taxes's picture

The NRG efficiency of a steam powered engine designed for a truck is higher than an internal combustion engine.  Something on the order of 70% efficient versus 25% (for gasoline/diesel).  Steam engines can use the heat produced, while internal combustion engines cannot.

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 11:49 | 4962776 post turtle saver
post turtle saver's picture

the Honeywell AGT1500 in the M1 Abrams can run on coal slurry with some minor field tweaks... hell, anything that can run on marine diesel can for that matter...

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 10:18 | 4962476 magnetosphere
magnetosphere's picture

well the article cites IHS, founded by that dipshit yergin who would pimp his grandma to make a quick buck.  so yes this article is a crock of shit. 

patzek and rutledge dont think anyone has abundant coal left

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 11:32 | 4962709 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

when you pimp your grandma do they get a senior discount 

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 09:53 | 4962396 Berspankme
Berspankme's picture

Can Al Gore help?

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 10:24 | 4962504 Axenolith
Axenolith's picture

Nothing says economic sense like a country with +-700 years worth of proven coal deposits importing the shit...

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 09:12 | 4962220 Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill's picture

A petrodollar short,and a day late.

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 10:14 | 4962469 rwe2late
rwe2late's picture

Not only do unilateral economic sanctions (and even the threat of sanctions) hurt US business dealings now,
but they also harm business dealings in the future. Sanctions add another unpredictable
risk factor to having any business/trade relations with the US
or any possible US  involvement in the conditions of trade with other  nations.

One way to reduce the risk is to allow the US to unilaterally dictate the terms of international trade. The major drawback of submission is that the US will ALWAYS maximize its own political/economic interests above the interests of other nations.

Despite that realization, those leaders corrupted by US sponsorship, and fearful of losing power without that, will insist their nations sacrifice to US demands.
Others, less corrupted and less fearful, will not so insist.

Napoleon also attempted to impose a "continental system" to block trade between England and Russia, as well as other nations.

When that (predictably) failed, a frustrated Napoleon, driven by a lust for power, and blinded by a hubristic vision of imagined destiny, then believed he "had no option" except to invade Russia.

Of course, the past is past,
and this time it is different.

So we are told once again.

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 09:13 | 4962224 Took Red Pill
Took Red Pill's picture

"electricity demand climbs with an improving economy" BS!

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 09:55 | 4962402 Uncle Remus
Uncle Remus's picture

Meh. Par for the Bloomberg course. Tweak the BS filter.

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 09:14 | 4962226 101 years and c...
101 years and counting's picture

did you know:  8 of the last 9 winners of the world cup saw their home country GDP contract in the following year after the win?  good luck to merkel and germany.

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 09:24 | 4962258 RevRex
RevRex's picture

and 100% of mostly white countries who elected a negro Presidunce saw their country being destroyed before thier very eyes.....

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 09:42 | 4962347 Yes_Questions
Yes_Questions's picture

Half negro

Preceded by a half wit

Preceded by a full hillbilly

Preceded by a reptile

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 09:56 | 4962404 Uncle Remus
Uncle Remus's picture

Multiculturalism in action.

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 10:07 | 4962445 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture


Wed, 07/16/2014 - 10:42 | 4962566 viahj
viahj's picture

HEY!  Tennessee Hillbillies take offence to that reference.

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 10:51 | 4962601 CrimsonAvenger
CrimsonAvenger's picture

Good thing they can't read that comment then.

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 17:24 | 4964431 Uncle Remus
Uncle Remus's picture



Wed, 07/16/2014 - 09:15 | 4962229 JustObserving
JustObserving's picture

Payback for the BRICS bank:

Faced With Western Freeze-Out, BRICS Bank Is a Coup for Russia

Top of the agenda at the sixth summit of the BRICS developing nations beginning Tuesday is the founding of two multilateral financial institutions designed to erode the dominance of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund as arbiters of the global economic system.

