"We should not mince words: if this is the stance of the Biden administration
then its decarbonisation agenda has been well and truly buried. According to no
less an authority than the IEA, if we are to reach net zero by 2050, we need to
end fossil fuel capacity expansion now. In Europe, the likes of Shell are being
told by the courts to make plans accordingly. To fill the gap, Saudi Aramco,
the world’s largest oil producing company, has let it be known that it is
expanding its capacity. Biden’s national security adviser has just given it the
It isn’t only oil markets. Gas prices too are surging and there are calls to
expand capacity. There is a power play at work. If politicians get serious
about decarbonisation, the oil and gas industry will stop new investments.
Since, as things stand, economic activity and fossil fuel consumption are
hardwired together, rising demand running up against inelastic supply will
produce spikes in prices. Consumers will pay that price and will vent their
frustration on politicians. And there is a social justice dimension. Surges in
fuel prices hurt low-income consumers most. The Biden administration is
committed to a foreign policy for the American “middle class”. On Sullivan’s
interpretation, that means pushing the oil oligarchs of Opec and Russia to
expand production. It is completely at odds with the IPCC’s message, published
only days before.
The US is unique among western powers in having true geopolitical heft. If the
EU or Japan squeal, Opec and Russia shrug, which is why this is such a critical
test for the Biden administration. If the US is serious about tackling the
climate crisis it must use its unique geopolitical leverage not to sustain
fossil fuel production, but to curb it."
Via Robert Sanscartier.
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics