As can be easily foreseen, the huge amount of natural gas that is being discovered throughout the East Mediterranean region is bound to quickly change the whole economic, strategic and military system of the Middle East.
As well as the links between the Greater Middle East and the European Union.
While, before the discoveries of the East Mediterranean region, the primary theme was the network of contacts between the EU West and the Arab-Islamic universe, currently these productive transformations change the internal relations among traditionally producing countries and place Israel in a new economic context, thus making the EU countries enter this new maritime production system as full members.
Hence it is by no mere coincidence that the first East Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGS) was organized in Cairo last January.
The Forum participants included Egypt, Italy, the European Union, Cyprus, Greece, Jordan and the Palestinian National Authority.
However, it also included Israel and this is certainly a fact not to be overlooked.
The logic of the meeting, however, is to create – in the short term – a politically and productively cohesive group, capable of maximizing the financial and political effects of this great operation and also avoiding competitive policies by other neighbouring gas areas.
First and foremost the Persian Gulf, but also the coastal areas of the Horn of Africa and the possible exploration areas off the Yemeni coast.
The Conference was sponsored by Schlumberger and Deloitte and hosted by World Oil, Gas Processing& LNG, Hydrocarbon Processing, Petroleum Economist, Pipeline & Gas Journal and, finally, by Underground Construction.
As can be easily imagined, also the large European and North American companies of the sector were present.
It should be noted that, this year, the Forum has also been slightly brought forward, for obvious reasons of strong political and productive needs.
Two countries, namely Syria and the Lebanon, did not participate and over the last few years they have started to exploit their offshore deposits in an autonomous way.
Obviously Syria will primarily support the Russian and Iranian networks towards Central Asia and China, while the Lebanon will use its offshore deposits, which are largely independent from neighboring countries, so as to revive its economy.
Zohr, the great Egyptian gas field, was discovered in 2015. In the future, however, Egypt also wants to become the hub for all the natural gas passages in the region, both to the EU and to the rest of the world.
The Israeli Leviathan and Karish gas fields have already started production, despite some tensions between the private technical and financial managers and the State of Israel, which wants a different use of a part of extractions.
If Israel’s gas transits through the Balkan line to Vienna, or through the Greek-Albanian network and Italy, it will anyway be fundamental for the European economy and its strategic equilibria.
In all likelihood, Israel’s gas will be even more decisive in the first operational version of the Southern Corridor – the one we have called “Viennese” – than in the Greek-Italian one.
As already mentioned, the Lebanon will mainly play the game against the Israeli gas, for both political and eminently economic reasons.
So far the Lebanon has indicated two Exploration and Production Agreements (EPAs) to a consortium led by Total, with the participation of ENI and Novatek, while Norway and the Lebanon are still collaborating for technical and legal issues through the oil for development program, which will last until 2020.
The Lebanon, however, has also completed its LNG import network for domestic electricity production, a primary problem for the country.
There are also several contracts expiring or to be renewed in the small, but very important market of Lebanese gas.
Political factionalism and the many overt and covert alliances of the Lebanon do not allow to have a homogeneous market of its natural gas.
With specific reference to Cyprus, ENI has discovered Block 6, with the wide Calypso deposit inside, while Exxon-Mobil still “drills” Block 10.
It should be recalled that Turkey has recently blocked the SAIPEM 12000 drillship just a few days after Block 3 was discovered. Turkey, however, has not behaved in the same way with Exxon-Mobil Block 10, in which it does not currently show any direct interest.
The problem is well known: Turkey believes that every exploration and processing-selling activity of all Cypriot gas should benefit both island’s communities and hence not only the Greek one.
The Cypriot government is dealing with Total for Block 11 and with ENI and Total for Block 6, but its real big problem is Aphrodite, the gas field that should be connected to Egypt with a pipeline enabling Egypt to liquefy and transport gas to end markets.
Meanwhile Israel has already started production in 70% of its Leviathan fields, while the Karish and Tamimgas fields have been fully financed and are now operational.
Egypt’s Parliament has also voted for the creation of a new national natural gas Authority and already receives the LNG extracted by ENI in Zahr.
Hence currently the interests of the various gas producing countries tend to coincide and the Conference about which we are talking is very similar to the creation of what in the past – when economy still existed – was called “cartel”.
