Thursday, June 13, 2019

GWPF Newsletter: Energy Superpower U.S. -- Shale Oil & Gas Hit Record Production Levels

Big Rise In Global CO2 Emissions Puts Paris Agreement In Doubt

In this newsletter:

1) Energy Superpower U.S.: Shale Oil & Gas Hit Record Production Levels
The Wall Street Journal, 12 June 2019

2) Big Rise In Global CO2 Emissions Puts Paris Agreement In Doubt
The Daily Telegraph, 11 June 2019 

3) 75 Conservative Groups Tell Congress: 'We Oppose Any Carbon Tax'
The Hill, 10 June 2019

4) EU Climate Goals 'Just A Collection Of Buzzwords', Say Critics
The Guardian, 10 June 2019 

5) Øystein Noreng: EU Energy Dis-Union?
Global Warming Policy Forum, 10 June 2019 

6) Biased, Patronising And Just Plain Rubbish – Why The BBC Is A Turn Off For Young Brits
The Sun, 11 June 2019

7) And Finally: Discredited May To Commit To Net Zero Plan
Paul Homewood, Not A Lot Of People Know That, 12 June 2019

 Full details:
1) Energy Superpower U.S.: Shale Oil & Gas Hit Record Production Levels
The Wall Street Journal, 12 June 2019

World-wide energy demand grew at its fastest rate since 2010

The shale revolution powered U.S. oil and gas production in 2018 to the largest annual increases ever recorded by any country, according to energy giant BP PLC .

Surging global energy demand is fueling the production boom, even as oil and gas prices rise and economic growth slows, said BP’s annual statistical review published Tuesday.

World-wide demand for energy grew 2.9% in 2018, its fastest rate since 2010.

Unusual weather spurred some of the stronger-than-expected growth, as a greater number of extremely hot and cold days drove up air conditioning and heating use around the world, particularly in China, the U.S. and Russia, the company said.

In the U.S., energy consumption rose by 3.5% in 2018, with oil at 20.5 million barrels a day and a total of 817 billion cubic meters of gas consumed during the year.

Natural gas dominated 2018’s energy growth, accounting for almost half of total demand growth.

Demand rose 5.3%, as the world continues to pivot toward the cleaner-burning fuel, partly as a result of environmental concerns.

In the U.S., around half of the increase in gas demand came from the power sector, said Spencer Dale, chief economist at BP.

“The growth of gas demand in the U.S. last year is roughly equivalent to the whole of the U.K.’s gas consumption,” Mr. Dale said.

China also saw exceptional growth in energy use, with gas consumption rising 18%, according to the report. The Chinese government has been striving to switch away from coal and toward gas because of air-quality concerns, resulting in the country’s gas consumption rising by one-third over the past two years.

Global demand for renewable energy, including wind and solar, rose 14.5% last year. However, this was below the average pace of growth of the past decade of 16.4%.

Renewable energy accounted for around 4% of the global energy mix in 2018, greatly overshadowed by fossil fuels at 85%, although the data showed oil and coal are slowly losing ground to renewables and natural gas.

Global oil and coal demand also grew in 2018, albeit at slower rates than gas. Thirst for oil grew 1.5%, while coal consumption rose by 1.4%, BP said.

Full story

2) Big Rise In Global CO2 Emissions Puts Paris Agreement In Doubt
The Daily Telegraph, 11 June 2019 

Energy giant BP has warned efforts to tackle climate are losing steam after global carbon emissions grew unexpectedly and at their fastest pace in nearly a decade last year.

While Europe stagnates (and no longer features), the rest of the world is growing and so is global energy demand.

Demand for energy increased by 2.9pc, while carbon emissions rose by 2pc in 2018, faster than at any time since 2010.

There were 0.6 gigatonnes of emissions added to the air, which is roughly equivalent to increasing the number of passenger cars on the planet by a third.

All of this occurred despite a backdrop of modest GDP growth and rising energy prices, according to the findings in BP’s 68th annual statistical review of world energy, a closely watched survey.

“The longer carbon emissions continue to rise, the harder and more costly will be the necessary eventual adjustment to net-zero carbon emissions,” said Bob Dudley, BP’s chief executive.

Spencer Dale, BP’s chief economist, said the pace of progress was falling “well short” of expectations and would make it difficult to meet goals set out in 2015 in the Paris Agreement on climate change.

“Last year’s developments sound yet another warning alarm that the world is on an unsustainable path,” he added.

The increase in energy usage was driven by China, the US and India, which together accounted for more than two-thirds of the higher demand, while global oil production increased at a rate of more than double the historical average.

Mr Dale attributed the surge in demand to extreme weather patterns, which resulted in more frequent use of both air-conditioning and heating, as well as a cyclical upswing in China’s industrial output.

In the US alone, energy consumption jumped by 3.5pc, marking the fastest growth rate seen in 30 years and a reversal of a previous trend of decline, while demand for oil grew at its fastest pace in more than a decade.

Globally, oil, gas and coal accounted for almost three-quarters of the growth in energy use, the highest share for more than five years.

