By Michel Chossudovsky
Headed by Navy Admiral Timothy Keating, US NorthCom is slated to play a central role in emergency operations.
A Joint Task Force Rita has been created under the jurisdiction of NorthCom. Operating out of Austin, Texas, the "standing joint force heaquarters" in Texas is under the command of Army Lt. Gen. Robert Clark, who is in permanent liason with Admiral Keating at NorthCom headquarters.
Created in 2002, NorthCom oversees the land, sea and air defense not only of the US but of the entire North American continent, including Mexico and Canada. In the wake of 9/11, its mandate directly responds and relates to the "threat of terrorist attacks": its stated objective is to "defend the Homeland".
Following his visit to Texas on September 23, President Bush traveled together with DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff to The Peterson Air Force Base, at the headquarters of US Northern Command in Colorado Springs. He spent the night of September 23 at Colorado Springs and was at US NorthCom headquarters on the morning of the 24th of September, when Hurricane Rita hit the Texas-Louisiana coastline. The presence of the President and Commander in Chief at US Northern Command Headquarters is of crucial significance. The federal emergency procedures are being coordinated out of a military base, rather than from the White House, in liaison with the various departments and agencies of the (civilian) federal government in Washington, D.C. The purpose of the Commander in Chief's visit to US NorthCom was not revealed.
The Militarisation of Disaster Relief
The response to the national disaster is not being coordinated by the civilian government out of Texas, but from a remote location and in accordance with military criteria. US Northern Command Headquarters will directly control the movement of military personnel and hardware in the Gulf of Mexico. As in the case of Katrina, it will override the actions of civilian bodies. Yet in this case, the entire operation is under the jurisdiction of the military rather than under that of FEMA. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld had ordered NorthCom and "the myriad forces" under its jurisdiction "to assist the Federal Emergency Management Agency and homeland security".
On the 21st of September, a major deployment of military personnel and hardware was ordered in anticipation of the disaster. Troops have been deployed on the eastern Texas coastline: "Amphibious vessels carrying 1000 Marines and equipment were taking up position in the Gulf of Mexico, ready to move in the moment the storm has passed through. More than 5000 Texas National Guardsmen were also on emergency standby."
Until the 24th of September, there was no indication, from official and/or media sources of Secretary Rumsfeld's participation in the NorthCom meetings. According to the DoD, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld and Acting Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England "have no public or media events on their schedules" from the 22nd to the 24th of September.
It is now confirmed that a top level meeting was held under NorthCom auspices, which included the participation of President Bush, Defense Secretary Don Rumsfeld (through video call), DHS secretary Michael Chertoff and FEMA Director Vice Admiral Thad Allen (video call). This meeting had been planned well in advance. US public opinion was not informed.
The emergency procedures will be closely coordinated by US Northern Command out of the Peterson Air Force Base, together with Homeland Security, which oversees FEMA. What is unfolding is a national rather than a regional emergency scenario, under the control of Northern Command. Moreover, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, a total of 42 states and Washington, D.C. have enacted emergency procedures, even though most of them were not directly affected. Northern Command would, as part of its mandate in the case of a national emergency, oversee a number of civilian functions:
In addition to defending the nation, U.S. NorthCom provides defense support of civil authorities in accordance with U.S. laws and as directed by the President or Secretary of Defense. Military assistance is always in support of a lead federal agency, such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Military civil support includes domestic disaster relief operations that occur during fires, hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes. Support also includes counter-drug operations and consequence management assistance, such as would occur after a terrorist event employing a weapon of mass destruction. Generally, an emergency must exceed the management capabilities of local, state and federal agencies before U.S. Northern Command becomes involved. In providing civil support, the command operates through subordinate Joint Task Forces.
President Bush had stated barely a week ago, that "the Government and the US military needed broader authority to help handle major domestic crises such as hurricanes."
Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff subsequently classified Hurricane Rita as an "incident of national significance," which justifies the activation of a so-called "National Response Plan"(NRP). The latter is characterized by a comprehensive framework. The period of time during which the NRP would be in operation would extend far beyond the emergency period in the disaster area. In all likelihood, the NRP would modify the functions of civilian government:
The National Response Plan (NRP) is effective upon issuance with a phased implementation process during the first year. During the first 120 days of this implementation process, the Initial NRP (INRP), Federal Response Plan (FRP), U.S. Government Domestic Terrorism Concept of Operations Plan (CONPLAN), and Federal Radiological Emergency Response Plan (FRERP) remain in effect.
