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      This is your public service 1-stop-shop for Alaskan and Canadian Arctic energy commentary, news, history, projects and people. We update it daily for you. It is the most timely and complete northern energy archive anywhere — used by media, academia, government and industry officials throughout the world. Northern Gas Pipelines may be the oldest Alaska blog; we invite readers to name others existing before 2001.  -dh

 

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Federal Obstruction

7-27-15

27 July 2015 5:18am

Alan Bailey, Petroleum News, Shell, BSEE, Burger prospect, Chukchi Sea, Photo by Dave HarbourPetroleum News by Alan Bailey (NGP Photo).  On July 22 the federal Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement issued permits allowing Shell to drill the top hole sections of two wells in the Burger prospect in the Chukchi Sea. Shell now has all of the permits that it needs to start drilling.  However, BSEE is prohibiting Shell from drilling into hydrocarbon bearing zones until....

Categories:

7-25-15 Raiding the Strategic Petroleum Reserve

25 July 2015 1:00pm

Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee Communications Director Robert Dillon writes us that, "Reuters senior energy market analyst John Kemp today weighed in against a plan to raid the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to pay for three years of a six–year highway bill."  Following is the article:

SPR oil sales would be a mistake before strategy review is concluded: John Kemp

Lisa Murkowski, Strategic Petroleum Reserve, US Senate, Energy Policy, Robbing the SPR, highway funds“The Strategic Petroleum Reserve is not an ATM,” Lisa Murkowski (NGP Photo), chair of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee warned the Senate this week. “It is certainly not the petty cash drawer for Congress.”

The senator from Alaska was criticising a proposal to sell 101 million barrels of crude from the government’s stocks to offset a shortfall in funding in the highway trust fund, used to pay for repairs to roads and bridges.

“Others are potentially looking to our Strategic Petroleum Reserve as nothing more than a piggybank,” Murkowski admonished her colleagues in a floor speech delivered on Wednesday.

There is nothing new or particularly surprising about Congress raiding pots of apparently surplus assets to pay for short term spending priorities.

Between fiscal 1993 and fiscal 2005, almost $6 billion worth of raw materials, previously considered critical, were sold from the national defence stockpile and the revenues used to meet spending needs elsewhere.

The stockpile sold a range of materials from aluminium oxide and chromium to cobalt, iodine, platinum group metals and tin.

Sale receipts were used to pay for everything from armed forces readiness to the provision of military equipment to foreign countries, a hospital trust fund and a memorial to the veterans of World War Two.

In Washington, where legislators are always looking for ways to spend money without raising taxes, seemingly under-utilised assets and unspent funding offer an irresistible target.

Recycling funding from old and outdated programmes to meet new and pressing requirement is not necessarily wrong.

Some of the oil stored in the SPR may be surplus to current requirements as a result of the U.S. shale revolution.

But it would be a mistake to sell SPR oil before Congress has conducted a proper debate about the stockpile’s future role in energy security.

NET IMPORT COVER

The United States is obliged to hold stocks equivalent to 90 days net imports in government or private stocks as part of an agreement with its partners in the International Energy Agency concluded following the Arab oil embargo in 1973-74.

As recently as 2005, U.S. government stocks were equivalent to only 55 days worth of net imports, which were then running at 12.5 million barrels per day (bpd).

But thanks to shale, net imports have fallen to just 5 million bpd, while the stockpile has remained largely unchanged, pushing up the amount of import cover enormously.

At the end of 2014, the SPR’s was storing almost 691 million barrels of crude in giant salt caverns along the U.S. Gulf Coast. Stocks were equivalent to 137 days’ worth of net imports of crude and refined products.

In theory, the United States could sell up to 240 million barrels of crude and still comply with the requirement to hold stocks equivalent to at least 90 days worth of net imports.

If all those barrels could be sold at the current market price of around $50, the government could raise up to $12 billion from the sale of surplus oil.

POLITICAL BLACKMAIL

Crude from the SPR has been released on only three occasions since it was established in the 1970s.

The first drawdown came in response to the beginning of Operation Desert Storm when the U.S. and its allies moved to oust Iraqi troops from Kuwait in 1991.

The second drawdown was ordered in response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005. And the third came in June 2011 in reaction to unrest in Libya and other Arab countries disrupting oil supplies.

The amount of crude released on each occasion was relatively small.

As a matter of law, the SPR was established to counter any “severe energy supply interruption” which could have a major adverse impact on national security or the national economy.

But its real purpose has been to protect the United States and its allies from attempted political blackmail by oil-exporting countries.

In 1973, Saudi Arabia and a number of other Arab countries cut oil production and banned the sale of crude to the United States in protest U.S. support for Israel.

In the event, the embargo was short-lived and not very effective. But the SPR was meant to ensure the United States could never be threatened in this way again by ensuring there was always enough crude on hand to enable the country to withstand an attempted economic siege.

The SPR’s effectiveness should be measured not by the number of releases or their volume but by the fact it has so rarely been needed.

Never again has there been a serious attempt to cut oil supplies to the United States to alter the country’s foreign policy.

The federal government has spent a total of $20.7 billion buying oil for the SPR over the last four decades at an average price of $29.70 per barrel, according to the Department of Energy.

The replacement cost of the oil is probably somewhere between $35 billion (at today’s price of $50 per barrel) and $105 billion (at the recent high of about $150).

The SPR looks like a fairly cheap insurance policy, especially since costs are basically sunk (most of the oil was originally purchased in the 1980s).

AN EFFECTIVE OIL SHIELD

While there have been occasional calls for Arab countries to wield the “oil weapon” to influence U.S. policy, there have been no serious attempts since the 1970s.

How much of this has been due to the deterrent effect of the SPR rather than other changes in the oil market and the Middle East is impossible to say.

A new generation of Arab leaders took power after 1973 much closer to the United States. Iran’s revolution fundamentally altered the key relationships between Washington, Riyadh and Tehran and pushed the U.S. and Saudi Arabia closer together.

The rise of competing oil supplies from outside the Middle East, including from the North Sea, Alaska, the U.S. Gulf and the Soviet Union, radically changed the balance of power between OPEC and the consumer countries in the 1980s and 1990s.

And since 2008, the shale revolution has almost doubled indigenous oil supplies within the United States and given the country a much higher degree of energy independence, or at least self-confidence.

But the SPR has likely played a deterrent role. The SPR has acted as an effective “oil shield” which has given the U.S. government more freedom and confidence to face down threats and turmoil in the Middle East and other exporting regions.

STRATEGIC REVIEW NEEDED

It would be a mistake for Congress to use the SPR as a source of short term funding. Raiding a one-off asset to pay for highway maintenance and other recurrent expenditure makes no sense.

There does need to be a proper debate about the future of the SPR. Everyone agrees on this point, including the U.S. Department of Energy and the Government Accountability Office (the congressional spending watchdog).

“The Strategic Petroleum Reserve must be modernised for the 21st century,” Murkowski told her Senate colleagues this week. “Its size, its geographic disposition, the quality of the oil it stores ... these are all issues that merit further attention but we need to have a deliberative process ... what we do not need is a spur-of-the-moment deal”.

The Department of Energy is already conducting a review. But the strategy rethink should precede any sales, not the other way around. In the 1990s, the sale of formerly critical materials from the defence stockpile came only after the Department of Defense concluded they were no longer needed, not as a revenue raising measure.

There is a legitimate debate to be held about the future size, shape and role of the SPR. In the meantime, however, Congress should resist the temptation to make a short-sighted raid on the nation’s emergency crude reserves.

Categories:

7-22-15 Arrogant EPA Refuses To Testify On ESA

22 July 2015 7:13am

"Investment In Arctic Is Paramount", by Anne Seneca, President, Consumer Energy Alliance-Alaska


Politico: House GOP launches fresh salvo at EPA on endangered species

By Elana Schor

House Natural Resources Committee Republicans say EPA is snubbing their request to testify next week on whether it abided by Endangered Species Act rules that the GOP hopes will provide a new weapon against the Obama administration’s power plant emissions rules.

The House Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop’s species protection probe began in the spring, when Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe admitted that EPA had not sought FWS input on the upcoming climate regulations despite evidence that the expected retirement of a Florida coal-fired power plant would eliminate a warm water habitat for some manatees.   

To view full story online:
https://www.politicopro.com/go/?id=50325


Today's relevant energy links from Consumer Energy Alliance:

Norman TranscriptIndustry official responds to oil and gas regs *Tommy Foltz Quoted

Consumer Energy Alliance Executive Vice President Tommy Foltz reacted to a decision by the Stillwater City Council this week to pass a new oil and gas ordinance that has been the subject of debate since January.