The increase in oil consumption was largely driven by the developing world, with India and China accounting for two-thirds of the global rise.

There was also a “bonanza” in natural gas consumption and production, which rose by more than 5pc, again a 30-year record.

This was mostly thanks to the US, where shale gas has unlocked new sources of energy and dirtier coal-fired plants are being decommissioned. The US, China, Russia and Iran accounted for four-fifths of the global growth in demand for natural gas.

Coal also enjoyed a comeback last year, as consumption and production increased at a faster rate than at any time over the past five years, driven by India and China.

The trend casts doubt on forecasts that the world had reached peak demand for coal, Mr Dale said.

Encouragingly, renewable energy consumption soared by 14.5pc, and it remains the world’s fastest growing energy source by some margin.

India and China increased their use of renewables and together accounted for half of global growth. There was also increased capacity, with record numbers of countries using renewable energy to generate 20pc of their power needs.

Despite this, BP warned growth in the renewables sector was not enough to satisfy rising demand for energy, with the report warning of “a growing mismatch between hopes and reality” when it comes to meeting carbon emissions targets.

Full Story

3) 75 Conservative Groups Tell Congress: 'We Oppose Any Carbon Tax'
The Hill, 10 June 2019

A group of 75 conservative organizations and leaders on Monday sent a letter to Congress expressing their opposition to a carbon tax, pushing back at an idea that has received support from politicians and policy experts on both sides of the aisle as a way to combat climate change.

"We oppose any carbon tax," states the letter, which was signed by Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist, Club for Growth President David McIntosh and FreedomWorks President Adam Brandon, among others.

"A carbon tax raises the cost of heating your home in the winter and cooling your home in the summer," they added. "It raises the cost of filling your car. A carbon tax increases the cost of everything Americans buy and lowers Americans’ effective take home pay. A carbon tax increases the power, cost, and intrusiveness of the government in our lives."

Supporters of a tax on carbon dioxide emissions argue that such a tax could be a market-based solution to tackling climate change. Some carbon-tax proposals call for redistributing revenue raised by the tax back to citizens in the form of a dividend, in an effort to offset any increased costs to consumers from the tax.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced a bill to create a carbon tax late last year, and the legislation was reintroduced earlier this year. Democratic presidential candidate and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg has included a carbon tax in his climate action plan. Additionally, a number of oil and gas companies back a carbon tax.

But carbon taxes have long been aggressively opposed by many anti-tax conservatives, and politicians have struggled to enact them even in Democratic-leaning states. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D), who is running for president, pushed for a carbon tax in his state last year, but a ballot initiative on the topic didn't pass.

Full story

4) EU Climate Goals 'Just A Collection Of Buzzwords', Say Critics
The Guardian, 10 June 2019 

A leaked document on the EU’s priorities has been criticised as offering little more than “a collection of buzzwords” to tackle the climate crisis.

EU leaders are due to adopt a “strategic agenda” for 2019-24 at a Brussels summit starting on 20 June, but a draft has encountered a volley of criticism from some green groups, who accuse officials of lacking urgency.

The five-page document, drawn up by the team of Donald Tusk, the European council president, is intended to set the bloc’s priorities for the next five years in an “increasingly unsettled [and] complex” world.

Spanning migration, trade and the EU’s place in the world, the document avoids details such as targets, budget numbers or specific countries. While it describes the climate crisis as an existential threat and calls for an “in-depth transformation of [the EU’s] own economy and society to achieve climate neutrality”, some campaigners say it lacks ambition.

The document states that EU policies should be consistent with the Paris agreement, but spells out little detail about what that means.

Full story

5) Øystein Noreng: EU Energy Dis-Union?
Global Warming Policy Forum, 10 June 2019 

Professor Emeritus Øystein Noreng, Norwegian Business School

The May 2019 European elections marked the decline of the traditional centre-right and centre-left parties. The beneficiaries were the green parties, with their objective of ever-more forceful climate policies, and right-wing populists, concerned more about employment and income.

This change was also underpinned by a generational shift: young voters are moving from the traditional left-wing parties to the emerging green groups, and older voters are moving from both the centre-left and the centre-right to the populist right. Somewhat simplistically, the green wave was driven by economic surpluses, as in Germany, and the populist wave was driven by economic deficits, as in France. In this overall picture, climate and energy policies are pertinent.

In Germany, enjoying full employment and large budget surpluses, high energy prices are not seen as a threat, except for low-income groups. In Germany, the young, well-educated and well-off middle-class supported the Green Party, leaving the social democrats far behind. The greens do not worry about jobs or income; they are concerned about the environment and global climate. In Germany, the Green Party is positioned to replace the social democrats as the coalition partner for the ruling conservative CDU/CSU.

So long as Germany’s economic outlook remains good, the outcome is likely to be more ambitious climate and environmental policies, and a possible acceleration of the end of the coal industry. The established practice of electricity price levies to finance renewable energy combined with price reductions for large firms is likely to continue, although it represents a major transfer of income from households to industry. German electricity pricing also represents a regressive income redistribution. However, if the economy should suffer, political acceptance of this approach might disappear.