The entire Homeland Security construct is based on the "Global War on Terrorism" (GWOT). The underlying procedures are not intended to deal with natural disasters. In this context, the national disaster could provide a justification for a greater role of the Military in civilian affairs, exerted through Northern Command. This role would extend beyond the implementation of relief efforts in the Gulf of Mexico. The NRP involves concrete provisions which describe the role of the Military in the case of a national emergency. Under the Defense Support of Civil Authorities (DSCA), the Military could assist civilian bodies in law enforcement activities, thereby leading to the derogation of the Posse Comitatus Act.
"Northcom had six naval ships and twenty-six helicopters on standby to assist the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) with damage assessment, search and rescue and medical evacuation. Military communications teams were ready to assist with satellite telephones and radios. Officials predicted that Hurricane Rita would destroy almost 5,700 homes in Texas and cause $ 8.2 billion of damage." (London Times, 24 September 2005)
Northern Command, rather than the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is already slated to play a central role in overseeing the emergency operation, namely the military will intervene directly in civilian affairs under procedures which have already been carefully laid out in a number of official documents. President Bush is the Commander in Chief and what is unfolding at the Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs is the planning behind closed doors of a major military operation on US soil. Moreover, this operation is being launched on the same day as major antiwar demonstrations across America.
Dakle, sve je spremno, uloge su podijeljene, ceka se prava predstava (ili box match sto bi rekao OO), izgleda da je Rita ipak bila zagrijavanje (ili pre-match ili jos uvijek kalibriranje ili navikavanje ljudi na Martial Law uvjete)...cudno da je, sad kad su svjetla pozornice bila upaljena, od cijelog kriticnog podrucja pogodila bas tamo gdje najmanje boli...a mozda je to zato jer je tu NorthCom (koji za razliku od FEMA-e drzi stvari pod kontrolom) tako da ce i slijedecom prilikom dobit komande u ruke?
Dok se Rita priblizava obali s projekcijom udara po ostatku naftnih postrojenja meksickog zaljeva postavlja se pitanje kako ce US odgovorit na ovaj izazov? Evo misljenja Mike Rupperta...
By: Mike Ruppert (September 21st)
Fully 30% of all US refining capacity is in the Rita target zone. Perhaps most importantly, almost every refinery capable of producing diesel fuel is in immediate danger. This promises (especially in the wake of Katrina) a devastating and irreplaceable shortage of the diesel fuel needed to power America’s harvest of grain and food crops this month and next. Without diesel fuel to power the harvesters and combines, crops may be left to rot in the ground presenting a double whammy: food shortages (with prices that may treble or quadruple) and export defaults negatively impacting the financial markets and trade deficit.
Even before Rita strikes, fully 30% of all domestic natural gas production is shut in. The US cannot import natural gas from overseas like it can both crude and refined products. Repair work on infrastructure damaged by Katrina has been halted as crews have been evacuated. The remaining half of Gulf energy production undamaged by Katrina is directly in Rita’s crosshairs. Natural gas prices are up over 110% and home heating oil futures are up almost 70% before Rita even gets here. Since Katrina, US domestic oil production is down one million barrels per day (from 5Mbpd to 4 Mbpd). We were producing 9 Mbpd less than a decade ago.
A Bloomberg article today contains a quotation from a Wall Street energy expert as saying, “‘Rita is developing into our worst-case scenario,’ said John Kilduff, vice president of risk management at Fimat USA in New York. ‘This is headed right into our other major refining center just after all the damage done to facilities in Louisiana. From an energy perspective it doesn't get any worse than this.’”
The Chairman of Valero Energy agrees with the Bloomberg assessment calling Rita a potentially national disaster. His opinion is important because Valero operates more refineries in the US than any other company.
CNN is now predicting $5 per gallon gasoline and this will not likely go away with market manipulations. We had not yet experienced the permanent spikes resulting from Katrina, and the emergency reserves of the United States’ Strategic Petroleum Reserve and the International Energy Agency have already been tapped once and not refilled.
