2014年6月10日 星期二

Joseph S. Nye 頁巖氣成為美國手中的地緣政治王牌

Joseph Nye: Shale Gas Is America's Geopolitical Trump Card 

 

 

頁巖氣成為美國手中的地緣政治王牌


JOSEPH S. NYE JR.

俄羅斯和中國上個月宣布達成一項總價4,000億美元、由俄羅斯在30年內每年向中國提供380億立方米天然氣的合同時,一些分析人士預計,地緣政治版圖將發生變化。

不過,普京(Vladimir Putin)急匆匆地簽署一項已經醞釀了10多年的合同反而確証了俄羅斯在政治上的弱點。盡管受到本世紀頭10年能源價格高漲的提振,俄羅斯的國勢卻每況癒下。從人口統計的角度來看俄羅斯在走下坡路;俄羅斯存在嚴重的健康問題(該國男性平均壽命不過60出頭);俄羅斯走的是“單一作物經濟”路線,嚴重依賴能源出口。俄羅斯需要推行改革來打造一個多元化、鼓勵創新的經濟體,但俄羅斯在烏克蘭的行動引發了制裁,這使得該國與西方的觀念和技術更加隔閡。成為中國的加氣站並不能逆轉這一趨勢。

Reuters
真正的地緣政治轉變在於在上一個10年當中開始爆發的頁巖氣革命。盡管水平鑽井和水力壓裂的技術已經不算新鮮,但這兩種技術在頁巖氣開採方面的開創性應用主要是上一個10年當中美國人的創新精神產物。

10年前,很多專家都在談論“石油峰值”(peak oil),這種理論聲稱,就連沙特的石油儲量也已經見頂。那時人們認為,美國將越來越依賴於能源進口,而且正在建造終端設施,進口高價液化天然氣。但實際上,如今北美洲正在建設用於出口低成本液化天然氣的終端設施,而且能源專家已經形成廣泛共識,北美大陸預計將在21世紀20年代實現能源自足。美國能源部估計,美國可開採的頁巖氣儲量達25萬億立方米,這些天然氣加上其他油氣資源足夠美國用上200年。

對於美國的外交政策而言,頁巖氣革命帶來了一系列影響。頁巖氣的開發提振了經濟,並增加了就業。進口減少也有助於實現收支平衡。新增稅收收入緩解了政府預算壓力。自身能源價格的下降也令美國能源業在全球市場中更具競爭力,在石化、鋁、鋼鐵等對能源價格較為敏感的行業尤其如此。

頁巖氣革命也給美國國內政治帶來了影響,其中之一是心理上的。在一段時間中,美國國內外的許多人士都認為美國正在衰落,對於能源進口的依賴度增加則被常常認為是証據之一。不過,頁巖氣革命改變了美國對於能源的依賴,並且顯現出創業精神、財產權利以及資本市場才是美國真正的力量所在。

懷疑論者認為,對能源進口依賴的降低將令美國從中東脫離。但是這種觀點是對能源經濟的誤解。戰爭或恐怖襲擊等重大幹擾事件可以令途經霍爾木茲海峽的油氣運輸中斷,並將美國和歐洲、日本等其盟友的油氣價格推升到非常高的水平。除此以外,美國在中東除了石油還存在許多其他利害關系,包括防止核武器擴散、保護以色列、保護人權以及反恐等。

對於駐紮於此的美國第五艦隊來說,許多相關基地均由所在國國家政府出資,而維持駐紮在當地的海軍資源的邊際成本並沒有令預算大幅增加。美國可能對於自己在中東的觸角延伸過廣較為謹慎,但這更多是代價高昂的入侵伊拉克,以及阿拉伯革命造成的大范圍動盪的產物,而不是頁巖氣帶來的政治上的“能源獨立”所造成的。美國之所以可以利用石油制裁來令伊朗回到核問題談判桌前,這不僅在於沙特阿拉伯願意彌補伊朗制裁帶來的每日百萬桶的石油產量減少,同時也得益於頁巖氣革命引發的普遍預期。

