Friday, September 23, 2016

Why do BP and Shell serve the strategic policy and propaganda initiatives of global finance?

(published with permission)

Dr Rancourt:

I find your writings and your interviews to have a unique perspective with regard to the global warming/climate change mania that seems to have gripped the country (and certainly Europe). Especially so with regard to your taking a very broad based view----like this global warming craziness is part of something much larger. (I share this sentiment.)

I have a question and possibly in your busy schedule you can find the time to answer or point me in the right direction for some clarity with regard to this:

I have been perplexed and frustrated by the seemingly counterintuitive reaction that many large petroleum companies (BP, Shell, etc) seem to have.  They appear (in their PR, web sites, position statements) to be going along with/agreeing with the premise that fossil fuels are
1)immoral and
2)we need to transition away from them asap, etc etc.

You would think they would champion (and in fact scream form the rooftops!) many of the ideas expressed by Alex Epstein in his book “The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels”. (I just read your very interesting review.)

Can you point me in the direction of any articles which might explain this reaction on the part of the large petroleum companies? (Might they actually benefit from excessive regulation/taxation/expenses of litigation, in the sense that they can absorb such costs more effectively than their smaller competitors, thereby excessive regulation/taxation/litigation in their industry actually benefits them by elimination of many of their smaller competitors?)

Thank you for your time.  Please feel free to call me if more convenient for you.

Most sincerely,
Peter Guske PT


Hi Peter,

My sense is that the energy mega-corporations are an integrated and inseparable part of the US-based system of global finance, which is itself integrated with the US industrial-military apparatus. The military is the real physical threat that keeps most countries in line and subservient to global financial and corporate predation and to the obligatory use of the US dollar in trade. (The US prints the dollar at will.) Likewise, military sales to client "allies" is a major wealth transfer mechanism, such as from Saudi oil revenues, while the energy mega-corporations play their role and have on-site knowledge and control.

This structure implies that the said energy mega-corporations will always support the strategic policy and propaganda initiatives of the overall US-based energy-finance-military system of global occupation. Clearly, the said strategic initiatives includes legitimizing and installing a global so-called carbon economy.

This global carbon economy, including its national and sub-national carbon tax implementations (all management layers are to be integrated), is a bold new model for global coercion and taxation; which will be controlled by the same finance elite that has so effectively prevented national economic liberations, under the guise of "free-trade" efficiency and development.

The big plus is that Western populations and the Western state service intellectuals (including scientists) have enthusiastically invested in what can only by called The Carbon Religion. All humanitarian and environmental good will has been reduced to atmospheric concentration of CO2 and the impending fireball earth. Incidental (on the global scale) incentives for "green technologies" are part of the propaganda (see this).

Of course there are somewhat-competing US blocks. Exxon Mobil has more of an interest in developing US continental energy resources and may want to monopolize shale. It also probably has a different array of mega-finance connections. This reflects the competing Democratic and Republican corporate alliances: The former is more "globalist" while the latter is more traditionally "empirist". You only need to follow how continental pipeline routes change with Democrat/Republican and Liberal/Conservative (Canadian satellite state) election results...  Exxon appears not to like the idea of submitting to global carbon rules that are overly controlled by competitors?

Furthermore, it should also be said that BP and Shell may be attempting to reduce consumer guilt at the gas tank. It's easier to buy "green" gasoline, and from a company that is committed to "going green". The consumer effect may be less in Exxon territory.

Just my tentative thoughts.

See the list of links to my articles about climate HERE.


Suggested links from Climate Change LIES:

How Big Oil Benefits From Global Warming Alarmism…/how-big-oil-benefits-from-global-w…/

Rockefeller's (Standard Oil) fund…/rockefellers-behind-scr…/

WWF vast pool of oil money:…/the-wwfs-vast-pool-of-oil…/

BP, Greenpeace, and the big oil jackpot:…/bp-greenpeace-big-…

Gulf of Mexico spill BP is largely invested in Wind Energy:…

Solar Manufacturers Owned by Oil Companies…

Chevron sinking $300 million a year into alternative energy:…/

Top ten big oil initiatives in clean tech:…/top-ten-big-oil-company-green-i…/
(alternate link)

Watts exposes Dana Nuccitelli as having a "big oil" vested interest:…/dana-nuccitellis-vested-inter…/

The BBC, Greenpeace, and BP


Alan2102 said...

"Rockefeller's (Standard Oil) fund"

Yes. They also fund the Breakthrough Institute. They fund both explicitly and implicitly pro-nuclear initiatives (or initiatives that could be construed as somehow pro-nuclear).

"WWF vast pool of oil money"

So what? I'm glad the WWF has lots of funding. If the funding comes from assholes, that's OK.

"Gulf of Mexico spill BP is largely invested in Wind Energy"

That's smart. BP knows that the oil/FF days are numbered. They are looking at $TRILLIONS$ in stranded assets. They had BETTER get their asses in gear and invest in the energy future!

"Solar Manufacturers Owned by Oil Companies"

Once again, smart. Solar is on a dramatic upward growth trajectory, as oil/FFs flatline and go into decline.

Solar and other renewables are gaining ground rapidly in part because of high and rising EROI (Energy Returned On Investment), while oil/FF's EROI declines. Solar is already competitive with coal in equatorial parts of the world. That competitiveness will migrate further from the equator with each passing year. Subsidies for renewables were of course necessary to get the ball rolling, but become less necessary with each passing year, and are totally unnecessary already in some locales. The BIG story in this connection is the gigantic subsidies received by the oil/FF industry, dwarfing that of renewables. The IMF and others reported on this last year. The problem with oil/FFs is that they are simply not affordable -- economically, environmentally, and energetically. They only APPEARED to be affordable and "cheap" because of massive true costs (financed by silent societal subsidy) that were never reflected in the pump price. With true cost accounting, solar and other renewables are already way more competitive than oil/coal/FFs -- and will get better and better. Solar panels installed today will likely continue to provide power for a half-century or longer, whereas their main energetic payback happens in ~2-4 years. The oil/FF industry is furiously backpedaling in the face of these epochal facts, which spell doom for their traditional business models.