A cartel that depends, however, on the future distribution networks in Europe, as well as on the possible choice of some players to play the very “American-style” game of shale gas, and on the moves of the Russian Federation, which is entering this market in many regions. A cartel that finally also depends on the reactions of the Iran-Qatar axis and, hence, of the Saudi system that organizes the Emirates’ natural gas.
A very interesting fact was the request made by all participants to create an international gas organization in the region.
A new OPEC of natural gas?
Too early to say, but the idea is still in the minds of many Forum participants.
According to many Chinese analysts, this is highly probable.
It is worth recalling that currently the Forum countries already account for 87% of all the East Mediterranean’s natural gas.
Furthermore, the logic of opening to private investment and the “mutual benefit” criterion make this new gas OPEC a powerful attraction for all the new producing countries, which will not fail to join this network in the future.
Apart from geopolitical assessments and considerations which, however, are not currently clear yet.
Neither Israel nor Palestine can export their gas without passing through Egypt. Hence, in the coming years, the reasons for achieving a lasting peace will be much stronger than usual.
Unless, as someone predicts, we are faced with a very technological and utterly ubiquitous terrorism 2.0, which could take the form of the old Palestinian or “global” jihad or, possibly, of a mass anarchic-populist rebellion, but especially in the West.
Not to mention the new relationship between Palestine and Arab or Islamic countries, which would be changed radically by the new financial autonomy of the Palestinian world.
What are the challenges that the Forum countries must face to become stable producers in such an important and geopolitically sensitive market?
A market that tends to saturation, above all because of the structural economic crisis of Western markets.
Firstly, all deposits are in deep water and offshore, which makes extraction much more expensive than usual.
We are not talking about the cost of the North American shale gas, but we are not far off.
In the minds of many Middle East decision-makers, this linkage to the US and Canadian cost cycle can be very dangerous.
This could also force some competitors, outside the East Mediterranean region, to play the geopolitical and military card of the stable price increase, so as to temporarily taking the Eastern marine deposits off the market.
The geopolitical effects are hard to imagine.
Furthermore the infrastructure to put these huge resources on the market is extremely expensive and still very scarcely developed and will probably carry a very high and currently unpredictable geopolitical risk.
In fact, the standard geopolitical risks are well-known: the war in Syria; terrorism, which would certainly find a new area of action; the ambiguity of a vacuous and aimless Europe, which does not yet know what energy it wants to use in the future, undecided between the rhapsodic purchases of US shale gas and the strong tensions between France and Germany on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, with the related recent agreement on the European Directive for gas pipelines (which regards Ukraine).
The Aachen agreement, although certainly being the basis of future links between France and Germany, clashes with the short and medium-term interests of two EU countries that have different energy networks, based on different geopolitics.
Moreover France and Germany are anyway thwarting the EU common energy policy, with the very recent stop of the South Transit East Pyrenees (STEP) between France and Spain.
It is well-known that Spain is currently the country with the highest re-gasification potential in Europe and France plans to fully exploit the already existing networks on its own.
The more energy prices are competitive at the EU edges, the fewer incentives exist for a common energy policy.
Moreover, on the basis of practical calculations, it can be inferred – with some degree of accuracy – that the political risk, combined with structurally high and not yet competitive extraction costs, has left 36% of East Mediterranean’s gas potential still unexplored and untapped.
However, the structure of the East Mediterranean Gas Forum, which is already based in Cairo, will be open to everybody including European countries, which could thus escape the grip of a “German-style” energy policy – the last and definitive phase of Southern Europe’s exclusion from the EU centres of power.
For the time being Turkey will not be part of the EMGF.
And it is by no mere coincidence that also the Lebanon will not be a member.
The reason is simple. There are very old tensions between Turkey and Cyprus but, as early as 2003, Turkey has denounced the agreements on maritime borders signed by Cyprus, considering that, according to Turkey, Cyprus – as EU Member State – cannot represent the two local communities, namely the Greek and the Turkish ones, and hence has no full international legal capacity.
Secondly, Turkey believes that Cyprus’ autonomy in defining its Special Economic Zones should be reduced significantly.
Moreover Turkey still thinks that also the current Cypriot Economic Zones are often in areas which are de facto in Turkish waters.
Hence, as early as 2008, Turkey has been rejecting all oil exploration activities in Cyprus and its disputed waters.