The South Texas Project nuclear plant – one of the largest in the country – is being completely shut down in preparation for Rita’s landfall. It is only 12 miles from the Texas coast and almost dead center in the hurricane’s projected path. Texas has its own power grid but catastrophic electricity shortages could easily ripple throughout the country in a short time. Electricity lost from that that facility will only be added to what is lost from other facilities powered by now critically short supplies of natural gas.
For those of you who expect FEMA to behave any differently in Texas than it did in New Orleans you are in for a crude awakening. FEMA will do what it must now do to preserve even a functioning part of America’s governing and economic infrastructure. Saving lives will be one of the least important functions in its mandate. While I had serious doubts about America’s ability to recover from Katrina, I am certain that – barring divine intervention – the United States is finished; not only as a superpower, but possibly even as a single, unified nation with the arrival of Hurricane Rita.
Jeli Rita onaj 'ZID' do kojeg se moze ici ili je to tek manja prepreka na njihovom putu...vidjet cemo uskoro...
From Eric Hufschmid
Some people claim the world's oil supplies are running low. They warn us that we must reduce our population, or else our population will be reduced by starvation and violence as the oil supplies diminish.
Mike Ruppert is one such site
In Saudi Arabia the situation is supposedly so bad that they are pumping millions of gallons of salt water into the oil wells to force the remaining oil out of the ground.
Other people complain that most oil companies have only drilled into the oil fields that are close to the surface of the earth because those are the most profitable oil fields. They claim that the Russians have discovered that carbon and hydrogen are combining into hydrocarbons deep underground.
According to this theory, all we have to do is drill wells deeper than 10,000 meters. Although deep wells are expensive, we can tap into the oil that is supposedly created continuously deep within the earth.
Joe Vialls is one such site
Some of these people believe that the peak oil fear is deliberate deception to justify population reduction, wars, and new legislation.
So, is oil 'Peak' or 'Deep'?
Who is telling us the truth? Is oil a renewable resource? Should we start drilling deep wells and stop worrying about running low on oil?
Or will oil supplies run low soon? Should we start reducing our population and planning for a world of diminishing oil?
Are the rumors of peak oil nothing more than deliberate deception? Were the Americans fooled into bombing Afghanistan and Iraq because they were deceived into believing that they are running out of oil and that they will find an enormous amount in those areas?
Lumber: Peak or Deep?
Perhaps a good way to understand this issue is to imagine it happening with trees rather than oil. Imagine two groups of people. One group complains that we are about to suffer from "Peak Lumber". They claim that there will soon be a shortage of lumber because we are cutting trees down at a rapid rate. They sest reducing the human population.
The other group claims that under the surface of the earth are seeds that grow into trees. They claim that there will never be a shortage of trees because trees are a renewable resource.
Or imagine this argument happening with water. One group complains that we are about to run out of fresh water because we are using and abusing it so quickly. The other group insists that we will never run out of fresh water because nature is constantly providing us with more fresh water in the form of rain.
So, the questions for you are:
Will the world run out of lumber? Or are trees a renewable resource?
Will the world run out of fresh water? Or is fresh water at a renewable resource?
The answer, of course, is that trees are a renewable resource. However, that does not mean we can cut down every tree and expect new trees to replace them within a few months.
Fresh water is renewable, also. However, this does not mean we can pollute our rivers and suck up water in unlimited quantities.
Carbon is supposedly being converted into diamonds deep within the earth, in addition to combining with hydrogen. Does that make diamonds a "renewable resource"? Does that mean we can use and abuse diamonds without worrying about running out of diamonds?
My reponse to these issues is:
First, it is expensive to get access to materials that are deep within the earth.
Second, the rate of production of these "renewable resources" may be too slow to deal with a population of 6 to 20 billion humans.
What good does it do us if lots of oil is 20,000 meters under the surface if the cost of getting access to that oil makes it more expensive than solar energy? There is lots of gold in sea water, and the rivers are adding more gold every day. However, it takes a phenomenal amount of energy and resources to extract gold from sea water with today's technology.
I would not be surprised to learn that the American government was fooled into believing that there was lots of oil waiting for us in Afghanistan and Iraq. And I would not be surprised if carbon and hydrogen are combining deep in the earth. I would not even be surprised to find that methane is being created deep in the earth.