 

Tulsa Public Radio: New Stillwater Drilling Rules Also Being Questioned *Tommy Foltz Quoted

Stillwater imposes new rules on oil and gas drilling, but there are those who aren't sure it will meet the legal test under a new state law.

 

Tulsa Public RadioTulsa Morning News *Tommy Foltz Interview

 

Alaska Dispatch News: Investment in Arctic is paramount *Anne Seneca LTE

Shannyn Moore’s July 19 column on Shell’s offshore program was nonsensical gibberish. As Unalaska Mayor Shirley Marquardt commented to ADN after the incident: “So many things like this happen in the marine industry in Dutch Harbor and people just go, ‘Oh they were lucky.’ But when it’s Shell, people who have no marine experience whatsoever or have never been to Dutch Harbor say, ‘See they don’t know what they were doing.’ ” Moore’s litany was an unnecessary and incomprehensible diversion from a real and meaningful issue: the importance of increasing the nation’s investments in the Arctic.

 

Consumer Energy Alliance: Consumer Energy Alliance Welcomes New Member: West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association

Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) is pleased to welcome the West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association (WVONGA) as its newest affiliate member. Chartered in 1915, WVONGA is one of the oldest trade organizations in the state, and is the only association that serves the entire oil and gas industry. The activities of its members include construction, environmental services, drilling, completion, gathering, transporting, distribution and processing.

 

Wall Street Journal: Western oil companies will face competition in Iran

European and U.S. oil-and-gas companies drawn to Iran as sanctions ebb can expect to encounter not only opportunities, but also capable Iranian companies offering tough competition or joint ventures.

 

Washington Times: Nonsensical 'fractivist' pipeline hysteria

The anti-fracking movement has moved beyond the realm of the petty and unseemly into the ridiculous. Led by Yoko Ono, the avant-garde artist and widow of musician John Lennon, fracktivists are trying to stop construction of pipelines that would carry natural gas from the Marcellus Shale region in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, and the Utica Shale region in Ohio to markets in New York and New England.

 

Washington Examiner: Obama climate pledge on 'very shaky legal ground,' critics say

Republicans and industry officials on Tuesday contended the Obama administration's climate pledge heading into global negotiations was on "very shaky legal ground"

 

Bloomberg: Oil Drillers Retreat from Shallow U.S. Gulf in Turn to Shale

Energy producers are retreating from the search for oil and natural gas close to shore in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico as drilling budgets shrink and exploration migrates to land-based shale fields.

 

BloombergGlut of gas heading south as shale boom reaches Florida

A glut of cheap natural gas trapped in the U.S. Northeast will be heading south by the end of the year, radically changing the price differences between the regions.

 

BloombergAnalysts: Gas pipelines to shrink price gap between Northeast, Southeast

New pipeline capacity in the Northeast is expected to bring more natural gas from the Marcellus Shale play to the Southeast, prompting the price difference between the two regions to narrow over the next three years, analysts predict.

 

The Hill: First attempt to advance Senate highway bill falters

A Senate bill that would sell off a portion of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to fund highway projects failed to advance Tuesday. Another vote is expected today.

 

Sioux Falls Argus Leader: PUC: No new pipeline testimony on tribal stewardship

South Dakota utility regulators won’t allow testimony on tribal land stewardship next week in the latest round of Keystone XL pipeline hearings.

 

Aberdeen News: PUC sets final processes for TransCanada hearing

The state Public Utilities Commission on Tuesday rejected most of the limits that TransCanada wanted on opponents for the permit hearing next week on the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

 

Oil & Gas Journal: Study examines methane emissions from gas facilities

Natural gas transmission and storage facilities in the U.S. released 1,503 gigagrams per year of methane emissions, according to a Colorado State University study. The figure is 27% lower than a government estimate but statistically similar, according to the study.

 

Huffington Post: Dear Mr. President: Prove Your Climate Rhetoric and Stop Arctic Drilling

Dear Mr. President: I've often been struck by your soaring rhetoric on combating climate change, transitioning to clean energy sources, and protecting the natural environment. Clearly on some level you get it, as you've demonstrated in speech after speech. That's why I don't understand how you could even consider approving Shell's dangerous plan to drill for oil in the Arctic Ocean this summer  and why I'm imploring you to stop this reckless and short-sighted project.

