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Mark Milke: Make up your mind, IEA. Is more oil good or bad?

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After telling nations to cease investing in oil, the IEA is now pleading with the world’s most regressive regimes to open up their oil faucets

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What a distinction a month makes. In Could, the Worldwide Vitality Company (IEA) told the world that if the purpose of “internet zero” greenhouse fuel emissions have been to be met by 2050, governments wanted to abide by 400 IEA “milestones,” together with internet zero emissions within the electrical energy sector by 2040, no new gross sales of automobiles with inside combustion engines by 2035, and constructing the equal of “the world’s present largest photo voltaic park roughly on daily basis.”

The 400 utopian suggestions made clear the IEA’s view in regards to the function of oil going ahead: as little as potential, as quickly as potential. Because the IEA put it, these suggestions “embody, from immediately, no funding in new fossil gasoline provide initiatives.”

Quick ahead lower than 4 weeks. Now the IEA is begging OPEC and allied members, reminiscent of Russia, to extend their oil manufacturing as quickly as potential. Immediately frightened a couple of rebounding world financial system, and oil’s skyrocketing demand with it, the IEA final week said “OPEC+ [its allies] must open the faucets to maintain the world oil markets adequately provided.” And it suggested any shoppers who could be frightened about potential shortages to loosen up, arguing that OPEC and Russia may enhance oil manufacturing by two million barrels a day (mb/d), whereas “If sanctions on Iran are lifted, an extra 1.4 mb/d may very well be dropped at market in comparatively quick order.”

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You might wish to learn all that once more. Simply final month, the IEA wished governments to do the whole lot they might to kill oil. Now, it’s begging OPEC and Russia to open the oil spigots extra. It even hopes Iran can take part. This could be the identical Iran that funds Hezbollah and Hamas to assault Canada’s solely liberal democratic ally within the Center East, Israel.

True, the IEA just isn’t calling on OPEC nations and allied members to take a position extra to extend long-term oil manufacturing. It simply needs them to assist the world keep away from an instantaneous oil scarcity. For Canadians, and even People, nonetheless, this can be a distinction with no distinction. It’s additionally just a little maddening, given the occasions of the final seven years.

In each 2014 and 2020, Saudi Arabia flooded the world market with oil, artificially miserable costs in an effort to hurt each the U.S. shale oil sector and Canada’s oil business. The trouble succeeded, throwing Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland & Labrador — and their vitality staff— right into a hunch from which none has absolutely recovered.

Right here’s one other little bit of helpful context: The very international locations that the IEA is now begging to extend oil manufacturing are among the many world’s worst violators of civil rights. Washington-based Freedom Home comprehensively categorizes nations as Free, Partly Free, or Not Free. Of the 13-member nations of OPEC, it ranks simply two as Partly Free (Kuwait and Nigeria). The opposite 11 it tags as Not Free: Algeria, Angola, Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela. For the document, Freedom Home additionally ranks Russia, the opposite massive oil provider to whom the IEA now appeals, as Not Free.

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There are numerous examples of the brutality of a few of these regimes. A U.S. intelligence report on the 2018 homicide of journalist Jamal Khashoggi within the Saudi embassy in Istanbul concluded it was ordered by Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman. Or contemplate final yr’s poisoning of Russian Opposition chief Alexei Navalny. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, amongst others, blamed that tried homicide straight on Vladimir Putin’s Kremlin.

  1. In the 1970s, when the United States imported almost half of its daily oil consumption, 85 per cent of its crude oil imports came from OPEC, leaving it vulnerable to price hikes.

    Ted Morton: America will not put the power back in OPEC’s hands

  2. The IEA is the new OPEC, but more powerful, influential and dangerous as it aims for a massive makeover of world energy markets.

    Terence Corcoran: Flagship climate craziness

  3. None

    Bjorn Lomborg: The electric car won’t get us very far

  4. Newly laid oil pipe at a pipeline construction site in Russia.

    Yes, Virginia, Canada needs more pipelines

The IEA’s hypocrisy couldn’t be extra blatant: telling nations in Could to cease their funding in oil and pure fuel “immediately,” solely to plead with the world’s most regressive regimes in June to open up their oil faucets. However the hypocrisy issues lower than the sensible impact if the 2 IEA declarations are taken critically by liberal democratic international locations with substantial oil reserves.

At current, Not Free international locations reminiscent of Saudi Arabia, Russia et al., account for about half the world’s oil and pure fuel manufacturing. Canada and america and different free international locations produce one other roughly one third, with Partly Free international locations answerable for the rest.

The IEA’s name can solely assist the rogue regimes whereas hurting liberal democracies, a course of that’s already underway. Simply final week, TC Vitality put the ultimate nail within the coffin of the Keystone XL pipeline after the Biden administration pulled the mission’s permits in January. This week, it seems our personal federal authorities is musing internally about whether or not Canada will want any new oil pipelines ever once more.

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In the meantime, anybody who thinks the Saudis and the Russians will heed the IEA’s Could message of no extra funding is naïve within the excessive. To quote only one instance: Russia’s partly state-owned Rosneft is busy creating its US$170 billion Vostok oil project within the Arctic.

Neither IEA place – neither “kill oil and fuel funding immediately” or “Pricey OPEC, please enhance manufacturing” — is within the curiosity of Canada, america, or any of our liberal democratic allies. Democratic leaders worldwide ought to level that out to the IEA.

Mark Milke is govt director of analysis with the Canadian Vitality Centre, an Alberta authorities company funded partially by carbon taxes, and co-author of The 2021 Tyranny Index for Oil and Gas.

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In-depth reporting on the innovation financial system from The Logic, dropped at you in partnership with the Monetary Put up.

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