However, even if the fear of running out of oil is exaggerated, the concept of peak oil is a serious issue. Every natural resource can be described as "renewable", but there are limits on how fast we can use those resources. And there are side effects to using resources, such as pollution.
Before anyone tells us that oil shortages will be eliminated by drilling deeper oil wells, they should tell us how fast the oil will renew itself, and how much it will cost us to bring up the oil.
Furthermore, using oil in increasingly large amounts is creating increasing amounts of pollution and garbage. Anybody who sests tapping into oil below 10,000 meters should be required to explain how we are going to deal with all the pollution and garbage.
The arguments between the advocates of Peak Oil and Deep Oil is at the level of intelligence of a 12 year-old child. Furthermore, there are never any intelligent discussions on television, or among top government leaders. It is also difficult to find intelligent conversations at American universities.
I think the human race encountered Peak Intelligence decades or centuries ago. The human race has been degrading into imbeciles ever since.
Maybe pumping salt water into the idiots will help push their remaining intelligence to the top of their head.
(That technique works with oil wells; why not idiots?)
jos jedno vidjenje trenutne "Peak-Deep Oil situacije...svidja mi se rjesenje na kraju...
U.S. Oil Policy Simulation
What would it take to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil?
After Saudi Arabia, the U.S. is the second largest oil producer in the world. But the United States also happens to be the largest consumer of oil. Oil consumption in the United States and Canada is almost three gallons per person per day, twice as high as in Europe. As a consequence more than 50% of U.S. oil must be imported. These oil imports are expensive and have complex political and security consequences.
What would it take to reduce United States dependence on foreign oil?
In this SIMULATION, you are elected President of the United States on a platform of reducing U.S. dependence on oil imports. How will you achieve your goals? You decide on initiatives that include everything from opening oil fields in Alaska to mandating improved fuel efficiency of new vehicles. Then you write a speech to the American people outlining your policies. The simulation shows if you were able to achieve your goals by 2020.
Nemojte poslije reci da niste imali sansu biti GWB, at least for a day...Poigrajte se predsjednika i spasite svijet...
AKTIVIRANJE REZERVI DALO REZULTATE
LONDON - Cijene nafte pale su u ponedjeljak, nadovezavši se na oštar pad od petka, nakon što su industrijske zemlje deblokirale zalihe nafte za hitne slučajeve kako bi spriječile krizu goriva u SAD-u nakon uragana Katrina. Američko je tržište zatvoreno povodom Praznika rada nakon što je u petak barel dosegnuo 67,57 dolara. Na londonskom je tržištu barel pojeftinio 1,38 dolara na 64,70 dolara, spustivši se time na razinu prije pustošenja uragana Katrina u Meksičkom zaljevu.
"Držim da smo doslovno i u prenesenom smislu prebrodili oluju nakon što je deblokada strateških rezervi smirila tržište", kazao je David Thurtell iz Commonwealth Bank of Australia. Međunarodna agencija za energetiku (IEA) objavila je u petak da će njezinih 26 članica deblokirati dva milijuna barela nafte dnevno u sljedećih 30 dana kako bi nadoknadile gubitak desetine američke rafinerijske i jedne četvrtine proizvodnje nafte. To je prvi puta od krize u Perzijskom zaljevu 1991. da IEA poseže za strateškim zalihama nafte.
SAD će na aukciji dnevno prodavati milijun barela sirove nafte iz strateških rezervi dok su europske i azijske zemlje pozvane da deblokiraju destilate.
Dvije kljucna problema ove gornje teorije:
1. Naftu treba preraditi prije upotrebe (end user ne treba naftu nego benzin)
2. Derivate treba dopremiti do end user (inace ne moze tankirat)
Zajednicko pitanje: Kako?
p.s. pitanja 'Kad?' i "Gdje?' ne postavljam jer su bez suvislog odgovora u ovom trenutku...
Vezano na jucerasnji post...
Oil Storm was a docudrama portraying a future oil-shortage crisis in the United States. It originally aired on FX Networks on June 5, 2005. The program was an attempt to depict what would happen if the highly oil-dependent country was suddenly faced with gasoline costing upwards of $7 and 8 per gallon (as opposed to the national average of around $2 per gallon when the show first aired).
