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2012 brought into stark relief the ways in which energy influences U.S. foreign policy. Decisions on trade sanctions in Iran, natural gas exports, and drilling for oil in the arctic are good examples of scenarios in which domestic policy goals and U.S. foreign interests were deliberated by the current administration, and a course for the country’s energy and foreign policy future was laid out. Hillary Clinton, in speaking recently at Georgetown University, highlighted the ways in which energy development and consumption will continue to be an issue facing the U.S. and its foreign policy efforts, even as the U.S. continues to… [more]View Insight
According to a Japanese news service, The Obama Administration will call for a release of strategic oil reserves (SPR) at the upcoming G8 summit. The expected request comes in advance of Europe’s July embargo on Iranian oil. Oil prices have declined in recent weeks, and the U.S. has seen increasing crude inventories. The Administration may be eager to assure minimal price disruptions as a result of the embargo, although the White House has downplayed reports of its support for a strategic oil release. The International Energy Agency will decide if oil reserves should be tapped, and as recently as two… [more]View Insight
The New York Times has reported that Iran has threatened to block all oil shipments through the Strait of Hormuz, which serves as a transport corridor for approximately 1/5 of world oil supply. The threat is in response to U.S. sanctions on Iran that are awaiting President Obama’s signature. The sanctions, if enforced, would penalize foreign businesses for doing business with Iran’s national bank, which is responsible for collecting payment on much of the country’s energy exports. The sanctions are in response to a November IAEA report, and are intended to penalize Iran for pursuing secretly nuclear weapons in spite… [more]View Insight