Interpretation – Financial incentives must be positively linked to rewards – they cannot be negative
Harris, 89 – professor of law at the University of Illinois (Fred, 49 La. L. Rev. 1315 (1988-1989) “Automobile Emissions Control Inspection and Maintenance Program: Making It More Palatable to Coerced Participants”, Hein Online)
53. The term "incentives," for purposes of this Article, means those devices that induce one into doing something because of the prospect of reward and, therefore, engender a positive feeling within the actor. An example of incentives in this sense would be tax incentives like credits and/or deductions. But it appears that Congress, some courts and a few commentators have taken a broader view of incentives and have categorized items such as extensions to compliance deadlines and, most notably, sanctions in the Act-denials of federal grants and bans on construction in the event of noncompliance-as incentives to compliance. To be sure, these latter items may induce compliance but surely not because of the extension of a "carrot." Instead, they epitomize the "stick" or "disincentive" approach to behavioral modification.
Violation – the aff mechanism imposes requirements that result in a financial incentive
That’s a voter
Limits – makes the topic bidirectional – allows imposition of requirements on one energy source in order to incentivize another – explodes research because the list of negative incentives is massive
Ground – predictable negative offense is limited to direct incentives for each energy source – allowing negative incentives arbitrarily give the aff unpredictable spin on core generics like politics and energy trade off disads.
Oil prices will stabilize now – prices will stick above OPEC break-even levels without significant changes
Irina Rogovaya August 2012; writer for Oil and Gas Eurasia, Oil Price Changes: Everyone Wants Stability http://www.oilandgaseurasia.com/articles/p/164/article/1875/
According to the current base forecast for the Eurozone prepared by Oxford Economics, within the next two years oil prices will continue to drift lower, but not beyond the bounds of the “green” corridor for the world economy – $80-100 per barrel. This forecast coincides with the expectations of the World Bank (see Fig. 4). Meanwhile, S&P analysts presented three scenarios for the energy market in June. In the base scenario, oil will remain at $100 per barrel. S&P calculates that the likelihood of a stressful scenario in which the price of oil drops below $60 per barrel (the bottom in 2009) is 1:3. Analysts believe that given today’s state of economic and geopolitical affairs, strong political will would be needed to force the price of oil below $70-80 (the current level of effective production). So far, that will is nowhere to be seen. Recent events have shown that nobody is interested in the Eurozone breaking apart. And nobody wants a war in the Persian Gulf. Furthermore, nobody today intends to force the production of less valuable oil. At least that is what OPEC leaders promised during the recent summit. “Stability on the market should be at the center of our attention,” General Secretary Abdalla El-Badri said. Even Saudi Arabia, which consistently violates OPEC discipline in over-producing its quotas, announced at the beginning of July that it would review its margins to determine a higher price for Saudi supplies ordered on August contracts. Analysts noted that the average price of oil supplied to Europe and Asia had jumped (by $0.85 and $0.66 per barrel respectively), a fact which could be seen as proof that the collective members of the cartel will not let prices fall under $100 per barrel.
Wind power expansion would shift natural gas to transportation and massively reduce oil demand
TGCO 2010; Texas Gulf Coast Online, Wind Power Plan Could Solve Oil Crisis http://www.texasgulfcoastonline.com/News/tabid/86/ctl/ArticleView/mid/466/articleId/106/Wind-Power-Plan-Could-Solve-Oil-Crisis.aspx
If the United States takes advantage of the so-called "wind corridor," stretching from the Canadian border to West Texas, energy from wind turbines built there could supply 20 percent or more of the nation's power. Power from thousands of wind turbines that would line the corridor could be distributed throughout the country via electric power transmission lines and could fuel power plants in large population hubs. Fueling these plants with wind power would then free up the natural gas historically used to power them, and would mean that natural gas could replace foreign oil as fuel for motor vehicles. Using natural gas for transportation needs could replace one-third of the United States' imported oil and would save more than $230 billion a year. As imports grow and world prices rise, the amount of money we send to foreign nations every year is soaring. At current oil prices, we will send $700 billion dollars out of the country this year alone. Projected over the next 10 years the cost will be $10 trillion. America uses a lot of oil, every day 85 million barrels of oil are produced around the world and 21 million of those are used here in the United States. That's 25% of the world's oil demand used by just 4% of the world's population. World oil production peaked in 2005. Despite growing demand and an unprecedented increase in prices, oil production has fallen over the last three years. Oil is getting more expensive to produce, harder to find and there just isn't enough of it to keep up with demand. The simple truth is that cheap and easy oil is gone. A 2005 Stanford University study found that there is enough wind power worldwide to satisfy global demand 7 times over, even if only 20% of wind power could be captured. Building wind facilities in the corridor that stretches from the Texas panhandle to North Dakota could produce 20% of the electricity for the United States at a cost of $1 trillion. It would take another $200 billion to build the capacity to transmit that energy to cities and towns. It's a one-time cost and compared to the $700 billion we spend on foreign oil every year, it's a bargain. Building new wind generation facilities and better utilizing our natural gas resources can replace more than one-third of our foreign oil imports in 10 years. The benefits for the Texas economy and real estate values on the coast are enormous - and the entire country will benefit from lower gas prices.