 

E&E News: Crude exports not in House energy proposal

The House Energy and Commerce Committee on Monday introduced a bipartisan energy bill that did not include a repeal of the ban on crude exports. A subcommittee markup is planned for today.

 

Associated PressWilmington the latest to oppose offshore drilling

Wilmington has become the latest city in the Carolinas to oppose offshore drilling for oil.

Wilmington City Council voted unanimously on Tuesday to oppose both seismic testing to find oil and natural gas, and the actual drilling for oil off the North Carolina coast.

 

The Roanoke TimesCutler: Industry attempting to bypass review procedures

“Now, think what might happen if (a) legislation under active consideration now by the U.S. Congress (H.R. 2295, S. 411, S. 1196) were to pass that gives the secretary of the Interior (instead of the Congress, as is currently the case) the power to issue oil and gas pipeline rights of way through national parks and (b) another person with Jim Watt’s world view were to be appointed secretary of the Interior?”

 

Akron Beacon JournalOil company mergers are down, federal agency reports - Drilling – Ohio

The second quarter of 2015 exhibited the largest amount of oil companies' merger and acquisition (M&A) activity by value since fourth-quarter 2012. The announced merger between Royal Dutch Shell and BG Group in early April accounted for $84 billion of the $115 billion quarterly total.

 

Oil & Gas JournalComment period on Colo. gas proposal extended

The Bureau of Land Management has given the public until Aug. 4 to submit comments on a preliminary environmental assessment of Gunnison Energy and SG Interests' proposed natural gas project in Colorado. The project would entail up to 25 gas wells on five well pads.

 

Durango Herald: Colorado faces clean-air rule from EPA

A final rule from the Environmental Protection Agency is expected in the coming days, aimed at a 30-percent reduction in carbon-dioxide emissions nationwide by 2030. The proposal is state-based, with a target of 35 percent proposed for Colorado.

 

San Antonio Express-News: HF, HB 40, and concerns about liability

In late 2014 the citizens of Denton voted to ban fracking in the city and its extraterritorial jurisdiction. The proponents felt that fracking was a dangerous and polluting practice that does not belong in their community. Many other cities in the nation have passed similar ordinances.

 

San Antonio Express News: Engineering to the rescue in the Eagle Ford

Engineering and innovation can save the Eagle Ford Shale amid six-year low oil prices, participants at the Unconventional Resources Technology Conference said Tuesday. More than 3,000 oil industry professionals are at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in downtown San Antonio for the conference until Wednesday. And with oil prices hovering around six-year lows, many of the conference's panels are focused on technology to improve productivity and efficiency.

 

Akron Beacon Journal: New power plant seen as game-changer in Ohio

A big change is coming to Ohio: Coal is on the way out and cleaner-burning natural gas is moving in. That switch was behind the ceremonial groundbreaking Tuesday southeast of Canton in tiny Carroll County, where a new, $899 million natural gas-fired power plant is being built in the heart of Ohio’s Utica Shale.

 

Times LeaderNew Ohio well rules in place

Ohio Rep. Jack Cera believes new state Department of Natural Resources rules will help prevent accidents at Marcellus and Utica shale drilling pads, such as those in Monroe County that displaced residents and killed thousands of fish last year.

 

Columbus CEO: Anxiety hits Ohio’s industry. Columbus CEO. First was the shale oil and gas boom

Eastern and southeastern Ohio saw a surge in lease activity, pipeline projects and hiring. New wealth trickled through the economy to car dealers, hotel operators and restaurants. Now, Ohio’s shale country is an uncomfortable place, with elements of the boom still in place, and some companies facing what can only be described as a bust.

 

NorthCentralPa.com: Even Higher Energy Taxes Threaten Pa. Jobs

Shale development in the Commonwealth continues to benefit our economy and environment. From providing regional building trades unions with thousands of good-paying jobs to delivering consumer savings for families and improving air quality, these clear benefits touch all corners of Pennsylvania.

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7-16-15 PLF Takes On WOTUS, Thank Goodness!