The crisis arises from a hurricane wiping out an important pipeline in Louisiana, a tanker collision closing a busy port, terrorist attacks and tension with Saudi Arabia over the oil trade, and other fictional events. The program followed several fictional people, being portrayed by actors, in various situations (a couple that owned a mom-and-pop gas station, stock market and oil analysts, government officials, etc.), and includes a substantial amount of human drama.
A subtle blooper in the movie is when gas prices are at above $8, the filmed gas pump still shows the total price and the total gallon corresponding to current 2005 prices.
On August 28, 2005, Hurricane Katrina was in direct path to hit Port Fourchon and New Orleans. Many of the initial scenes of Hurricane Julia were playing out in real-life with Hurricane Katrina, such as the mandatory evacuation of New Orleans, the opening of the Superdome, and the changing of traffic to contraflow. On August 29th it was reported on CNN that Hurricane Katrina directly hit Port Fourchon, another fictional event in the movie come true in real life. Also it was reported that the fate of many oil rigs set up in the Gulf is currently uncertain. Saudis agree to up oil production to help with the crisis.
On August 30th, 2005, many gas stations raise prices by a considerable amount putting most of america over $3.00/gallon as shown in the movie. Some analyists predict that gas will hit $4.00/gallon.
Detailed Synopsis of Oil Storm
The movie deals with the impact that a fictional Category 4 (not a Category 5, the highest actual category) hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico would have if it hit New Orleans, destroyed large numbers of offshore oil rigs in the Gulf, and crippled the primary nerve center of the Gulf Coast petroleum industry at Port Fourchon, Louisiana. It shows how the effects of that disaster could reasonably ripple throughout the United States, even in areas far removed from landfall.
While the loss of life and property in the storm is staggering, the greater impact is on the crippled energy industry. Due to the destruction at Port Fourchon and in the Gulf, oil prices skyrocket, and the U.S. government is forced to take immediate action to rebuild the Gulf's energy infrastructure. Once the storm passes, the government starts to rebuild the infrastructure at Port Fourchon (requiring a minimum of 8 months) and repair or replace damaged offshore rigs (requiring a similar amount of time). Also, shipping that would normally go to Port Fourchon is rerouted to the Port of Houston, and the government requires Houston's port facilities to work around-the-clock.
With widespread gas lines and prices over $3.00 per gallon, the U.S. persuades Saudi Arabia to increase its oil production. The Saudi decision to aid America causes a backlash among a restive Muslim population already energized because of the U.S. intervention in Iraq. Local terrorists stage an attack in an upscale shopping mall in Riyadh which kills about 300 Americans associated with multinational oil companies. This attack leads the U.S. to send troops to Saudi Arabia. In the meantime, the oil crisis escalates when two large tankers collide in the narrow Houston Ship Channel, shutting down the Channel.
Immediately after the Houston accident, the same Saudi terrorists assassinate the Saudi Oil Minister who made the deal with the U.S. and then blow up sections of the mammoth Ras Tanura refinery complex, killing many U.S. soldiers who were protecting the Saudi oil infrastructure. Once winter sets in, gas lines take a back seat to critical shortages of heating oil during a bitterly cold winter, with many Americans dying in the cold. The U.S. makes a deal with Russia for 3 million barrels of oil per week, but Russia is compelled to shop the deal to China, which outbids the U.S., leaving America in a state of chaos.
...kao u svakom pravom americkom filmu mora biti i happy end, dakle...
However, a spirit of sacrifice not seen in America since World War II emerges, with a move toward agrarianism and self-reliance. The country also fast-tracks development of alternative energy sources. While this occurs, the U.S. government, showing unexpected diplomatic skill, resurrects the Russian oil deal, and the China-bound tankers change course to the U.S. The crisis finally eases to a degree a year after the hurricane when the U.S. and Russia agree that Russia will supply oil to the U.S. in exchange for $16 billion of investment in Russia's developing oil industry. The story concludes with the American people reconciled to their losses and the U.S. government determined to rebuild the country. The U.S. emerges stronger and more dedicated to preserving its way of life—even with gasoline permanently at nearly $4.00 a gallon.....i zivjeli su sretno do kraja zivota....