High prices are key to the Russian economy and domestic stability
Michael Schuman 7-5-2012 ; writes about Asia and global economic issues as a correspondent for TIME in Hong Kong. B.A. in Asian history and political science from the University of Pennsylvania and a master of international affairs from Columbia; “Why Vladimir Putin Needs Higher Oil Prices” http://business.time.com/2012/07/05/why-vladimir-putin-needs-higher-oil-prices/
But Vladimir Putin is not one of them. The economy that the Russian President has built not only runs on oil, but runs on oil priced extremely high. Falling oil prices means rising problems for Russia – both for the strength of its economic performance, and possibly, the strength of Putin himself. Despite the fact that Russia has been labeled one of the world’s most promising emerging markets, often mentioned in the same breath as China and India, the Russian economy is actually quite different from the others. While India gains growth benefits from an expanding population, Russia, like much of Europe, is aging; while economists fret over China’s excessive dependence on investment, Russia badly needs more of it. Most of all, Russia is little more than an oil state in disguise. The country is the largest producer of oil in the world (yes, bigger even than Saudi Arabia), and Russia’s dependence on crude has been increasing. About a decade ago, oil and gas accounted for less than half of Russia’s exports; in recent years, that share has risen to two-thirds. Most of all, oil provides more than half of the federal government’s revenues. What’s more, the economic model Putin has designed in Russia relies heavily not just on oil, but high oil prices. Oil lubricates the Russian economy by making possible the increases in government largesse that have fueled Russian consumption. Budget spending reached 23.6% of GDP in the first quarter of 2012, up from 15.2% four years earlier. What that means is Putin requires a higher oil price to meet his spending requirements today than he did just a few years ago. Research firm Capital Economics figures that the government budget balanced at an oil price of $55 a barrel in 2008, but that now it balances at close to $120. Oil prices today have fallen far below that, with Brent near $100 and U.S. crude less than $90. The farther oil prices fall, the more pressure is placed on Putin’s budget, and the harder it is for him to keep spreading oil wealth to the greater population through the government. With a large swath of the populace angered by his re-election to the nation’s presidency in March, and protests erupting on the streets of Moscow, Putin can ill-afford a significant blow to the economy, or his ability to use government resources to firm up his popularity. That’s why Putin hasn’t been scaling back even as oil prices fall. His government is earmarking $40 billion to support the economy, if necessary, over the next two years. He does have financial wiggle room, even with oil prices falling. Moscow has wisely stashed away petrodollars into a rainy day fund it can tap to fill its budget needs. But Putin doesn’t have the flexibility he used to have. The fund has shrunk, from almost 8% of GDP in 2008 to a touch more than 3% today. The package, says Capital Economics, simply highlights the weaknesses of Russia’s economy: This cuts to the heart of a problem we have highlighted before – namely that Russia is now much more dependent on high and rising oil prices than in the past… The fact that the share of ‘permanent’ spending (e.g. on salaries and pensions) has increased…creates additional problems should oil prices drop back (and is also a concern from the perspective of medium-term growth)…The present growth model looks unsustainable unless oil prices remain at or above $120pb.