16 July 2015 4:27am

After filing objections to the EPA and Corps of Engineers' proposed "waters of the United States" rule in 2014, Pacific Legal Foundation attorneys have fulfilled their pledge to challenge the rule in court. Yesterday, PLF filed a lawsuit on behalf of several agricultural organizations and property owners because the regulation expands the scope of the Clean Water Act to an unprecedented extent, violating the terms of the Act and the Constitution's limits on federal authority. 

In this new Courting Liberty podcast, PLF Principal Attorney M. Reed Hopper discusses this new WOTUS challenge.

"We are suing to block the administration's breathtaking attempt to control practically every pond, puddle, and ditch in the country," stated PLF Principal Attorney M. Reed Hopper in a PLF news release.  "This new regulation is an open-ended license for federal bureaucrats to assert control over nearly all of the nation's water, and most of the property, from coast to coast."

The case is Washington Cattlemen's Association v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  Read the complaint.


 

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7-12-15 Our Iranian Nuclear Negotiations: Hopelessly Incompetent, Naive, Pro-American Or Pro-Enemy?

12 July 2015 12:40pm

Our Iranian Nuclear Negotiations: Hopelessly Incompetent, Naive, Pro-American or Pro-Enemy?  You Be The Judge.

by

Dave Harbour

Image result for cartoon iran

Today and perhaps tomorrow comes another deadline extension in, and maybe an ending of, the Iranian nuclear negotiation.  It is one of the most important -- and dangerous -- energy and world security issues in history.

Why?

The current process is alienating the United States from all of our 'former' Middle Eastern allies who, together, have helped provide significant security to the region.  Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and other countries in the area recognize Iran for the supporter of terrorism and threat to their own sovereignty that it is.  

They also know that regardless of the American-led negotiation's outcome, the Iranians will continue with their nuclear weapon program.  This will cause neighbors to engage in an "arms race" to become similarly armed.  

Why do our readers care?

The end game could result in continuing sanctions on Iranian oil sales, supporting higher oil prices.  The end game could also find Iran free of sanctions, causing the legal and unrestrained trade of Iranian oil -- pressuring oil prices to go lower.  Both results will impact Alaskan and Canadian local governments, companies and their national economies.

Russian and Chinese mischief also surrounds the Greek financial crisis -- which may be coming to a head any moment.  See this Calgary Herald article by Deborah Yedlin.

North American and European security could be affected by the outcome of the Iranian nuclear talks.  A lifting of sanctions could refill Iran's coffers with billions, sure to be shared with terrorist organizations. 

Relations with Russia and China will be affected, for whereas they might have supported Iranian sanctions earlier, today they would most assuredly not do so in the likely event that Iran would soon begin violating the terms of any 'deal'.   Moreover, today they are, respectively, challenging the resolve of the United States with: provocative and imperialistic movements against Europe; bomber probes of North American air space; and threats to countries and international sea traffic in the South China Sea.

Forgive us for our own naiveté, but we do not understand why any but the most incompetent, inexperienced or unpatriotic administration would even consider negotiating with a fascist, Islamic regime that is a master of breaking agreements, holds American hostages, and also publicly wishes "death to America" and to America's best Middle Eastern ally, Israel.   This is occurring at the same time the administration is downgrading the U.S. military and upgrading onerous natural resource regulations throughout America and calling, "global warming a top national security priority".  On second thought, we are not naive; we have put the puzzle together logically and the picture is one of either the American leadership's incompetence or deceit.

Sitting next to Secretary of State John Kerry, a Vietnam Veteran who publicly threw his military medals away, is Energy Secretary Dr. Ernest Moniz.  He has enjoyed a distinguished career in previous lives, a physicist who served in academic leadership at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as Under Secretary of the US Department of Energy and as Associate Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.  

Neither, however, is known for negotiating high stakes positions in the international big league.

We believe Kerry is executing orders bound to endanger the national security of the United States.  We believe that while Dr. Moniz is a nuclear expert, neither he nor Kerry know when America should not negotiate, nor how to negotiate.

So when we awaken tomorrow, we hope that as Monday unfolds we'll not see any agreement.   We hope that we will see sanctions continue and be made even more robust until -- and not before -- Iran:

  • pleads for peace,
  • agrees to destruction of weapon related nuclear equipment and material,
  • agrees to unannounced and unfettered inspections of both military and nuclear facilities,
  • demonstrably ceases all funding and other tangible and intangible support for Islamic terrorism,
  • releases all American hostages, and
  • recants its threat to destroy Israel.