Naglasavam da je film prikazan (ne snimljen!) na TV u lipnju dakle prije cca 3 mjeseca, toliko o nepripremljenosti i iznenadjenju...
Katrina has interrupted oil production, importation, and refining in the Gulf area. A tenth of all the crude oil consumed in America and almost half of the gasoline produced in the country comes from refineries in the states along the gulf's shores. An additional 24 percent of the natural gas supply is extracted or imported in the region. The Strategic Petroleum Reserve is stored along the Gulf. At least 20 offshore oil platforms have gone missing, sunk, or gone adrift, according to the Coast Guard. One oil rig, in dock for repairs before the storm, broke loose and hit the road bridge in Mobile, Alabama. Two others went adrift in the Gulf of Mexico, but were resecured. One platform has washed up onshore at Dauphin Island, Alabama. The Royal Dutch Shell MARS platform, producing around 147,000 barrels a day, has been severely damaged.
Port Fourchon, a key oil and gas hub 60 miles south of New Orleans on the Gulf of Mexico had taken a direct hit from the hurricane. This port makes up 16 to 18 percent of the U.S. oil supply and Hurricane Katrina "will impact oil and gas infrastructure, not just short term but long term as well. Louisana Highway 1, the only major access route to Port Fourchon, is 75 percent submerged.
The Louisiana Offshore Oil Port, which imports 11% of US oil consumption, closed on August 27, and Royal Dutch/Shell reports a reduction in production of 420,000 barrels per day. This port was undamaged and would be able to resume operation within hours of getting power back. Many refineries are located in this area and may be disrupted by the hurricane.
Due to fears that the production of oil in the United States will be cut by up to one-third of normal capacity, the price of oil fluctuated greatly throughout the day. Long lines developed at some gas stations throughout the U.S. as customers rushed to buy gasoline, anticipating price increases in the wake of the storm. Per gallon gasoline prices reached and exceeded $3 USD in America within days as a result—setting record highs; in Atlanta, Georgia prices are already as high as $3.50 USD a gallon as consumers rush to fill up.
However, this is partially due to a consumer panic in Georgia on August. Many gas stations ran out of fuel despite the high prices.
As of August 31, eight Gulf of Mexico refineries remain shut down and one is operating at reduced capacity.
Evaluation of five of the eight refineries is incomplete since access is limited. Aggregate offline capacity exceeds 1.9 million barrels per day (about 10% of total US oil consumption).
Aside from the problems involved in re-starting the refineries there are major issues with worker housing, since a large proportion of their homes were destroyed by the hurricane.
The Environmental Protection Agency has moved to reduce prices by temporarily lifting fuel standards in America until September 15.
The Strategic Petroleum Reserve will be releasing some crude oil as well to combat prices as major economic consequences are predicted if they remain high for a long period of time...Yesterday (8/31/05) Bush authorized the SPR to loan oil to help refineries whose operations had been affected by Katrina. Oil has been released and sold in the open market under emergency conditions only once, in 1991. However, oil has been temporarily loaned out or exchanged to private oil companies in a few circumstances. Access to the reserve is determined by the conditions written into the 1975 Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA), primarily to counter a severe supply interruption. The maximum removal rate, by physical constraints, is 4.4 million barrels per day. Oil could begin entering the marketplace 13 days after a Presidential order. The Dept. of Energy says that it has about 7 to 8 weeks worth of inventory protection in the SPR. This, combined with private sector inventory protection, is estimated to total 150 days worth of emergency supply.
Kako stoje stvari u Meksickom Zaljevu, trebat ce vise od 7-8 tjedana za normalizaciju stanja jer trenutno nije ni poznata realna slika stanja. U medjuvremenu bi se lako mogla ponovit 1973 i panika na pumpama koja je trenutno privremeno smirena. Pravi problem ce nastati kad pocne ponestajati internih zaliha goriva ukoliko se do tad ne osposobe distribucijski kanali.
Nedostatak u proizvodnji se jos kako tako moze pokrit importom (kojeg opet treba dopremit do USA), ali obzirom da su i import terminali uglavnom u Zaljevu predvidjam exciting Indian Summer...