Furthermore Turkey intends to promote only its own exploration activities, always in the maritime area attributed to Cyprus.
Turkey’s relations with Greece are certainly not performing better. For years Erdogan has been claiming many Greek islands in the Aegean Sea. Not to mention the air crash, caused by an attack of Turkish fighters, which cost the life of a Greek pilot in April 2018.
As early as his visit to Greece in 2017, Erdogan has been constantly calling for the reform of the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne.
This refers to Turkey’s taking possession of the border areas with Greece that – according to the long-standing Turkish polemic in this regard -were “taken away” by Westerners to be given to Greece.
Erdogan strongly argues against Greece’s right of oil and gas extraction in certain sea areas, again on the border between the two countries, albeit outside the Cypriot region, that he believes are part of a new finally legitimate border between Turkey and the Greek islands.
Turkey does not even agree on the current relations between Greece and Libya, given that Turkey repeatedly argues with Greece for its direct oil operations on the Libyan continental shelf, which it believes it can claim for a greater share.
However, there is also a further dispute between Turkey and Egypt.
Erdogan, in fact, has never fully accepted the coup of the Egyptian military services that in 2013 – in eleven days only -overthrew Mohammed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood’s government in Cairo.
Moreover, at the time, Erdogan -who has still many links with the Ikhwan – even asked the UN Security Council to impose specific sanctions on Egypt and its internal operations against a government that certainly toppled Morsi’s democratically elected government, which anyway resulted from a great but obscure media, political and strategic operation, namely the Arab springs.
It is worth recalling that a deputy-director of CIA, Michael Morell, wrote in one of his memoirs, that the “Arab springs” were orchestrated and engineered by the Agency to foster popular uprisings “against Al Qaeda”.
The results of this crazy reasoning is before us to be seen. Erdogan, however, does not give up and often demands the release of all political prisoners held in Egyptian jails.
Yet the tension of this true mad card of the East Mediterranean region, namely Turkey, mounts even with Israel, which was once its best ally throughout the Middle East, when Turkey still was the heir of the old “secular” Republic of Atatűrk, with the young Turks who trained to seize power in the many Lodges of the Grand Orient of Italy scattered throughout the Ottoman Empire.
We can also recall the tension between Israel and Turkey during the Operation “Cast Lead” of 2008-2009 or the issue of the Marmara ships in 2010.
The situation between the two countries has never returned to normalcy, despite Israel’s apologies to Turkey, quickly organized by the United States in 2013 and the subsequent normalization of 2016, partly justified by the new energy scenario emerging in the East Mediterranean region.
Then there was the expulsion of the Israeli Ambassador from Ankara in 2018and Erdogan accusing Israel of “genocide”. Finally the choice, which Turkey considers strongly prompted and desired by Israel, to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem.
Hence, on the one hand, the East Mediterranean’s oil and gas extraction requires a very high degree of collaboration between all the parties involved, while, on the other, it is the exactly the new Eastern wealth to create new rifts and fuel old tensions.
In fact the perception of an “aggressive” Turkish behavior is currently extremely widespread among all the participants in the Cairo Forum (but obviously not in Italy).
This tension, however, also affects the Lebanon, where many leaders still believe that the Forum is primarily targeted against their country.
In short, especially with this new and recent government led by Saad Hariri, the Lebanon believes it can manage, on its own, to effectively extract and monetize its maritime gas resources.
In fact, some Ministers of this Hariri-Hezbollah’s government maintain that the Lebanon could be connected to Europe through Northern Turkey (and this is another temptation for Turkey) via the Arab Gas Pipeline, although obviously, the expansion of this network with the pipeline in Syria is to be completed yet.
However, there would also be the line through Egypt, again using the Arab Gas Pipeline.
In short, the Lebanon thinks it has been thrown out, but it will soon realize that there is the possibility – also and especially with a Forum in which there is also Israel – to use at best and, above all, soon the distribution systems put in place by the Forum.
Oil market shrugs off as tensions rise in Persian Gulf region
Despite what was expected, the oil market doesn’t seem to be moved drastically by the recent turbulences in the Persian Gulf region as Iran shot down a high-technology U.S. surveillance drone when it trespassed its borders in the politically sensitive Strait of Hormuz.
Many analysts believe that the reason for this not-too-strong reaction is that the market’s nature has changed profoundly in the last few years and now other driving factors seem to play a more significant role in supporting the prices.
