Monday, November 10, 2014

The Madness of the EU’s Energy Policy

By Marin Katusa, Chief Energy Investment Strategist

The stakes couldn’t be higher. Vladimir Putin has launched a devastating plan to turn Russia into an energy powerhouse. And Europe, dependent on Russian natural gas and oil for a third of its fuel needs, has fallen right into his hands: Putin can bend the EU to his will simply by twisting the valve shut.

Considering how precarious Europe’s economic security is, one would have thought that now would be a good time for the EU to reassess its energy policy and address the effect crippling energy costs are having on its struggling economy. But the EU is never going to agree to a rational reappraisal of its policies, because eco-loons like its new energy commissioner, Violetta Bulc, have taken over the asylum.

A practicing fire walker and a shaman, she’s the sort of airy fairy Goddard College type who only believes in the power of “positive energy.” What will guide us in this frightening new era is, according to her blog, the spirit of the White Lions:

The Legend says that White Lions are star beings, uniting star energy within earth form of Lions. The native ancestors were convinced that they are children of the Sun God, thus embodying Solar Logos and legends say that they came down to Earth to help save humanity at a time of crisis. There is no doubt that this time is right now.

With the European Commission stuffed with green anti capitalist zealots, it’s not surprising that the EU’s response to the challenges of a resurgent Russia is a complete break with reality.

The EU has come up with an aggressive climate plan—just like Obama’s. In defiance of all logic—if not Putin—it’s agreed to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40% and make clean energy, like wind and solar, 27% of overall energy use by 2030. Instead of guaranteeing the “survival of mankind,” this would cause the extinction of Europe’s industry—unless there’s a secret plan to massively expand nuclear power.

Fortunately for Europe, its leaders haven’t yet lost all their marbles.

These climate goals are just a bargaining chip in the runup to next year’s UN climate summit in Paris. They’re not legally binding. Unless the whole world commits to an equally radical policy of deindustrialization—which seems rather unlikely to say the least—the EU will “review” its climate targets.

This is just as well. In trying to meet the so-called 20:20 target—a 20% reduction in emissions by 2020—Germany and the UK have already discovered that renewable energy is too costly to maintain a competitive industry. As electricity prices skyrocket, Germany’s industrial giants are either having their power costs subsidized or are relocating to the US.

Both countries are struggling with the inability of wind and solar energy to provide reliable baseload power, which is threatening to cause blackouts.

The UK is putting its faith in fracking—and has managed to head off any EU legislation to ban shale-gas. But Germany and its fellow travelers, who have no qualms about reverting to coal, are simply overriding the EU Commission and its zero emissions utopia.

Knowing that EU climate policy would destroy international competitiveness and crush their economies, Poland, which depends on coal for 90% of its energy needs, and other low-income countries have taken a different approach. They've forced the Commission to give them special exemptions from any emissions reduction plan.

Unlike in the U.S.—where Obama is taking executive action to wipe out the coal industry—lignite, or brown coal, is set to become an increasingly important part of Europe’s energy supply, as it is in much of the rest of the world. There are 19 new lignite power stations in various stages of approval and construction in Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Greece, Germany, Poland, Romania, and Slovenia. When completed, these will emit nearly as much CO2 as the UK.

Which is ironic. The UK is the only member of the EU to have been insane enough to impose a legally binding carbon dioxide reduction target intended to take it to 80 percent of 1990 levels by 2050. It’s also the only modern industrial nation where there’s serious talk of World War II style energy rationing.

As you’ll discover in my new book, The Colder War, Europe and America need to wake up. They’ve never been so economically vulnerable. The time for indulging environmental fantasies and putting one’s faith in White Lions is over—unless, that is, you want to see Putin controlling the world.

Click here to get your copy of my new book. Inside, you’ll discover exactly how Putin is orchestrating a takeover of the global energy trade, what it means for the future of America, and how it will directly affect you and your personal savings.

The article The Madness of the EU’s Energy Policy was originally published at casey research

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