Russian economic collapse causes global nuclear war
Steven David, January/February 1999; Professor of International Relations and Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at the Johns Hopkins University, FOREIGN AFFAIRS, , http://www.foreignaffairs.org/19990101faessay955/steven-r-david/saving-america-from-the-coming-civilwars.html
If internal war does strike Russia, economic deterioration will be a prime cause. From 1989 to the present, the GDP has fallen by 50 percent. In a society where, ten years ago, unemployment scarcely existed, it reached 9.5 percent in 1997 with many economists declaring the true figure to be much higher. Twenty-two percent of Russians live below the official poverty line (earning less than $ 70 a month). Modern Russia can neither collect taxes (it gathers only half the revenue it is due) nor significantly cut spending. Reformers tout privatization as the country's cure-all, but in a land without well-defined property rights or contract law and where subsidies remain a way of life, the prospects for transition to an American-style capitalist economy look remote at best. As the massive devaluation of the ruble and the current political crisis show, Russia's condition is even worse than most analysts feared. If conditions get worse, even the stoic Russian people will soon run out of patience. A future conflict would quickly draw in Russia's military. In the Soviet days civilian rule kept the powerful armed forces in check. But with the Communist Party out of office, what little civilian control remains relies on an exceedingly fragile foundation -- personal friendships between government leaders and military commanders. Meanwhile, the morale of Russian soldiers has fallen to a dangerous low. Drastic cuts in spending mean inadequate pay, housing, and medical care. A new emphasis on domestic missions has created an ideological split between the old and new guard in the military leadership, increasing the risk that disgruntled generals may enter the political fray and feeding the resentment of soldiers who dislike being used as a national police force. Newly enhanced ties between military units and local authorities pose another danger. Soldiers grow ever more dependent on local governments for housing, food, and wages. Draftees serve closer to home, and new laws have increased local control over the armed forces. Were a conflict to emerge between a regional power and Moscow, it is not at all clear which side the military would support. Divining the military's allegiance is crucial, however, since the structure of the Russian Federation makes it virtually certain that regional conflicts will continue to erupt. Russia's 89 republics, krais, and oblasts grow ever more independent in a system that does little to keep them together. As the central government finds itself unable to force its will beyond Moscow (if even that far), power devolves to the periphery. With the economy collapsing, republics feel less and less incentive to pay taxes to Moscow when they receive so little in return. Three-quarters of them already have their own constitutions, nearly all of which make some claim to sovereignty. Strong ethnic bonds promoted by shortsighted Soviet policies may motivate non-Russians to secede from the Federation. Chechnya's successful revolt against Russian control inspired similar movements for autonomy and independence throughout the country. If these rebellions spread and Moscow responds with force, civil war is likely. Should Russia succumb to internal war, the consequences for the United States and Europe will be severe. A major power like Russia -- even though in decline -- does not suffer civil war quietly or alone. An embattled Russian Federation might provoke opportunistic attacks from enemies such as China. Massive flows of refugees would pour into central and western Europe. Armed struggles in Russia could easily spill into its neighbors. Damage from the fighting, particularly attacks on nuclear plants, would poison the environment of much of Europe and Asia. Within Russia, the consequences would be even worse. Just as the sheer brutality of the last Russian civil war laid the basis for the privations of Soviet communism, a second civil war might produce another horrific regime.
High prices are key to Russian military modernization
John T. Bennett, 4-3-2012; covers national security and foreign policy for U.S. News & World Report“Oil Prices Fueling Russia's Disruption of U.S. Foreign Policy
Russia's burgeoning oil and natural gas exports are underwriting Russian efforts to regain status as a world superpower” http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2012/04/03/oil-prices-fueling-russias-disruption-of-us-foreign-policy
U.S.-Russian relations returned to the front pages last week after Obama urged outgoing Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to "give me space" on several issues, including a European missile defense shield that Moscow opposes. Likely GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney soon after called Russia America's "top geopolitical enemy."¶ "Putin still aspires for Russia to be a superpower," says Steven Pifer, a former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine. "There are only two ways for Russia to achieve that: nuclear weapons, and oil and natural gas sales."¶ The price of a barrel of oil was nearly $105 at midday Tuesday, steadily climbing from a 52-week low of $76.35 per barrel in October. Oil prices began to rise in late 2010, peaking at $113 per barrel in May 2011, before dipping last summer and then rising again.¶ [Whose Russia Comment Was More Damaging: Obama's or Romney's?]¶ Russia is the world's second-largest oil exporter at 5 million barrels a day, and its the ninth-leading natural gas exporter at 38.2 billion cubic meters a year, according to the CIA World Factbook. Russia rakes in nearly $500 billion annually in exports, with the CIA listing petroleum and natural gas as its top two commodities.¶ Frances Burwell, vice president of the Atlantic Council, says Russia's oil revenues "give it a comfort zone" from which its leaders feel they have the global cache to make things tough for Washington.¶ Burwell says she "places more weight" for Russia's recent global muscularity on "Putin's re-emergence." The Russian once-and-soon-again president "clearly sees playing the national card as the strong guy internationally benefits him," she says.¶ But, make no mistake, bloated national coffers from high oil and gas prices underwrite Putin's muscle-flexing, experts say.¶ [Who is Joe Biden to Slam Mitt Romney on Russia Policy?]¶ Putin made a number of big domestic promises during the presidential race, including plans to usher in sweeping pension and wage hikes. He also put forth "a rather ambitious military modernization program," Pifer says.¶ "If oil prices remain high, he might be able to do all of those things," Pifer says. "If prices come down, however, Putin will have some very tough decisions to make at home ... between guns versus butter."¶ Should oil and gas prices tumble, experts say Putin would likely pick butter.¶ "In 2007 when oil was doing well, Putin [as president] could have modernized the Russian military," says Pifer. Instead, Putin made a number of economic moves, such as the creation of a rainy day fund that was used during the recent global financial crisis," Pifer notes.¶ What's more, Putin returns to power with his sharp eyes locked on his opposition, which is composed of the country's urban, middle-class populations.¶ Experts agree that Putin would be hard-pressed to break his pension and wage promises in favor of a few more missiles. But even an economically weaker Russia would likely pick its spots to block Washington's desires.¶ "They have a very sovereigntist, non-interventionalist view of world affairs," Burwell says. That means Moscow fundamentally opposes Western efforts to boss around the world's strongmen, with which Russian leaders have much in common.¶ "The Russian also have real hard-core, national, commercial and other interests in both Iran and Syria that cannot simply be ignored," Burwell says.
