The Canadian Climate Leadership Council recently proposed a plan that was supported by 27 Nobel laureates in economics and other business dignitaries, calling for the introduction of a national carbon tax starting at $40 per ton of carbon dioxide. The base argumentation used was primarily economic efficiency and climate fatalism. The underlying logic seemed closer to abstract academic theory than sound economic reasoning. More has been happening recently, with an obvious reference being made to Brexit, as politicians tend to lead the public without a clear understanding of the costs and consequences, jumping into reckless actions while lacking trustworthy and elaborate impact assessments and risk analyses. Canada is one of the zealot countries, diehard supportive of climate change policies and the Paris accords. Ottawa has been on the
Electricity price hiccups over the last two months seemed timely to attest the required price assumptions for the financial model of the Belene NPP. These days, prices have returned to normal levels, but the idea of higher electricity prices, at par with revenue projections, gained some ground – ostensibly the free market at work. There is a lot in common between the procedural patterns behind the Belene NPP and the Balkan Gas Hub. Most of the activities only nominally happen in the open – formal tender procedure, the rite observed, the end – terms agreed in advance. There is no true competition, no market interplay, no real public scrutiny, just political expediency. Summarizing the main features of the applied policy line in pursuit of a lighter version
The article first published in americanthinker.com on 01/20/2019. To understand what’s going on in the UK after the defeat of Theresa May in Commons one needs some background not only on what motivated the Brits to vote to leave the European Union, but more importantly what was it about the EU that they particularly disliked. The first part of it is easy. The English, and it was they who provided the bulk of the ‘leave’ votes, were simply tired of being told what to do by a European Commission that had not been elected by them or anybody else, for that matter. It was a simple matter of sovereignty, especially after the European Commission turned out to be nothing more than a proxy for a new German diktat after Merkel without
The first non-binding phase of the market test for the capacities of the floating LNG terminal in Alexandroupolis has generated unexpectedly high demand – more than 12 billion cubic meters in bids, which is more than double the FNLG’s planned capacity of 5.5 billion cubic meters. Twenty companies submitted intent to book capacity. In the next binding phase, the digits for capacity take-up will fall significantly, yet the message from the LNG gas market could not be more unequivocal – gas traders trust they can offer competitive prices for natural gas and gain market share in Southeast and Central Europe. In other words, they are confident that gas from the global LNG market can compete with Gazprom’s pipeline gas for the cash of customers. Another important deduced
The cuts to transit tariffs for use of the Ukrainian gas transmission network, which were announced during the final days of 2018, are a major event that was undeservedly kept out of the media spotlight. The reductions of nearly 50% are simply a downward correction but send a message. Here are some corners in the analysis. The first suspected casualty would be the revenue projections for the Ukraine circumvention projects. Their business logic has been substantially compromised, while the key argument Merkel and Putin continue to use is that the Nord Stream is “just business.” The direct costs of Nord Stream-2 so far are below $10 billion and, accounting for the extra funds spent on gas fields and infrastructure development on Russian territory, the bill skyrockets
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The article first published in americanthinker.com on 12/16/2018. It is tempting to dismiss the just ended environmental circus at Katowice as just another demonstration of Charles Mackay’s ‘madness of crowds,’ symptom but this would mean missing its intensely political nature as a frontal assault on capitalism and the last great hope of the Left to do away with the hated free market. COP-24, as the Katowice cabal is known, was but the 24th iteration of the United Nations Climate Change Conference that was originally dedicated to fighting global warming until the name became inconvenient when temperatures refused to cooperate with the mantra. It is already clear that COP-24, like most of the previous confabs, will do nothing more than punt fighting the promised doom of us all to a future date.
The article first published in instituteforenergyresearch.org on 12/14/2018. On Oct. 17, 2018, Poland’s largest energy company PGNiG signed a contract with two American LNG companies to deliver up to 1 million tons of gas each over the next 20 years. It is the first large U.S. LNG contract in Eastern Europe, and it won’t be the last. Indeed, it is very likely that American LNG companies will become major suppliers to Eastern Europe in the near future. There are a number of reasons for this, both politically and economically. It is, of course, well-known that oil and gas exports, and particularly the latter, have long been used by Russian rulers as political weapons to achieve specific policy objectives—more often than not directed against Western interests. So none of this
The meeting in Katowice is only the first of many dedicated to climate change, where the world is finally sobering up to the fact that ambitions to affect the climate must fit reality, be fair and be shared. Paris agreements remain an unattainable goal if judged on data gathered and trends in carbon emissions dynamics in recent years. The U.S., which did not ratify the Paris climate agreement, continues to reduce its emissions. The EU has also managed to reduce its carbon footprint, but efforts on both sides of the Atlantic seem to be too little to affect global parameters of carbon pollution. Ultimately, the EU and the U.S. make up 35% of global emissions, with their share falling. Their ability to lead and shape the global