Without such common sense conditions being agreed to and successfully implement for at least 12 months, no lifting of sanctions should even be considered, much less discussed or negotiated.

The fact that the United States is bowing so low to such low life savages and transmitting such weakness during such perilous times is an affront to the entire foundation and history of the United States of America and poses a clear and present danger to all free people at home and abroad.  Our leaders are giving comfort to our enemies and alienating our allies.

Today, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell weakly stated that the Senate would not approve a "bad deal".  We ask: Why in the name of millions of fallen patriots should he not have said, "The President is on a fool's errand.  The United States should not negotiate with an enemy, a proven liar, a terrorist state.  Sanctions will continue and increase until the road to a nuclear Iran is permanently destroyed.  From our viewpoint any nuclear "deal" brought to this body is DEAD ON ARRIVAL if it does not represent a complete capitulation of Iran's imperialistic, untrustworthy ways to our COMPLETE SATISFACTION."

The administration SHOULD BE ashamed of its performance and our Congressional representatives SHOULD NOT BE ashamed to remind the country of this misrepresentation loudly and daily lest their lack of powerful objection be interpreted as weak acquiescence.


 

Dave Harbour, publisher of Northern Gas Pipelines, is a former Chairman of the Regulatory Commission of Alaska and a Commissioner Emeritus of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC).  He served as NARUC's official representative to the Interstate Oil & Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC).  Harbour is past Chairman of the Alaska Council on Economic Education, former Chairman of the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce, and past President of the American Bald Eagle Foundation and the Alaska Press Club.  He is Chairman Emeritus of the Alaska Oil & Gas Congress.


Opinions or viewpoints expressed in this webpage or in our email alerts are solely those of the publisher and in no way reflect the opinion(s) of any affiliated company, person, employer or other organization.

 

Categories:

7-6-15 Read and Weep!

06 July 2015 6:34am

Bloomberg story and video on oil price trends, by Asjylyn Loder and Bradley Olson 

READ AND WEEP.  The insurance protecting shale drillers against plummeting prices has become so crucial that for one company, SandRidge Energy Inc., payments from the hedges accounted for a stunning 64 percent of first-quarter revenue.

Now the safety net is going away.

The insurance that producers bought before the collapse in oil -- much of which guaranteed minimum prices of $90 a barrel or more -- is expiring. As they do, investors are left to wonder how these companies will make up the $3.7 billion the hedges earned them in the first quarter after crude sunk below $60 from a peak of $107 in mid-2014.

“A year ago, you could hedge at $85 to $90, and now it’s in the low $60s,” said Chris Lang, a senior vice president with Asset Risk Management, a hedging adviser for more than 100 exploration and production companies. “Next year it’s really going to come to a head.”

Messages from the Independence Day week-end:

The prosperity of American and Canadian energy industries depends upon the policies of their respective countries.  Today, we bring our readers insight on American policies from an Australian, Nick Adams, whose principles affect North American energy industries in general.  

We also provide you with insight on American policies from a Canadian friend.

As always, we encourage readers to connect the dots as you journey toward your own conclusions.

-dh

Letter from an Australian to America: Here's why I love you, USA

Nick Adams 


FoxNews.com
03 July 2015 
 
It’s December 1985 in Sydney, Australia. Two parents are at wits’ end. Something is not right with their 16-month-old child. For months, they have visited doctor after doctor. No one can tell them what is wrong. On the night before Christmas Eve, with their child more unsettled than unusual, they head for the emergency room at Children’s Hospital.
 
The ward is nearly deserted, but there is one overnight doctor – a young man with a smiling face and an accent. As he looks the child over, the smile evaporates: “I think your son has neuroblastoma. Get him in for tests first thing in the morning.” Next day, the parents’ worst fears are confirmed. It is Stage IV neuroblastoma, a rare type of childhood cancer.
The parents were mine. The child was me. The doctor, it turned out, was an American.
 
The cause of neuroblastoma remains unknown. Only 1 in 100,000 children get it. Notoriously difficult to diagnose, the tumor has usually spread by the time it is. At Stage IV, an infant has just a 5 percent chance of life. For three years, I underwent chemotherapy, radiotherapy and an operation.

