Schachte: From War To Peace Through Energy

EXPANDED ENERGY PRODUCTION COULD SAVE THE LIVES OF U.S. SOLDIERS || By WILLIAM SCHACHTE || More than a million American men and women have given their lives in service to our country.  On Memorial Day, as always, we honored their service with parades, visits to cemeteries, moments of silence, and countless…


|| By WILLIAM SCHACHTE || More than a million American men and women have given their lives in service to our country.  On Memorial Day, as always, we honored their service with parades, visits to cemeteries, moments of silence, and countless other tributes.  We shared stories about the brave loved ones we’ve lost and show pictures to our young relatives of their patriotic parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and siblings in uniform.

Perhaps the best tribute we can give them is our concerted effort to lessen the likelihood of future wars.

We’re not talking about idealistic or suicidal gestures like unilateral disarmament.  We’re not peaceniks.  As a veteran, we know that the world can be a dangerous place, where a kind heart and good intentions won’t protect you.  We know that wars, ultimately, are fought to preserve our freedoms and the freedoms of our allies — and that, sometimes, they simply can’t be avoided.

But there are contributing factors, like the need for access to energy, that can be minimized by securing friendlier and more reliable foreign sources or, better yet, by developing our own resources.  Toward that end, we should support an all-of-the-above approach to energy independence, encouraging coal production, fracking, development of Arctic reserves, and safely drilling in the outer continental shelf (OCS), etc.

As a resident of a coastal state, a veteran and a volunteer with Vets4Energy, I am particularly interested in the potential for OCS reserves to free us from our dangerous dependence on foreign sources of energy.  There are billions of barrels of oil out there just waiting to be tapped and trillions of cubic feet of natural gas.  Yet, the entire west coast of our country most of Alaska, Florida and the northeast have been off limits for drilling for decades – decades during which thousands of American military men and women have died fighting, in part, to protect our nation’s access to foreign fuels.

As Memorial Day activities draw to a close for another year, let’s pay a real, lasting tribute to our fallen heroes by making a commitment to energy independence.  We can start by calling for the removal of arbitrary restrictions on exploration and production on our entire outer continental shelf, to allow for the safe and environmentally-friendly development of those resources.  The more energy we produce ourselves, the less we have to import, and the fewer of our finest are put in harm’s way. Instead, they can live to celebrate Memorial Day with the rest of us.

William Schachte is a retired Navy rear admiral who resides in Charleston, S.C.  He is the state chairman of Vets4Energy.

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Makes Sense June 2, 2015 at 5:01 pm

Well said and thank you for your service. No need to mess around in the Middle East if we’re obtaining energy, including solar, wind and oil and gas, here at home and from friendly trading partners like Canada!

sparklecity June 3, 2015 at 10:25 am

i can’t see anywhere in the article where the admiral mentioned solar or wind.
If he had, I would have respected him for doing that.
Looks to me like he is being a shill for the oil industry and using the men and women of the US military as his poster child for the oil industry.
All he’s shilling out is oil,oil,coal with a little natural gas thrown in for good measure.
Hey, he states he lives on the coast (probably Hilton Head). He don’t give a shit how the good people (my people) in Appalachia are making a living mining coal. That’s fer sure!!!!!

Centrist View June 2, 2015 at 5:06 pm

How about the susceptibility of ocean oil platforms to terrorist attacks and drone strikes?

Makes Sense June 2, 2015 at 5:07 pm

Pretty much anything could be a target to drones or terrorists. Maybe even your house.

Centrist View June 2, 2015 at 9:42 pm

Well, if they target my house, the environmental damage will not cause $Millions in damage and negatively impact thousands of lives.

Bob from Raytheon June 2, 2015 at 5:41 pm


I thought we talked about this.

How is Raytheon stock going to continue to go up without our interventions in oil rich regions?

tomstickler June 2, 2015 at 5:52 pm

In that “all-of-the-above approach to energy independence”, what is in the “etc”? Solar photovoltaic? Wind? Anything other than exploitation of carbon-intensive fossil fuels?

