America’s Energy Gift to Dictators

Porcupine caribou herd migrate to the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in northeast Alaska.


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without credits / associated press

The US is approaching one of the largest self-inflicted wounds in history. That came more focus last week when President Biden suspended oil leases at Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) despite Russia and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) announcing production increases.

Mr. Biden’s anti-carbon fusillade will have no climate impact as global demand for fossil fuels will continue to grow for decades no matter what the US does. In the meantime, Russia, China, and Iran will benefit from America’s amazing fossil fuel withdrawal.

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Not so long ago, the US depended on OPEC for much of its oil supplies. But hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling enabled producers to produce oil and natural gas that were once considered ineligible. Shale frackers from North Dakota to Texas unleashed a surge in oil and gas in world markets and broke OPEC’s supremacy in supply. OPEC tried to break down US producers by flooding the markets, but frackers became more efficient. By 2019, the US was producing almost two and a half times as much crude oil as it was in 2008. OPEC and Russia had to cut production to raise prices to support petrodollar-dependent budgets.

U.S. producers cut their investments during the pandemic as demand plummeted. While prices have since rebounded to a two-year high, a bigger US cut is on the horizon, driven by the government and advanced investors.

Two weeks ago, the hedge fund, allied with large asset managers, state pension funds and proxy advisors, launched Engine No. The shareholders also passed a resolution that

Chevron

to reduce its downstream emissions. The latter is a de facto mandate to withdraw from oil and gas.

America’s big banks have red lines US coal companies and refused to fund oil projects in ANWR, which the 2017 GOP tax reform opened up for development. Now the Biden government is trying again to seal off the Arctic while launching a regulatory attack on fossil fuels – from stricter emissions regulations to protecting endangered species.

The anti-carbon left says the US must ban fossil fuels to meet the Paris goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial temperatures. This is incompatible with a world population that is expected to grow by two billion by 2050. It would require a huge reorganization of the world economy that would keep billions in poverty.

According to a recent report by the International Energy Agency, electric vehicles should account for 60% of global car sales by 2030. “You have 800 million people who don’t have access to electricity. They can’t say they have to go to net zero [carbon]. They have to develop, ”said Indian Minister for New and Renewable Energy, Raj Kumar Singh, in March.

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As long as there is no technological breakthrough, the demand for fossil fuels will continue to grow for decades. And Russia and China will use US energy disarmament. Russian oil giant Rosneft warned last fall that a cut by US and European companies would lead to higher prices and shortages. “Someone has to step in,” said Didier Casimiro, Rosneft executive.

In November, Rosneft announced a $ 170 billion oil and gas project in northern Russia that it claims could meet all of the world’s oil needs for a year. The project is set to become the world’s largest producer of liquefied natural gas by 2030. Russia is also laying thousands of kilometers of oil and gas pipelines to supply Europe and Asia.

Wladimir Putin

is pleased that the Russian Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Germany will soon be completed as Mr Biden has refused to sanction Russian companies operating the project. But he didn’t care to upset Canada when he killed the Keystone XL pipeline. Not even Alaskans when he suspended the ANWR leases. Mr Biden wants to throttle North American energy development while watching Russia harness its natural resources for strategic gains.

Incidentally, this also includes coal. Russia is spending more than $ 10 billion on railroad expansion to boost coal exports. According to a new report from Global Energy Monitor, coal producers – in Australia, China, India, Russia and South Africa – are planning mining projects that would increase global production by 30%. China has 112 coal mines under construction. It also develops slate.

Progressives want to forego one of America’s most important strategic economic advantages in the name of saving the climate. But the US ban on fossil fuels will not eliminate the carbon emissions produced elsewhere. So are jobs, economic growth and geopolitical leverage.

Wonderland: A crisis may be a terrible thing, but the Manchin mess and shopping frenzy show Joe Biden found a way to waste the Covid crisis. Pictures: Everett Collection / Getty Images Composite: Mark Kelly

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Published in the print edition on June 10, 2021.

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