Economic and Political Issues for Governments and Firms
Edited by Sidney Weintraub, Alan M. Rugman and Gavin Boyd
Chapter 9: Western hemisphere energy development: the continuing search for security
Stephen J. Randall A range of international and domestic challenges in the first decade of the 21st Century have reinforced the importance of Western Hemisphere energy development for the security of the United States as well as other regional nations. Such security concerns, as this chapter underlines, considerably predated the political, diplomatic and then military conflict with Iraq in early 2003, the terrorist attack on New York and Washington, DC on September 11, 2001, or the US-led coalition which employed military action to remove the Taliban from power in Afghanistan in the course of 2002. Oil shortage scares in the early 1970s and in 1979–80 at the time of the Iranian crisis and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan had already underscored once again the fragility of the Near and Middle East, a fragility that was exacerbated by the end of the Cold War. The larger global energy context is critical for an understanding of the environment in which US energy policies in general and in particular toward the Western Hemisphere are evolving. The UN Energy Commission for Europe in 2001 effectively captured the European situation in its brief description of the circumstances that confront the region, although the description could also be applied to much of the world’s energy development. ‘The winds of change’, the report concluded with a sense of drama, ‘are blowing across the ECE region, buffeting energy markets, industries and enterprises. Governments in central and eastern Europe as well as central Asia are busy reshaping, restructuring...
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