Modernization is key to maintain the nuclear threshold – prevents miscalc and escalation
Bettina Renz and Rod Thornton January 2012; lecturers on international security in the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Nottingham “Russian Military Modernization Cause, Course, and Consequences” Problems of Post-Communism Volume 59, Number 1 / January / February 2012 p 44 - 54
The perceived weakness of this triad means that the Kremlin was pleased with the START agreement of March 2010. The treaty limits favor Moscow in that it does not have to cut any of its own nuclear warheads or delivery systems—the numbers of ICBMs and warheads in its own triad are actually below the negotiated caps. Only the United States has had to bring its numbers down.58 Normally, in the arranging of such international security treaties, negotiating from a position of military weakness—as Russia was—is not conducive to the ability to drive a hard bargain. Moscow has been lucky, however, in that Washington seems not to be too interested in the shape of Russia’s current and future nuclear arsenal. Rather, in terms of perceived security threats, Washington has its eye more on the terrorist ball than on the Russian one. Additionally, under STA RT, Russia does not have to reduce the number of its tactical nuclear weapons. It has more of these than the United States. These are prized and important assets to Moscow, and they have become even more prized and important as Russia’s conventional military has become weaker. They are seen more and more as the fallback option if Russia one day faces some sort of defeat in a conventional conflict—against the likes of Georgia or China. In the largest Russian military exercise held since the end of the cold war—conducted recently in the Russian Far East—tactical nuclear weapons (i.e., mines) were notionally “exploded” as part of the exercise play.59 This fact alone seems to confirm that Russia’s conventional military weakness has led to a reduction in its nuclear-use threshold. Conclusion The current modernization in the Russian military is long overdue. Because it is long overdue, it has to be completed in a rushed, haphazard fashion and against a backdrop of a military–industrial complex unable to fulfill its role in the process. Traditionally, military modernization is not achieved lightly, given the bureaucratic inertia and cultural norms that are always present. When, as in the current situation in Russia, such barriers to change are aided and abetted by any number of additional problems (not to mention the rampant corruption that is endemic across all levels of Russian state institutions, including the military), then it must be expected that Russia’s armed forces will be striving for some time to become truly “modern.”60 In essence, what should have been accomplished as an evolution over many years, and should have begun during the Yeltsin era, is now being attempted as a revolution in the post–Georgian war era. As with any revolutionary change, a good deal of disruption and disaffection has been created. Moreover, the current Russian military is a weakened military. The psychology of the tsarist/Soviet/Russian military has always been that numbers counted, that mass would prevail. Numbers inspired confidence, and numbers could deter. But the current Russian military is losing numbers while not making up for them by creating smaller, more professional forces equipped with the requisite technologies. Quality is not replacing quantity. The military is in a state of flux. Russian politicians and military figures both now lack a genuine confidence in the armed forces’ ability to deter. This can have two consequences. Either Russia takes large steps to avoid the possibility of military confrontation by stressing diplomatic solutions to possible threat scenarios (as the tsarist government did in 1914), or it goes the opposite way, fearing that if any state is threatening military action against Russia then the hair trigger comes into operation (Israeli-style). That is, the mentality of the first, preemptive strike becomes paramount—taking advantage of surprise—and using what assets Russia now has. The alternative is to take the risk of waiting to be attacked and maybe “losing.” What is clear is that, with its armed forces currently weakened by the process of change, the sense of vulnerability generated has led Russia, in classic confirmation of the security dilemma concept, to magnify the threats it faces, or thinks it faces. Conscious of its vulnerability to threats, real or imagined, Moscow may begin to look more and more toward the inflexible tool of its tactical nuclear weapons as its principal defense mechanism. While no one really supposes that such weapons will be used in any confrontation with the West, the same cannot be said of any possible conflict with the Chinese. Ironically, Beijing’s military still relies on mass. The best modern military counter to mass is to employ either PGMs or tactical nuclear weapons. The Russian military has hardly any of the former but plenty of the latter. Hair triggers and tactical nuclear weapons are not comfortable bedfellows.