In France, high energy costs are a problem for a large part of the population. Many of the very young have switched from the far left to the Greens; the middle-aged, including many workers, voted largely for the right-wing Rassemblement National; the elderly have supported President Macron’s LREM. The very young seem to worry about climate and the environment; those of working age seem to worry about jobs and income; the elderly seem to worry about savings and pensions. Age, income and education are the factors favouring Macron over Le Pen, but she appears as the spokesperson for the younger, less educated, with modest living standards.

In the run-up to the elections, President Macron presented himself as the only alternative to the far right, but in doing so he also presented the far right as the only alternative to his own policies. In France, suffering from endemic unemployment and persistent deficits, many voters are worried about jobs and income. The traditional French left is in ruins, with the Green party gaining, but without a coherent economic agenda.

In late 2018, a fuel tax increase in a context of broadening economic and social disparity triggered widespread unrest in France, perhaps indicating social limits to aggressive energy policy measures. The official reason for the fuel tax rise was climate protection, but it was possibly motivated by the need to offset an earlier cut in the wealth tax. The regulatory authority warned that electricity price increases proposed would hit low-income households. In France too, energy policy has an element of regressive income redistribution.

The EU’s Energy Union project, as presented in the 2018 Clean Energy for All document promises ‘to give EU consumers – households and businesses – secure, sustainable, competitive and affordable energy’. The desired competitive and affordable energy supplies are, however, nowhere to be seen; EU electricity prices are two to three times those paid by US consumers.

The explicit target of EU energy policy is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by promoting and subsidising renewables, enhancing energy efficiency, and limiting energy demand growth. Implicitly, this may restrict economic growth. Indeed, since the financial crisis of 2008–2009, Europe has experienced lower growth than any other continent, except Antarctica.

Full essay

6) Biased, Patronising And Just Plain Rubbish – Why The BBC Is A Turn Off For Young Brits
The Sun, 11 June 2019

George Harrison

CHERNOBYL, Game Of Thrones, Breaking Bad, The Wire and The Sopranos. What do these series have in common?

Well, not only are they some of the best TV shows ever made - according to IMDB – but none of them are available on the BBC. In fact, they have all been produced and distributed by the BBC’s rivals.

This week there was uproar after the BBC announced that over-75s will now lose the right to their free TV licence, saving around £500m per year.

And we all know where they'll be splashing this cash - chasing the elusive 'youth' market who've turned away from the BBC in their droves in favour of online streaming services like Netflix, Now TV, and Amazon Prime Video.

But as a 22-year-old who ditched their licence fee last year - instead I'm a fully paid-up member of Generation Netflix - I can tell them they're going about it all wrong.

For young people like me, it’s clear that the BBC is stuck in the past. In fact, it’s so out-of-touch that it still offers a discount for anyone whose TV only works in black and white.

It’s easy to see how the Beeb’s snooty tone and we-know-best attitude earned it the nickname ‘Auntie’. Today it is more patronising than ever.

In an attempt to appeal to young audiences, the channel focuses on niche, politically-correct content, with the latest hits including a show about a niqab-wearing parachutist (seriously) and an article praising “eco warriors”.

The crusty old relic BBC is trying to appear cool and relevant to "the youth" - but it has been duped into thinking that loud, hysterical snowflakes are representative of an entire generation.

It’s clear that the BBC thinks all young people are Jeremy Corbyn-loving lefties so has skewed its content to be hyper left-wing and social justice-oriented to reflect that, when in reality we have diverse opinions. Whisper it, but some of us are even right-wing.

And BBC Three’s toe-curling Twitter account is a prime example of how not to communicate with young people.

Full post

7) And Finally: Discredited May To Commit To Net Zero Plan
Paul Homewood, Not A Lot Of People Know That, 12 June 2019

As expected, the utterly discredited Theresa May has decided to take the rest of the country down with her when she goes:

It is nothing short of scandalous that decisions like this will be rushed through Parliament without any proper debate, and without being fully costed.

The BEIS have already indicated that the costs could be £70bn a year, £20bn more than the CCC estimated.
It is also unacceptable that this law will be passed without any public consultation whatsoever. In particular, the media have been complicit in this cover up. The public will be horrified when they are presented with the practical realities of decarbonisation.

This is clearly one area where Parliament has no mandate for action. No party included such a policy in its manifesto, and given their almost unanimous adoption of it the public will get no say in future elections.

As for the idea of appointing a group of young people to advise government, I can only assume May has totally lost her marbles!

Meanwhile back in the real world, global emissions rose again last year by 2%, according to the new BP Energy Review.

While the whole of Parliament must stand accused here, the dreadful May must take her share of the blame. In an attempt to establish a legacy after three years of her disastrous premiership, she is instead signing the most expensive suicide note in history.
History will not look kindly on her.

The London-based Global Warming Policy Forum is a world leading think tank on global warming policy issues. The GWPF newsletter is prepared by Director Dr Benny Peiser - for more information, please visit the website at

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