It seems that over time the market is more focused on long-term impacts and events, and going through several shorty lived events in the past few years, oil traders have learned not to bet too much on such incidents.
For the time being, two major factors which are being closely monitored by the market are the U.S. production and the global oil demand.
In recent years, the U.S. production has increased drastically so that the country has become the world’s top oil producer and one the biggest exporters of the commodity. On the other hand, the global oil demand is easing following a slowdown in the world’s economic growth over concerns about the trade war between the United States and China, the world’s two largest economies.
Although the international benchmark Brent gained five percent this week, but market analysts seem to believe that the optimism regarding the outcomes of the upcoming meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), and hopes for easing of trade tensions between the United States and China are also contributing to the increases in the oil prices beside the rising tensions between Iran and the U.S.
Of course, the tensions in the region cannot be overlooked in addressing the factors which are affecting the oil market.
Since the oil tankers incidents in the Hormuz trait and the drone shot down, many Oil tanker companies have increased their charter rates due to concerns over the safety of their vessels.
According to New York Times, over the last week, the prices reached about $28,000 a day for chartering the largest class of tankers. The insurance costs have also risen for shipping in the region have also risen.
However, even considering all the above mentioned impacts of the rising tensions in the region, the surge in the U.S. production can easily counterbalance the worries of any disruption of oil flows from the Persian Gulf region to the world.
U.S. is now one of the major suppliers of crude oil to Europe and even to Asia and higher shipping prices could be named as the only major factor which signifies the disruption of flows from Strait of Hormuz and it would likely do the most damage to Asian economies.
According to the United States Energy Information Administration, 76 percent of the crude oil that flowed out of the Persian Gulf through the Strait of Hormuz went to Asian markets like China, India and Japan.
However, we should bear in mind that many analysts and traders are well aware that a full cut-off of oil from the mentioned strait is almost impossible, and all the nations in the region would suffer in such a case.
So maybe the market perceives the recent turbulences only as short-term threats which are very unlikely to have a long-term impact on a market which is already on the verge of a potential oversupply due to the U.S. production and end of cuts from OPEC+ group as well as the global economy slowdown.
From our partner Tehran Times
Fossil fuel consumption subsidies bounced back strongly in 2018
Authors: Wataru Matsumura and Zakia Adam*
Higher average oil prices in 2018 pushed up the value of global fossil fuel consumption subsidies back up toward levels last seen in 2014, underscoring the incomplete nature of the pricing reforms undertaken in recent years, according to new data from the IEA.
The new data for 2018 show a one-third increase in the estimated value of these subsidies, to more than $400 billion. The estimates for oil, gas and fossil-fuelled electricity have all increased significantly, reflecting the higher price for fuels (which, in the presence of an artificially low end-user price, increases the estimated value of the subsidy). The continued prevalence of these subsidies – more than double the estimated subsidies to renewables – greatly complicates the task of achieving an early peak in global emissions.
The 2018 data sees oil return as the most heavily subsidised energy carrier, expanding its share in the total to more than 40%. In 2016, electricity briefly became the sector with the largest subsidy bill.
Fossil fuel consumption subsidies are in place across a range of countries. These subsidies lower the price of fossil fuels, or of fossil-fuel based electricity, to end-consumers, often as a way of pursuing social policy objectives.
There can be good reasons for governments to make energy more affordable, particularly for the poorest and most vulnerable groups. But many subsidies are poorly targeted, disproportionally benefiting wealthier segments of the population that use much more of the subsidised fuel. Such untargeted subsidy policies encourage wasteful consumption, pushing up emissions and straining government budgets.
Recent years have seen multiple examples of pricing reforms, underpinned by lower oil prices that created a political opportunity among oil-importing countries and a fiscal necessity among exporters. Reforms typically focused on gasoline and diesel pricing, and in some cases also on LPG, natural gas and electricity tariffs. IEA price data (shown below for gasoline) show clearly the wide range of end-user prices across countries – the lowest prices found among countries that subsidise consumption.
The nature of pricing reforms undertaken in recent years differ depending on the sector and on national circumstances, but fall into three broad categories:
- Complete price liberalisation, typically for the main transport fuels, as for example in India, Mexico, Thailand and Tunisia.