Through the healing hands of God, the master physician, I defied the odds and lived. The instincts of the American doctor, fresh out of college, only in Australia for an internship, just in time, were crucial. So I haven’t only studied American exceptionalism. I’ve lived it. In fact, I’m alive because of it.    

American exceptionalism is often derided as a phrase of partisan polemics, or worse still, a mere hypothesis, or even a myth. But it is an incontrovertible reality, however unwelcome or unpalatable this might be to those whose ears are attuned to a different siren.
 
In 5,000 years of recorded human history, there has been no nation even resembling the United States. The American model has offered, and continues to offer, a greater chance for dignity, hope and happiness for more people than any other system.
 
As Margaret Thatcher, the British prime minister, put it: “Europe was created by history. America was created by philosophy.” Lady Thatcher was right. The philosophy is one of individual liberty, free-market opportunity and belief that it's all a gift from God. America is the best idea the world has ever had, the greatest value system ever devised.
 
What are these values that make America exceptional?  Individualism, not collectivism. Patriotism, not relativism. Optimism, not pessimism. Limited government, not the nanny state.
God, not Caesar. Faith, not secularism. E pluribus Unum, not multiculturalism. Life, not death. Equality of opportunity, not equality of outcome. Goodness, not moral equivalence.
America is about being bold, not bland. Brave, not meek. Striving for greatness, not mediocrity.
 
Tellingly, all of these values are aligned with what today is called a conservative outlook. On every single count, traditional America both viscerally and ideologically sides with conservatism.

America thus represents the greatest impediment to leftist aims, and it becomes the prime target of the progressive movement in all its manifestations. It is easy to love America simply for the enemies she makes.
 
American success – by design, not accident – is the most significant refutation of leftist ideals. That’s because America has fostered a society that allows its citizens the widest latitude for creativity and innovation. It rewards success without government approvals and bureaucratic interference. It embraces religious faith, aspiration and risk.
 
As a result, the people of America have been the most enterprising, market-oriented, individualistic and averse to taxation and regulation that have ever walked the earth.

America has also shown uncommon valor against the sword of tyranny. She has frosted the neighborhoods of tyranny and oppression, by freezing the sweat and chilling the bones of men harboring such aspirations. From the beaches of Normandy to the sands of Iraq, America has spread more freedom and fought more evil than any other country, expending enormous treasure.
 
Put simply, the world is a better place for America being in it. This is not to say America is perfect. She’s not. But she is the best thing we have.
 
People still cross oceans to get to this country. They are as willing as ever to empty their life savings to get to America, legally or illegally. They are as prepared as ever to sell the shirt on their back just to feel the American winds of freedom and opportunity. Nowhere else can so many come with nothing and achieve anything.
 
So I’m convinced that an American renaissance is not as distant, or as impossible, as many speculate. But neither will it roll in on the wheels of inevitability. We must revitalize an informed patriotism across the land.
 
We must recover a common recognition that the principles of freedom and responsibility found in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution are in every American's self-interest, irrespective of identity politics. This must become again, as it once was, the lens in which all Americans view cultural choices, political candidates and public policy.
 
Saving America requires bringing intellectual ammunition to the battle of ideas. Too many people have forgotten or never learned what makes America exceptional – and you cannot advocate what you cannot articulate.
 
Since almost losing my life before it began, I have firmly believed God saved my life for a particular purpose.
 
Is it a coincidence that I have been drawn to the United States for as long as I can remember? Is it chance that it was an American doctor who diagnosed what others had been unable to do? Is it accidental that the dreams in my heart all involve America? As a man of faith, I don’t believe so.
 
Today, at age 30, I proudly call myself an Australian by birth, a Texan by honorary appointment (thank you, Rick Perry) and an American by choice. I love America because it is confident, competitive, courageous, faithful, idealistic, innovative, inspirational, charitable and optimistic. It is everything as a nation that I wish to be as a person. That’s why I am devoted to helping achieve an American renaissance.
 
After freedom, inspiration is America’s greatest export. To me, as it was to Churchill, America is the hope that banishes all hopelessness. As Americans, you should never be intimidated into mediocrity or cramped into submission. You’ve been given so much more. For the sake of the world, you must remain the dream-makers and the dream-keepers.