For Russia, the creation of a $100 billion BRICS development bank and a reserve currency fund worth another $100 billion is a political coup. Just as the West freezes Russia out of its own economic system as punishment for its politics in Ukraine, Russia is tying itself into the financial superstructure of the next generation of economic heavyweights: India, Brazil, China and South Africa.

The World Bank and the IMF have come under criticism from the rapidly developing BRICS, who together account for 20 percent of global GDP and 40 percent of the world's population. In their view, the two financial institutions are dominated by the rich nations of the G7 and attach stringent conditions to their lending that impinge on the economic sovereignty of its members.

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 09:20 | 4962245 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Why does the "BRICs bank" keep talking in dollars?  Shouldn't this be a basket of Yaun, Ruble, Rupee, Real etc.?


I am confused.

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 09:23 | 4962254 JustObserving
JustObserving's picture

It's much simpler to communicate its size in dollars than in a basket of currencies. Or even in tons of gold.

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 09:31 | 4962290 Tall Tom
Tall Tom's picture

I am under the impression that the initial capitalization is in the form of US Treasuries purchased through Belgium?

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 11:29 | 4962701 markar
markar's picture

Ding, ding, ding! to  be recycled back to the US

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 11:40 | 4962731 Tall Tom
Tall Tom's picture


Wed, 07/16/2014 - 09:32 | 4962292 Citxmech
Citxmech's picture

I think they are implementing in stages.  Step one:  Isolate the WB and IMF.  Once you accomplish that, changing the monetary unit is relatively easy.

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 09:28 | 4962278 Tall Tom
Tall Tom's picture

Exactly. Exactly that.


The excuse is, "The White House is considering imposing unilateral sanctions on Russia over its threatening moves in Ukraine...blah...blah...blah..."


You nailed the reason on the head. The BRICS Agreement is a shot across the bow of US Dollar hedgemony.

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 09:34 | 4962310 Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill's picture

A shot into the bows I'm thinking.

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 09:43 | 4962350 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

Torpedo into the magazine, First Lord.

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 09:57 | 4962412 22winmag
22winmag's picture

Thank you sir. May I have another?

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 12:16 | 4962892 Government need...
Government needs you to pay taxes's picture

Or a shot into the bowels.

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 09:15 | 4962230 Took Red Pill
Took Red Pill's picture

Any sanctions will only hurt the US more than Russia due to lost business & retaliations by Putin.

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 09:16 | 4962233 Max Damage
Max Damage's picture

I wish I could sanction Obummer out of the white house

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 09:18 | 4962242 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture



I wish you could to actually.

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 09:17 | 4962239 hyperfocus
hyperfocus's picture

"threatening moves in Ukraine"

The only threatening moves in Ukraine, are from Kiev, not Russia.

Maybe Obama just needs TP for his bunghole.

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 09:26 | 4962264 RevRex
RevRex's picture

^^^Liar, idiot or both?


I'm going with lying idiot!

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 09:42 | 4962343 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

I think he douches it. Just a guess, mind you. It is Reggie's pussy, after all.

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 09:53 | 4962398 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture


The only threatening moves in Ukraine, are from Kiev, not Russia.

Yep, the Banderatards are like the Three Stooges, drilling holes in the hull of a sinking boat in order to "let the water out".

Here's a hilarious clip, with english subtitles, of a frontline militia soldier getting a phone call about a loan he owes to a bank in Kiev:

"Listen lady, are you sane, adequate person?"

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 10:35 | 4962529 Volkodav
Volkodav's picture

Reports are Kyiv Ukr forces are trapped against the Russian border and decimated

Read and scroll to Strelkov's comments





Wed, 07/16/2014 - 11:41 | 4962742 matrix2012
Wed, 07/16/2014 - 09:18 | 4962241 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

There are 7+ billion people on earth (and growing) all competing for a better quality of life and the calories that make that possible.

At the present time, there is plenty of "demand" motherfuckers.