- Introduction of a mechanism for regular, automatic adjustment of prices in line with international prices. China has such a system for oil prices, and similar mechanisms were also introduced in Indonesia, Malaysia, Jordan, Cote d’Ivoire and Oman.
- A schedule of reforms to regulated prices, often with a view to aligning them with cost-recovery or market-based prices. This was the most common type of reform in the Middle East and North Africa, where prices for oil products, natural gas, water and/or electricity were raised in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates. There were also increases in regulated electricity prices elsewhere, as for example in Indonesia.
These price reforms were often accompanied by the introduction of more targeted programmes of support for vulnerable groups. They also brought significant financial savings to the governments concerned, allowing these resources to be deployed to other development or policy priorities.
However, in 2018 the oil price trended higher for much of the year before falling back in the last quarter. This became a major source of strain in countries where consumers were newly exposed to rising retail prices, particularly where national currencies were losing value against the US dollar at the same time.
The rise in retail prices created broader pressure to revisit some of the pricing reforms.
- Some countries with fully liberalised prices sought ways to dampen the effects on consumers, for example via reductions in other taxes and duties (as in India) or via implicit price interventions through state-owned oil and gas companies.
- Upward fuel price adjustments were postponed in some countries that had committed to follow international price movements but retained some administrative discretion over the level and timing of any changes. This was the case in Indonesia, Malaysia and Jordan.
- In fully regulated price environments, the reform schedule was in some cases pushed back or watered down.
Shielding consumers from short-term changes in international fossil fuel prices comes at a fiscal and environmental cost. It also diminishes the potential for higher prices to curb demand and bring the market into balance.
The different reform pathways since 2015 can be separated out into the various components of the change in subsidy values. Pricing reforms over the last three years brought substantial dividends, estimated at 36 billion dollars in total. This represents either a direct easing of the strain on public finances (via reduced public expenditures on subsidies) or additional revenue accruing to resource-rich countries (by reclaiming more of the value that was previously being foregone because of under-pricing).
Notable reductions in oil-related consumption subsidies over this period were observed in many countries in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar and Bahrain, as well as in Colombia and Pakistan. Ukraine saw the largest fall in subsidies for natural gas. Subsidies to fossil fuel-based electricity consumption were substantially lower over this period in Russia, Argentina, Indonesia, Pakistan, Turkmenistan and in parts of the Middle East.
However, these falls were outweighed by two other factors: a widening gap between prevailing prices and market-based pricing in many countries (exacerbated in some cases by depreciation of the domestic currencies against the dollar); and increased consumption of subsidised energy.
The largest increases in consumption subsidies for oil products were in Indonesia, Iran, Egypt and Venezuela. In the latter case, a collapsing currency meant that gasoline and diesel sales (where available) were essentially free in dollar terms. Iran also saw the largest increase in natural gas subsidies, and – together with Venezuela, Mexico, Egypt and China – was among those seeing the most significant increase in subsidies to fossil fuel-based electricity.
Committing political capital to subsidy reform remains tough, especially if international prices are volatile. But phasing out fossil fuel consumption subsidies remains a pillar of sound energy policy. Especially when part of a broader suite of supportive policy measures, pricing reform is pivotal for a more robust, secure and sustainable energy sector over the long term.
Industries and households are more likely to opt for energy-efficient equipment, vehicles and appliances. Investors in a range of energy technologies, especially clean technologies, see a better case to commit their capital. That is why the IEA continues to be a strong supporter of efforts to phase out inefficient fossil fuel consumption subsidies.
*Zakia Adam, WEO Energy Analyst
France Shows How Energy and Society Are Intertwined
What should be asked about energy is what Plato’s The Republic through Socrates asked: “What is justice?” If energy has a moral, economic, environmental, and life-saving component then energy in all forms is certainly just.
This is where facts need to be realized, and find out if a carbon-free society run on renewable energy is even remotely possible? Over 6,000 everyday, products come from a barrel of crude oil.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) released The World Energy Outlook 2018 – the self-proclaimed “gold standard of energy analysis,’ – admitting a damning conclusion. That amidst the overwhelming amount of graphs, charts, tables and prognostications, “the percentage of total global primary energy demand provided by wind and solar is 1.1%.”
The world runs off fossil fuels, and no time in the coming decades will clean energy, a carbon-free society, or zero emission energy to electricity or electric vehicles sustain trillion-dollar economies. More alarming is the world’s largest authoritarian, communist government, China, controls 90 percent of the world’s rare earth minerals – “a group of 17 elements with similar qualities that are used in electric car batteries, wind turbines and solar panels.”
