Thursday, 18 February 2016

Red Carpet for the Russians? Actually, No.

An interesting groundswell is taking place in the wicked EU, where (on a good day), having high regard for the basics of life like heat and power they are remarkably unsentimental about the green nonsense.

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.

ND
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** All conducted on an Exxon computer in Florham Park, New Jersey, for anyone interested ...

4 comments:

john cheshire said...

I've always equated dirigism with fascism, so I think it's quite appropriate to throw throw the collectivist's terminology back at them.

Anonymous said...

If?!!!! If Brussels controlled the Gazprom price, err but then is it not a cartel/political stitch up anyway!?

The communists, sat in the Brussels politburo have Fascistic tendencies but then at their extreme arse ends they meet in mutual coital admiration.
The word we seek is, totalitarianism and yes the EU burghers/sultans only want to control and mete in rations - we all know how that worked out in Zimbabwe, Cambodia, Russia and China, starvation in a word.

I heard some tosser on the TV last night arguing that (well a couple of 'experts') arguing that - if Britain was outside of the EU it would cause the domestic consumer more in terms of tariffs because we'd be exposed to world prices! - I think he was a Centrica bod .....well wud'n'ya know it, huh?
Then, on QT some lav idiot was arguing something similar ie out and separated from the EU umbilical we'd pay more for goods in shops....FFS.

Stay in, and we're all fucked.

rwendland said...

ND, did you catch the recent European Commission assessment of nuclear decommissioning liabilities?

EU wide decommissioning is underfunded by about 118 billion euros, with only 150 billion euros of earmarked assets to cover 268 billion euros of expected decommissioning costs. France, with the biggest nuclear fleet, had the largest shortfall with only 23 billion euros of earmarked assets to cover 74 billion euros of expected costs. UK funding looked OK.

This level of underfunding must be only second to the costs of the banking rescue. But gets barely any coverage in the MSM.

Nick Drew said...

Mr W you perhaps recall I have been predicting hereabouts for many years that the French will demand the rest of Europe pay for their nuke decomm

(because they provided so much cheap, low-carbon energy for the whole of Eu to benefit from etc etc - oh, and several of their nukes are on the borders with other countries, doncha know ...)