As for the “billions of barrels of oil out there just waiting to be tapped and trillions of cubic feet of natural gas”, the entire known reserves off the South Carolina shore would provide less than a week toward current US consumption.

The value of my property near the coast depends on the continued cleanliness of our wonderful beaches where Will loves to body-surf. One little spill can sure spoil that.

So, here is a Vet4Preservation of our beaches, and against risky drilling for oil off South Carolina shores.

FastEddy23 June 2, 2015 at 7:26 pm

Mostly correct. And The Drilling could have a calamitous effect on the East Coast food supply. The opening of the Pennsylvania natural gas fields would not … and would produce tens of thousands of times more energy. No kidding.

Solar Power = Terrorists Win June 3, 2015 at 8:43 am

The whole point of this is to enrich the oil industry dude. That’s all these think tanks care about because they are founded and/or funded by people and corporations tied to the industry. Wind and solar are seen as competition and therefore threats. You seen the kind of legislation they try to get passed in states to keep people from putting solar panels on their roofs?

No, they just want you to accept anything and everything that makes them more money, and they want you to shut up about unsustainability, global warming, leaks, pollution, water contamination, theft of property through improper use of eminent domain, subsidization and other corporate welfare, pushing for anti-competitive legislation, and even goading us into overseas conflicts.

Bible Thumper June 2, 2015 at 6:07 pm

I’m all for all of the above, but our enemies could still use energy as a wedge with our trading partners and allies. Oil is fungible. I believe in free markets and if there is an energy crisis any where in the world, then the price we pay will also rise whether we are energy independent or not.

FastEddy23 June 2, 2015 at 7:29 pm

I believe in the free market place, too. I just believe we should put the outhouse somewhere else than in the middle of the Gulf Stream waters.

SCBlues June 3, 2015 at 5:15 am

It is definitely an outhouse and the entire premise is full of shit.

FastEddy23 June 6, 2015 at 6:01 pm

It appears that one of the driving forces pushing for offshore drilling are Shell and BP.

Scuttlebutt around the German beer kegs is how cheap it is to buy a politician.

davis mcclam June 2, 2015 at 7:30 pm

What is so wrong with funding and applying technology to alternative sources like hydrogen or solar?

Limbaughsaphatkhunt June 2, 2015 at 11:40 pm

Because it eats away at fossil fool profits. Lawmakers in turn would lose cash handouts from lobbyists.

They are happy to ransom the future of the planet for short term profit. Classic slam dunk case of capitalism gone amok.

TontoBubbaGoldstein June 2, 2015 at 9:41 pm

We know that wars, ultimately, are fought to preserve our freedoms and the freedoms of our allies — and that, sometimes, they simply can’t be avoided.

But there are contributing factors, like the need for access to energy…

Name two wars that the US has been involved in in the past 200 years that any of this is applicable to.
In the spirit of sportsmanship, TBG will give you WWII, but even WWII is arguable…

Centrist View June 2, 2015 at 9:49 pm

Expand from energy to commodities and 3 are listed here.

9 Wars That Were Really About Commodities

sparklecity June 3, 2015 at 10:06 am

1. Yom Kippur alert and the subsequent oil embargo that kicked the shit out of the economy and caused the recession of 1973-1974 – been there done that. That ‘situation” among economic experts is considered the benchmark for contemporary economic upsets. As a young 20 year old paratrooper, we were about 15 minutes from deploying to the Middle East before we stood down. That “alert” changed my life and the way i look at energy
2. Gulf War I: “This war is about jobs” Secretary Baker early 1992. I distinctly remember when he said that. (Got activated shortly afterwards and enjoyed several lovely months in Saudi Arabia)
3.Gulf II: The only Iraqi government building secured during the “invasion” was the Ministry of Oil. Two tours there and another in Afghanistan
Ain’t NOBODY more sensitive to using the US military for economic reasons (especially when it involves oil) than myself……………….