Nations, companies, and individuals care about national security, their own “self-interest rightly understood” while meeting the basics of food, clothing and shelter (Maslow’s Hierarch of Needs) – exactly what fossil fuels provide – on an affordable, scalable, reliable and flexible basis for energy to be delivered to billions of people starving for their modern way of life to continue.
We are witnessing an energy clash globally, and nowhere was that better defined than France’s “Yellow Vest” protests that began in late November 2018 and are ongoing. These protests brought a convergence of domestic concerns triggered over a proposed fuel tax hike that hit lower educated, ordinary voters more than educated urban dwellers.
France’s, politicized carbon tax – the theory goes – should be an efficient way to disseminate the monetary consequences of carbon onto the French and global economies; however, that isn’t necessarily the case. This regulatory heavy-handedness by the state has resulted in:
“Decades of global conferences, forest of reports, dire television documentaries, celebrity appeals, school-curriculum overhauls and media bludgeoning,” without examining the facts.
France is a good test case for energy policy moving forward, because if humanity overwhelmingly using fossil fuels are killing plants, animals, the ecosphere and crushing human life than a tax is fair, just and equitable, correct? But that isn’t the case. The earth and human progress have never done better in recorded history. Economic growth and technology are saving us from such historic plagues like poverty, illness and deforestation.
President Emmanuel Macron and the previous administration of Francois Hollande wrongly targeted emissions unlike Germany that is a high-emitter off increased coal-fired power plant use backing up renewables. Macron’s carbon tax went after Yellow Vest protesters who are vehicle reliant. Since France heavily relies on clean, carbon-free nuclear power for their electricity, France is only“0.4% of global emissions.”
Macron is punishing French drivers via punitive tax hikes and it failed. Voters and everyday working citizens aren’t buying carbon taxes or anything that restricts energy and prosperity. Green piety in Washington State in the US was also rejected the same way it was in France.
Cutting transportation emissions are extremely hard to eliminate when the entire supply and value chain of the tailpipe’s emissions are factored into the equation. It’s why electric vehicles (EVs) aren’t as environmentally friendly as advertised.
Carbon taxation like renewables and carbon-free societies have become buzzwords that reveals the disconnect over the properties that constitute a modern society and an “aloof political class that never reasons with their concern over emissions.”
Achieving energy parity at low costs will never be accomplished by imposing solutions that consist of using expensive, unreliable, intermittent renewable energy. Then believing these policy solutions will have zero impact on economic growth and overall wellness. The impact is heavier use of coal.
The European Union (EU) has: “Eleven countries still planning to use coal-fired power in 2030 (in order of increasing installed capacity) are: Spain, Hungary, Croatia, Slovakia, Greece, Romania, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Germany and Poland.”
All EU countries have been given energy transition funds to exit coal by 2030, but only France is able to withstand the use of coal through heavier use of nuclear. Geopolitical reasons are another reason you will find a transition to the clean energy economy in the coming decades, because of US shale oil and natural gas production – fracking is changing the world.
In general, US shale exploration and production (E&P) is booming like never before. As of December 2018 the United States briefly became a net exporter of crude oil and refined products; and unless voters ban fossil fuel production the US will become energy independent.
The US Department of Interior’s, United States Geological Survey announced in December 2018: “The largest estimate of technically, recoverable continuous oil that USGS has ever assessed in the United States. The Wolfcamp shale in the Midland Basin portion of Texas’ Permian Basin province contains an estimated mean of 20 billion barrels of oil.”
Whereas California doesn’t exploit their Monterrey Shale resources – considered one of the largest shale deposits in the US and possibly the world – since California policymakers are only pursuing clean energy resources. Why does fossil fuel and renewable energy have to be politicized when they could work together? Texas and California should be pioneering world-class energy research together. Fossil fuel could pay for research and development to build better renewable energy, globally scalable storage systems and an electrical grid that is smart, reliable and have a 50-100 year shelf life.
An honest broker of information takes energy choices and consequences of say increasing fossil fuel use by burning copious amounts of coal that China, India, Poland, Australia and the United States are doing versus emission-heavy air that cause all sorts of lung and respiratory illnesses.
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