Australian Nick Adams is a best-selling author. His next book “Retaking America: Crushing Political Correctness,” will be released in February 2016.

__________________________
 
 

HALF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE DO NOT DESERVE THE COUNTRY THEY HAVE:

Obama made it abundantly clear before he won the election in 2008, that he was going to TRANSFORM America . . . and for some unfathomable reason, the majority of people in the United States either didn't believe him, or had no idea what he meant by his promise to change the USA, while a HUGE number welcomed this promise.

A professor friend of mine from McGill University (Montreal), who was a young man in Germany during the War (not Jewish), but was too young to fight for the Nazis, remembered the nightmare his family lived through under Hitler. My friend knew better than most, what totalitarianism really meant, and that’s why his father moved the family of three to Canada as soon as they were able.

One of his favorite sayings was: “IF IT AIN’T BROKE DON’T FIX IT”.

THIS SAYS FAR MORE ABOUT THE PEOPLE THAN IT DOES ABOUT OBAMA:

AMERICA WAS NOT BROKEN. It worked better than any nation ever did. And all it needed was sound Conservative governance.

But no . . . the stupid people had to take America apart, and reassemble it unlike the creation of the Founding Fathers.

And even in 2012, AFTER the American people discovered what Obama actually meant when he promised to RADICALLY TRANSFORM America, more than half of the population who voted in that election voted for him AGAIN.

So . . . Who should we be more frightened of, Obama – or the fools who put him into office TWICE?

WHAT DO WE LEARN FROM HISTORY?

In 1924, a Narcissist wrote a book; he called it Mein Kampf (my struggle), which he described as his (sick) BLUEPRINT for a new Germany, based exclusively on his distorted and corrupt IDEALS . . . and even though his book gained little prominence then . . . HE CERTAINLY WAS ABLE TALK A GOOD TALK.

The world didn’t pay attention to this fellow named Hitler. And by 1933, Hitler became Chancellor of Germany, and the rest is remembered as a violent and sad moment in history.

And as for Europe’s Jews . . . they could have saved themselves, only if they believed what the Nazi Narcissist said and wrote.

AMERICA AND THE WORLD HAS A NEW NARCISSISTIC SELF-BIOGRAPHER:

Before Obama was anyone. And before he did or achieved anything, he wrote not just one book, but two books about his own life and experiences. How narcissistic was that?

AND THE PEOPLE NEITHER LISTENED, QUESTIONED, NOR PAID ATTENTION:

AND NOW . . . Like Humpty Dumpty, America is so broken, that it seems to me; that all the Kings horses and all the Kings men, might never be able to but America back together again.

IS THERE ONE LAST CHANCE TO LOOK FORWARD TO ANOTHER JULY 4TH?

If there’s going to be salvation for the USA, it will come from the Republicans choosing the RIGHT man or woman to run as their candidate for the 2016 Presidential Election.

I have not changed my choices one iota, EXCEPT FOR DONALD TRUMP.

I still really like Scott Walker, I really like Carly Fiorina, I like Ted Cruz and Ben Carson, I’m OK with Marco Rubio and most of the rest of the field, with the exception of Christie and Paul . . . two men I would not support.

And even though he is really low on my list, I could probably endorse Bush if it came down to it. Which I hope it does not.

AND THE REASONS I AM SO HIGH ON TRUMP ARE:

1 – He is no PATSY for the Media Bullies or the demagoguing LEFT.

2 – He is saying what everyone with a brain is thinking.

3 – He doesn't apologize for standing up for the USA . . . HE DOUBLES DOWN.

4 – The Bullies push him an inch – he pushes them back a mile.

5 – He is giving America real HOPE as America’s BACK ALLEY STREET-FIGHTER.

AND THE GREATEST REASON FOR ME TO LIKE TRUMP . . .

If the USA is going to go down to the LEFT . . . at least with Trump, the America we grew up loving, WILL GO DOWN FIGHTING. Not as America has declined since the heydays of Reagan . . . with a multitude of RINO WIMPS, who've replaced Reagan in all aspects of the Republican Party at the upper echelon.

MAKE NO MISTAKE ABOUT THIS . . . This is the most important election the world has seen, since the Liberty Bell first rang-out on July 8, 1776, heralding what might be THE ENTIRE PLANET’S last reason to celebrate July 4TH.

Best Regards . . . Howard Galganov

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