Shortly after the IEA’s famous, or infamous, set of demands to get rid of fossil fuels, Mark Milke in the Financial Post observes a very different message from a major international body about the need for various seedy or nasty regimes to crank up oil production. Specifically, with the world economy rebounding from pandemic lockdowns and energy supplies growing tight, a group called OPEC+ that is led by Russia and Saudi Arabia “needs to open the taps to keep the world oil markets adequately supplied”. And who might these irresponsible planet-trashing deniers be? Why, it’s… the IEA.
Francis Merton recently argued in the Manhattan Contrarian that the much ballyhooed “Inexorable March Toward Zero Carbon Emissions” is not really going to amount to much once consumers and voters get a real taste of the high prices and unreliable energy connected with Net Zero. We are not so certain.
Clearly the news on the price of renewables is not good, nor is their performance. But the capacity of zealots to redouble their efforts as their results become increasingly disastrous is a striking feature of human affairs. Though this sort of conduct by the IEA suggests that if they have an unshakeable commitment, it’s not to getting rid of fossil fuels. So what is it?
Milke himself is not particularly skeptical about man-made climate change, or at least was not the last time we discussed it with him. But he certainly perceives the backward dog issue, noting that “The IEA’s call can only help the rogue regimes while hurting liberal democracies, a process that is already underway…. Neither IEA position – neither “kill oil and gas investment today” or “Dear OPEC, please increase production” — is in the interest of Canada, the United States, or any of our liberal democratic allies. Democratic leaders worldwide should point that out to the IEA.”
On cue, in fact on the same day, the Epoch Times noted the odd fact that “US Reliance on Russian Oil Surges to Record High Amid Tensions”. Indeed, “Russian oil imports have set a new record in the United States despite the strained relationship between Washington and Moscow. Industry experts believe the Biden administration’s climate policies will make the country more dependent on foreign oil producers.” And if there’s any plan worse than everyone freezing in the dark, or sweltering, it’s us doing it alone. (Thus Russia is also cutting natural gas shipments to the EU at the same time that it claims to have fired warning shots toward a British destroyer.) And as an author in The Western Journal observed, cancelling Keystone XL, restricting drilling and cracking down on domestic emissions while ramping up Russian oil imports is a plan that is hard to understand… if you’re in Washington.