Editorial voices from elsewhere
Excerpts from recent editorials in newspapers in the United States and abroad as compiled by the Associated Press:
Hydraulic fracturing, the energy-exploration process known as fracking, has created huge economic booms in North Dakota, Texas, Ohio and Pennsylvania over the past decade.
Fracking, which uses underground water cannons to free up natural gas and oil supplies, has the potential to create hundreds of thousands of middle-class jobs and vast new wealth in energy-rich California, according to a University of Southern California study. This would mean a gigantic influx of new tax revenue for a state government with a long list of unmet needs.
But state environmental groups assert it is dangerous and untested, and vow to fight its use in accessing huge reservoirs of oil beneath Central California.
Thankfully, however, we have yet another reminder that the greenest president in U.S. history disagrees with this alarmism. The Obama administration recently confirmed it had approved three new hydraulic-fracturing projects off the Santa Barbara coast.
This should matter in California’s debate over fracking. But coverage of the debate rarely notes that the Obama administration has for years dismissed fracking opponents, most notably in a 2013 news conference in which Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said their criticism “ignores the reality” of fracking’s history.
Given their quasi-religious hatred of fossil fuels, greens aren’t likely to change their tune. But the Golden State media, at least, should stop ignoring the reality of the president’s embrace of fracking.
President Barack Obama had little choice but to float the threat of the “zero option” to Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai.
Karzai’s stubborn refusal to sign the bilateral security agreement that would allow troops to stay in Afghanistan is wrongheaded and dangerous.
If the United States is forced to withdraw its troops by the end of the year, the Taliban and al-Qaida will almost certainly fill the power vacuum. The Afghan army is not ready to take over the country’s security, which is why U.S. officials want to keep as many as 10,000 troops in Afghanistan to train those soldiers.
Nearly 3,500 coalition troops, mostly American, have been killed in the 13 years of war. From that sacrifice, al-Qaida and the Taliban have been severely damaged. Pulling out now would undo much of that progress. Still, the outgoing Afghanistan president is forcing the United States to plan for a pullout this year.
With Karzai continuing to spew anti-American rhetoric, he leaves the Pentagon no option except to start planning a pullout, and hope the next president listens to reason.
The Venezuelan foreign minister made a smart statement, as he laid the blame of unrest in his country on the media, and remarked that under the pretext of human rights violations, the West has always justified foreign intervention.
Elias Jaua who was in Geneva for a meeting of the United Nation’s Human Rights Council, said Venezuela is a victim of “psychological warfare.” His stunning words, true to the idealism and ideology of his revolutionary country, however, are unlikely to inspire many in the West. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, nonetheless, adopted a conciliatory and even-handed approach as he called upon Caracas to “carefully listen to the people on the streets” and address their demands accordingly.
The government of President Nicolas Maduro has to admit there is a dispute at hand, and the uprising of the people has political connotations. According to reports, scores have died in weeks of anti-government demonstrations. The authorities concerned should closely look into how come this has escalated into a formal anti-government movement. This whole episode is in need of re-evaluation. Venezuela can make a good beginning by releasing the recently arrested opposition figures and initiating a broad-based dialogue.