Russian petroleum and electricity direct to North America

Russia hopes to build tunnel beneath the Bering Sea to allow trucks and pipelines to connect Siberia and North America

Those friendly Russians want to bring more energy directly to your doorstep if you live in North America. That means digging the world's longest tunnel. The proposed project would dig a tunnel over 60 miles long beneath the Bering Sea, surfacing at two islands en route.

Next week a coalition of Russian businesses will present this plan to Canada and the U.S. If it moves ahead, the tunnel would be twice as long as the one now connecting Britain and France.

The tunnel would connect major highways and pipelines yet to be constructed. The hope is to deliver petroleum, natural gas and even electricity from energy-rich Russia to energy-hungry North America. You can bet Saudi Arabia is NOT going to invest in this.

This tunnel project promises to run counter to any plan from President Bush to lessen American need for oil. But there is a green angle as well. Some of the electricity is supposed to come from yet-to-be-built tidal power plants in eastern Siberia.

There is one reassuring angle if you're already planning your trans-Siberian drive for 2025--Miami to Mermansk by car. There are no major earthquake fault lines running beneath the Bering Sea. So you may drive through a tunnel next to a large pipeline full of natural gas in relative security.

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    Harry Fuller escaped from television work to be executive editor at CNET News.com.

     

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