頁巖氣革命還給美國外交政策帶來了其他好處。委內瑞拉等國家通過提供石油在聯合國以及加勒比地區小型國家結成的組織中拉攏投票,但是頁巖氣革命使得這些國家通過這種方法拉攏投票的能力被削弱。此外,如果美國政府批準增加液化天然氣的出口,那麼最終可以削弱俄羅斯通過威脅切斷天然氣供應而對其鄰國施加壓力的能力。簡而言之,能源市場的地緣政治構造已經發生了改變,但這一改變並非源於俄羅斯與中國的天然氣合約。

(Nye是一名教授,之前曾擔任哈佛肯尼迪政府學院的院長。Nye還是2011年出版的《The Future of Power》的作者。)

Shale Gas Is America's Geopolitical Trump Card

Russia's $400 billion natural-gas deal with China pales beside the significance of U.S. drilling innovations.

June 8, 2014 6:26 p.m. ET


When Russia and China announced a $400 billion deal last month for Russia to supply China with 38 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually for three decades, some analysts heralded it as a tectonic geopolitical shift.

Instead, Vladimir's Putin's haste to sign a deal that had been in the making for more than a decade confirmed his country's political weakness. Despite being buoyed by high energy prices in the first decade of this century, Russia is in decline. Demographically it is shrinking; it has severe health problems (the average Russian male dies in his early 60s); and it is a 'one-crop economy' heavily dependent on energy exports. Russia needs reforms to build a diversified, entrepreneurial economy, but its actions in Ukraine have brought on sanctions that weaken its access to Western ideas and technology. Becoming China's gas station does nothing to reverse this trend.

The real geopolitical shift is the shale-energy revolution that took off in the past decade. While the technologies of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing are not new, their pioneering application to shale rock is largely a product of American entrepreneurship in the past decade.

Ten years ago, many experts were speaking of 'peak oil'-the idea that even reserves in Saudi Arabia had topped off. The U.S. was regarded as increasingly dependent on energy imports and was building terminals to import high-priced liquefied natural gas. Instead, North America is now building terminals to export its low-cost LNG, and the continent is expected to be self-sufficient in energy in the 2020s, according to a broad consensus of energy experts. The Energy Department estimates that the country has 25 trillion cubic meters of technically recoverable resources of shale gas, which when combined with other oil-and-gas resources could last for two centuries.

The shale revolution has a number of implications for American foreign policy. Shale-energy production boosts the economy and produces more jobs. Reducing imports helps the balance of payments. New tax revenues ease government budgets. Cheaper energy makes industry more competitive internationally, particularly energy-intensive industries like petrochemicals, aluminum, steel and others.

There are also domestic political effects. One is psychological. For some time, many people at home and abroad have bought into the myth of American decline. Increasing dependence on energy imports was often cited as evidence. The shale revolution changes that dependence and demonstrates the combination of entrepreneurship, property rights and capital markets that are this country's underlying strength.

Skeptics have argued that lowered dependence on energy imports will cause the U.S. to disengage from the Middle East. This misreads the economics of energy. A major disruption such as a war or terrorist attack that stopped the flow of oil and gas through the Strait of Hormuz would drive prices to very high levels in America and among our allies in Europe and Japan. Moreover, the U.S. has many interests other than oil in the region, including nonproliferation of nuclear weapons, protection of Israel, human rights and counterterrorism.

As for the costs of maintaining our Fifth Fleet in the region, many bases are paid for by host countries, and the marginal costs of keeping naval resources there instead of elsewhere do not add greatly to the budget. The U.S. may be cautious about overextension in the Middle East, but that is more the product of experience with the costly invasion of Iraq and the general turmoil of the Arab revolutions rather than illusions that shale produces political 'energy independence.' The ability of the U.S. to use oil sanctions to bring Iran to the bargaining table on nuclear issues depended not only on Saudi willingness to make up the million barrels of oil per day that Iran lost, but also on the general expectations that were created by the shale revolution.

Other benefits of the shale revolution for American foreign policy include the diminishing ability of countries like Venezuela to purchase votes in the U.N. and regional organizations of small Caribbean states by shipments of oil, and, if the government will approve more exports of liquefied natural gas, the eventual reduction of Russia's ability to coerce its neighbors by threats to cut off gas supplies. In short, there has been a tectonic shift in the geopolitics of energy, but it was not the Russia-China gas pipeline deal.

