It's the Environment, Stupid.

Monday, July 17, 2006

G8 - make more oil

There are already a few stories floating around about the beginning of the G8 meeting - the first one that caught my eye this morning was in the NYTimes - "From Group of 8, Energy Focus Is on Oil".

While it is reported the the group did talk about many forms of energy, the focus was on oil - specifically, getting more of it to the market. "On energy, the Group of 8 leaders said they were addressing “high and volatile” prices, with oil soaring above $75 a barrel last week, by endorsing policies to encourage oil field investment and raise production. They said that demand for oil, natural gas and coal would rise more than 50 percent above current levels by 2030, and that these fossil fuels would constitute 80 percent of the world’s energy supply by then."

Some one please tell me why this is a good idea? Of course demand for oil (and other fossil fuels) is expected to increase dramatically given current technologies and the looming economic booms in both (heavily populated) China and India. Of course the price for oil will continue to rise right along with the demand. But why encourage the trend? Yes, "policies to encourage oil field investment and raise production" will be necessary in the short term to meet current and short term needs - but what about the long term?

Why can't the G8 also throw their weight behind policies aimed at making us less reliant on fossil fuels (and the technologies that support them) in the long term? We can still flood the markets with more oil AND develop more fuel efficient vehicles, AND implement smart planning and building and transportation policies, AND give incentives to businesses who use renewable energy, AND make it more cost effective for utilities to provide better, more reliable (and perhaps renewable) services through graduated subsidies. Does it have to be one or the other?


  • From government functionaries' point of view, extracting more petroleum is a good idea because it is heavily taxed.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 21:34  

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