Alan2102 said...

A supplement to the foregoing:

This series by Naam is a pretty good intro:
How Far Can Renewables Go? Pretty Darn Far
Posted on January 31, 2016 by Ramez Naam
This is part 4 of a series looking at the economic trends of new energy technologies. Part 1 looked at how cheap solar can get (very cheap indeed). Part 2 looked at the declining cost and rising reliability of wind power. Part 3 looked at how cheap energy storage can get (pretty darn cheap). Part 5 looks at how cheap electric vehicles can get, and how they’ll disrupt oil. Now let’s talk about how far renewables can go.

Alan2102 said...

Further addendum:

Things are moving even faster than the renewables-optimists predicted:
New Record Low Solar Price in Abu Dhabi – Costs Plunging Faster Than Expected
Posted on September 21, 2016 by Ramez Naam
The price of solar power – in the very sunniest locations in particular – is plunging faster than I expected. I’ve been talking for years now about the exponential decline of solar power prices. I’ve often been called a wide-eyed optimist.
In fact, if anything, my forecasts were too conservative. The solar prices I expected have been smashed by bids in the Middle East and in Latin America. I will need to update the model above in a future post.
The latest record is an incredibly low bid of 2.42 cents / kwh solar electricity in Abu Dhabi. That is an unsubsidized price.
Let me put that in perspective. The cost of electricity from a new natural gas powerplant in the US is now estimated at 5.6 cents / kwh. (pdf link) That is with historically low natural gas prices in the US, which are far lower than the price of natural gas in the rest of the world.
This new bid in Abu Dhabi is less than half the price of electricity from a new natural gas plant.
What’s more, it’s less than the cost of the fuel burned in a natural gas plant to make electricity – without even considering the cost of building the plant in the first place.
The solar bid in Abu Dhabi is not just the cheapest solar power contract ever signed – it’s the cheapest contract for electricity ever signed, anywhere on planet earth, using any technology.

TheBackSaver said...

Dear Alan2102:
Please allow me to state how important it is to differentiate between speculations about the future concerning something ideal, as opposed to something that has a proven current performance record.
You write "how cheap solar can get" (in the future) and how "it will get more competitive" (in the future). Solar/wind technology have been around for several generations (solar panels:85 years, wind:100s of years) and still have been unable to be cost competitive (must be supported by massively taxing fossil fuels). This massive taxation has caused the so-called leader of solar and wind (Germany) to now have over 500,000 people to take themselves off the grid because they can not afford electricity. To leave the most vulnerable people to choose between lights on or food (and that is literally the choice they make) is not acceptable.
Alternatives...yes, but solar and wind?! I do not see how to get around the fundamental issue that S and W are are such very DILUTE forms of energy. On the other hand if you wanted a realistic alternative to fossil fuels then Nuclear makes sense simply becasue it is highly concentrated. This is essential for any true alternative.

Alan2102 said...

The BackSaver:

"Solar/wind technology have been around for several generations (solar panels:85 years, wind:100s of years) and still have been unable to be cost competitive"

Untrue. As I pointed out, in some locales they are already highly competitive, even unsubsidized. See also the clippings I posted. Also, just research the isssue.

"(must be supported by massively taxing fossil fuels)"

The massive subsidies accrue mostly to non-renewables. See the IMF report of last year. Subsidies amount to ~$5 TRILLION per year, the great bulk of which goes to non-renewables. The real all-in costs of non-renewable energy are much higher than the pump price.

Regarding Germany: you need to do some more research.

Generally: just wait 10 years. You'll see.

Thanks for your reply.

Alan2102 said...

PS: Oh by the way, the "issue" about concentration is a non-issue. The average U.S. state could get all of its power from solar in a square about 30 miles on a side. Except that solar will never supply 100% of our power, or even 50%. But even more important than that is that solar can be installed on the tens of thousands of square miles of currently dead, unused space: rooftops. (Do you have a better suggestion for turning that vast space into something useful? Will nuclear power help with that?) But even more important that THAT is that concentration is a relic of the bad old days of power monopolies. Even if it were true that renewables take up a lot of space that ought to be used in other ways or left alone, they have the huge advantage of allowing distributed, decentralized power generation, with all the good things that that implies. The power monopolies -- rentier oligarch assholes -- want everyone to be permanently paying them a hefty monthly bill. Rentiers ALWAYS want everyone to be permanently paying a hefty monthly bill; it is how they suck blood, their sustenance, out of society. The power oligarchs are freaked out about the very real possibility (indeed, inevitability) of the collapse of their whole business model, and their hegemony in the power sphere. Hence they propagate stuff about renewables being too "dilute", and a host of other irrational and lying "objections". Fuck the power oligarchs. Fuck them up the ass.

Alan2102 said...

From two years ago. Things have improved further since then (i.e. renewables even MORE cost-competitive now than then).
Solar and wind power are now fully cost competitive with fossil fuels – is it time to switch over?
By Joel Hruska on December 1, 2014

Anonymous said...

BP, Shell etc are playing both sides (of course). In particular they have been pushing gas as an alternative to coal and have basically succeeded in closing down most of the US coal industry. BP even ran a campaign that BP stood for Beyond Petroleum. They are also sensibly diversifying into solar etc and are looking to extract as much rent from subsidies as they can along the way.