Thus we find a rolling-out of the mighty gas-based energy strategy (see here, and here) that is likely to find favour - broadly speaking - with some of our readers, I do believe. Of course, it carefully pays lip-service to the Paris COP21 green-crap stuff; and burning gas is better than lignite (actually, lighting sheep-farts is better than lignite); but nobody seriously imagines that was uppermost in their minds at the time.
As has readily been divined by the green blob, haha.
The plans were immediately attacked by green campaigners, who contrasted the continued role of fossil fuels with commitments to cut carbon dioxide made by the EU at the Paris climate summit two months ago ... "It’s like the Paris agreement never happened, and the commission is stuck on gas, dishing out a costly proposal that will keep Europe hooked on energy imports. Only if Europe focuses on renewables and energy efficiency will Europe meet its climate targets and reduce dependence on foreign supplies." Claude Turmes, energy spokesman for the Green MEP grouping in the European parliament, called the strategy "rolling out the red carpet for Gazprom"Excuse me? Mr Turmes should follow developments a little more closely. In point of fact, the rhetoric surrounding this whole policy-thrust is strikingly and explicitly anti-Russian, with some of the language being bandied at committee meetings in Brussels being distinctly undiplomatic. In this aspect the eastern european countries that really are dependent on Russian gas have set the agenda in no uncertain terms. One of the phrases being used is 'mandatory solidarity', which at a minimum means everyone sharing the available gas if Russia turns off the taps. That's more than a slogan - it appears concretely in the latest EC proposals.
We first encountered this when we spotted the disingenuous Mandy musing how nice it would be if 'someone' negotiated all the gas buying for the whole of Europe. Germany won't much like that, nor Italy - because they have sweetheart Gazprom deals of their own. So it'll be interesting to see how these Poland-driven proposals fare in the long run.
Which brings us to the baleful aspect of all this: the putative "European Energy Union" we fingered right from the start and under the auspices of which all this is rumbling forward. Just as with the gas strategy, all Energy Union documents pay lip-service to everything (green crap for the green blob, nuclear for the French, 'security' for the Poles et al) - including markets for the Brits and readers of C@W generally. Hence, the gas strategy:
"contributes to internal energy market legislation by prioritising market-based measures"Yeah, right. Actually, as with the whole Energy Union thing it is as dirigiste as all hell (and Hell is particularly dirigiste). Not, however, without precedent: for those like myself with dinosaur memories, the IEA cut its teeth allocating by fiat all the free world's oil supplies** back in 1973-74 during the Arab oil embargo. Without this, the Dutch in particular would have been in serious trouble. It was, however, strictly a 'wartime' measure and was reduced in scope to a rather light regime of mandated oil stocks thereafter.
I have a strong premonition the Energy Union is an out-and-out policy-grab by Brussels, desirous of emulating the CAP. Anyhow, for the time being let's sit back and watch the Germans and the greens fight it out with the eastern countries over the gas strategy. Could be fun.
** All conducted on an Exxon computer in Florham Park, New Jersey, for anyone interested ...