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 09:22 | 4962252 krispkritter
krispkritter's picture

We buy Russian coal because it makes it easier to meet EPA regulations for emissions. I suppose if it's magically transported here by Star Trek tech, that makes it very clean indeed.  My mind boggles at the thought of just what kind of humongous fuckup(s) 'Government' has marched us into...JFC on a crutch this Beast has to die.

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 09:37 | 4962322 BostonBill99
BostonBill99's picture

kris, thanks for your insight on this.  Is there somewhere else a newbie can read about coal use in the U.S.?  I had no idea we were buying Russian coal, when there are millions of tons of coal right here in the U.S, just to meet EPA BS red tape?????

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 09:55 | 4962403 post turtle saver
post turtle saver's picture

that's because we're not, you're just seeing idiots repeat an assertion that's wrong and easily disproved

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 09:56 | 4962410 Cruel Aid
Cruel Aid's picture

The loading process, onto the trains/ships is to dirty in the us. They can get them on the unloading process if they want and it gets voted in.

How, no brainer. They are all the same.

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 09:54 | 4962399 post turtle saver
post turtle saver's picture

no we don't... go up top, I've already disproved this utterly... Russia isn't even listed in the statistics

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 11:27 | 4962697 krispkritter
krispkritter's picture

The Bloomberg article asserts that a US utility did admit to buying Russian coal.  The EIA numbers don't list it but it may missed inclusion in the YTD stats so far.  It still means the US is importing coal(EIA says 2.4st) which while very small seems a bit daft but I guess that depends on pricing.  I'll give you that the article seems alarmist but I don't think you can dismiss it entirely without more proof.  Noted is that we imported from the Ukraine in the latest EIA stats.

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 11:41 | 4962738 post turtle saver
post turtle saver's picture

I am dismissing it with extreme prejudice... there is no context supplied to indicate any impact whatsoever on power generation needs for the US... the answer to that question is, "there is no dependency, the article is moot at best and laughable propaganda at worst"

you cannot look at any published number and come away with the conclusion that "ol' Pooty Poot is gonna shut off US coal, lol they're all gonna freeze Pooty is the man etc."... the premise is absurd and anyone with access to the intertubes and a few working brain cells can prove it's absurd

this place is turning into a pathetic echo chamber for anti-US propaganda posing as well researched news pieces... there used to be some credibility and thought that went into article review and submissions but it's obvious lately that the Tylers have been turned... just because people use ZH for their news doesn't mean they get to turn their brains off, I expect a better level of skepticism and search-for-truth from this crowd... sadly, it's fading away and quickly

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 13:50 | 4963049 rwe2late
rwe2late's picture

 post turtle

you may be confusing ZH with the point of view expressed in articles published for comment.

Though doubtless, the beliefs of ZH editors may be reflected in many articles chosen,

in many other articles, that does not appear to be the case. In any event, much of the

value to the ZH website comes by way of the comments section.


You may be correct about the inaccuracies of the quoted sections from AP and Bloomberg.

(How often is ZH, or are ZH readers, in full agreement with AP or Bloomberg?)

However, further discussion is probably warranted.

EU countries (except Russia and Poland) are major coal importers.


Inasmuch as the US exports/imports coal, cutting off Russian coal could drive up the

price/scarcity of coal both in Europe and the US.

I regard most ZH articles as submitted basically for freewheeling comment and criticism (unlike the controlled censored "debates" allowed at other websites like Huffpo.


Wed, 07/16/2014 - 13:51 | 4963450 post turtle saver
post turtle saver's picture

there's no appreciation for scale in this conversation

US coal reserves are estimated currently at 481 billion (with a 'b') short tons

that's enough coal at current US mining rates to last over 500 years

some utility in New Hampshire that has a logistical knot at the moment doesn't drive the strategic implications for world coal consumption, long term import/export needs, etc.

this article is fucking bullshit, plain and simple, I'm done discussing it, the facts are plainly there for all to see

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