sparklecity June 3, 2015 at 10:12 am

Well, it is a fact that the Japanese invaded the Dutch Indies/Java (what we now call Indonesia) for just that reason – oil (because we had an oil embargo on Japan which led us down the path to pearl harbor and WWII.
Big fucking reason!!!!!!!!!!!

sparklecity June 3, 2015 at 9:52 am

Been saying “kinda-sorta” the same thing since the Yom Kippur War alert and subsequent oil embargo back in 1973……………………. and am a veteran of 3 wars involving the Middle East and oil so I have a vested nterest in doing everything I can to keep men and women from being involved in wars where oil is a dominant factor.
Only disapppointing thing is it looks to me like the good Admiral has sold out to the oil industry. Sure is funny, if there really was that much oil off the coast it would have been pumped out years ago. The fact that “easy” (and cleaner burning) oil is only from the Middle East, The truth is that oil ain’t really ‘easy” anymore. Thhat’s why the ragheads dropped their price and are now putting the hurt on the fracking industry. They can still make money at $16/barrel. Ain’t no fucking way any oil company producing oil in the US can make a profit unless it is way higher than $16/barrel.

It will take a mix of all sorts of energy sources to make us independent (or more realistically “insulated”) from world events that affect off shore energy sources.
Back in the mid 1800’s whale oil was the be all/end all and nothing could replace whale oil.
There will come a day when oil will be too precious to be utilized for transportation and even mass energy production.
Go to eastern Kentucky,southern West Virginia and southwest Virginia if you want to see the rape of the mountains due to strip mining for coal. Going back to in-line coal mining is the only way to mine coal and it would bring back jobs in Appalachia but it is expensive but once you strip a mountain, it’s gone forever and the suits from other parts of the country don’t give a shit what happens to the Appalachian region. All they fucking care about is the profit margin
I do believe in the free market and it appears to me that the Admiral wants us to believe that nothing will ever replace oil for transportation and even power production. I’m disappointed that he has sold out to the oil industry

TontoBubbaGoldstein June 3, 2015 at 1:23 pm


If you are against drilling off SC’s coast, you can point out the danger of spills OR you can argue that there is no oil there. But not both simultaneously. Then you just look stupid.

Charles T. Munson June 3, 2015 at 2:18 pm

The good admiral, the resident of a town in which the mayor and city council have passed resolutions against drilling, seems not to have thought through this issue. If we become energy independent – i.e., stop buying oil from the Saudis, we will enrage them and make yet another implacable enemy in the Middle East. I would suggest that we already have more enemies there than we need. Geopolitics sometimes takes precedence over economic interests.

And speaking of economics, our currently low price of gasoline is a Saudi gift, not the wish of EXXON or Mobile or Shell or BP. If and when America becomes energy independent, will gas prices increase? Certainly these chauvinistic oil billionaires will charge us less per gallon, won’t they? I will believe America cares about energy independence the day someone walks up to me on the street and says “Please let me pay 4, 5, or 6 dollars a gallon so America can be energy independent. Please.”
From the point of view of the American Petroleum Institute, the most knowledgeable organization in the U.S. on these issues, we are now energy independent in natural gas and are almost there with petroleum. I hear that claim every time I turn on my TV and see an API advertisement.
As an aside, could the good admiral please inform us as to the source of funding for the group he leads, Vets4Energy. I’m sure his group would be legal under our lobby laws, n’est pas?
Where the distortions of the energy industry and he lobbying of its 625 lobbyists around the country don’t work, pulling in unsuspecting veterans and pulling at their patriotic heart strings is bound to win the day. Be all you can be!
Could the good admiral provide some more detail on how the death of veterans, of which I am one, is supposed to make me want to risk my lifestyle and the jobs of 75,000 workers in tourism on the Grand Strand? The logic escapes me.
The good admiral calls himself a volunteer. If he truly receives nothing for his work, and if he wishes to understand the issues at a useful level of detail, I volunteer to drive from Pawleys Island to Charleston to bring him up to speed. As the admiral knows, Propaganda never won a war. Nor does it serve as a solid basis for energy planning. Please Admiral Schachte, go to http://www.drilldownsc.com for to begin to climb the learning curve.


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