Mr. Nye, a professor and former dean at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, is the author of 'The Future of Power' (PublicAffairs, 2011).

 

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Joseph S. Nye, Jr.
Joseph Nye - Chatham House 2011.jpg
Born January 19, 1937 (age 77)
South Orange, New Jersey
Residence Lexington, Massachusetts
Nationality American
Fields International relations
Political science
Institutions Harvard University
Alma mater Princeton University (A.B.)
Oxford University (B.A.)
Harvard University (Ph.D.)
Known for Soft power
Influences Stanley Hoffmann
Joseph Samuel Nye, Jr. (born January 19, 1937) is an American political scientist and former Dean of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He currently holds the position of University Distinguished Service Professor at Harvard University[1] where he has been a member of the faculty since 1964. He is also the co-founder, along with Robert Keohane, of the international relations theory neoliberalism, developed in their 1977 book Power and Interdependence. Together with Keohane, he developed the concepts of asymmetrical and complex interdependence. They also explored transnational relations and world politics in an edited volume in the 1970s. More recently, he pioneered the theory of soft power. His notion of "smart power" became popular with the use of this phrase by members of the Clinton Administration, and more recently the Obama Administration.[2] He is a fellows of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and The British Academy. Nye is also a member of the American Academy of Diplomacy.[3]
The 2011 TRIP survey of over 1700 international relations scholars ranks Joe Nye as the sixth most influential scholar in the field of international relations in the past twenty years.[4]
In 2011, he was named by Foreign Policy magazine to its list of top global thinkers.[5] Magazine's valued reporter Daniel Drezner wrote: "All roads to understanding American foreign policy run through Joe Nye."[6]

Contents


Nye has published many works in recent years, the most recent being Presidential Leadership and the Creation of the American Era which examines the relationship between presidencies and the rise of American power.[10] His earlier works include: The Future of Power (2011, ISBN 978-1-58648-891-8), Understanding International Conflicts, 7th ed (2009), The Powers to Lead (2008), The Power Game: A Washington Novel (2004), Soft Power: The Means to Success in World Politics (2004), and The Paradox of American Power (2002). Nye coined the term soft power in the late 1980s and it first came into widespread usage following a piece he wrote in Foreign Policy in 1990. He is the chairman of the North American branch of the Trilateral Commission.[11] Nye has also consistently written for Project Syndicate since 2002[12]

Joseph S. Nye

Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor
Harvard Kennedy School
Office Address
Taubman-162
Mailing Address
John F. Kennedy School of Government
Mailbox 124
79 JFK Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
Contact
Phone: 617-495-1123
Fax: 617-496-3337
Email: joseph_nye@Harvard.Edu
Assistant
Jeanne Marasca (617-495-4537)
Joseph Nye

Profile

Joseph S. Nye Jr., University Distinguished Service Professor, and former Dean of the Kennedy School. He received his bachelor's degree summa cum laude from Princeton University, did postgraduate work at Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship, and earned a PhD in political science from Harvard. He has served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, Chair of the National Intelligence Council, and Deputy Under Secretary of State for Security Assistance, Science and Technology.In 2004, he published Soft Power: The Means to Success in World Politics; Understanding International Conflict (5th edition); and The Power Game: A Washington Novel. In 2008 he published The Powers to Lead and his latest book published in 2011 is The Future of Power.

Courses

Fall Mod1

  • IGA-610M Leadership and Ethics in American Foreign Policy

Spr Mod3

Media Expertise

Joseph Nye welcomes media inquiries on the following subjects:
Additional experts may be found by clicking on each subject listed. You may contact faculty directly or if you need assistance contact the Communications Office at 617-495-1115.

Research

For a complete list of faculty citations from 2001 - present, please visit the Harvard Kennedy School Research Report Online.

Selected Publication Citations:

  • Academic Journal/Scholarly Articles
    • Nye, Jr., Joseph S. "The Information Revolution and Power." Current History 113.759 (January 2014): 19-22.
  • Books
    • Nye, Jr., Joseph S. Presidential Leadership and the Creation of the American Era. Princeton University Press, 2013.
  • Magazine and Newspaper Articles
    • Nye, Jr., Joseph S. "Do Presidents Really Steer Foreign Policy?" Atlantic Monthly. June 2013.
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