Contradictory Headlines Show Fossil Fuel Market Confusion

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It surely must be turmoil in the fossil fuel future predictions industry. Huge variations can be found in expectations of demand and supply. A recent newsletter from had the following headlines, all in the one issue of its energy news digest. My head is spinning.

US push for green energy could strand $68 billion in coal, gas assets – report   

S&P Global Market Intelligence has issued a report warning emitters that their efforts to decarbonize might not go far enough. Pollution control equipment installed at gas and coal-fired power stations will not be able to do enough to meet the Biden administration’s Clean Energy Standard.

Brazil offers lifeline to coal after UN calls for ‘death knell’   

Brazil’s Mines and Energy Ministry on Monday published details of the Program for Sustainable Use of National Mineral Coal, a new program that would support the coal sector through 2050. Using special tax regimes and a program of modernization for coal plants, the government seeks to maintain jobs in the industry.

China’s green ambitions aren’t halting new coal and steel plans   

How will President Xi Jinping’s goal of peak CO2 emissions be achieved by 2030 when state-owned firms are proposing to build 43 new coal-fired generators and 18 new blast furnaces? This will lock the steel-making sector into further coal dependency. Mixed signals indeed.

First new oil sands pipeline in years could start next month   

More heavy oil from Canada’s tar sands. As early as mid-September, the oil could start to flow (760,000 barrels a day) from Alberta to Wisconsin. Another pipeline is due to commence service in 2022. Both pipelines have faced years of litigation and protests.

Russell: Asia coal demand surge in stark contrast with UN climate warning

On the one hand we have the stark warnings of the IPCC report and on the other we have surging demand and prices for coal in Asia. A staggering 80 million ton of coal was delivered to Asian ports in June.

So, when will demand fall? Who knows? Nail biting time for executives in the fossil fuel industry. One could say they are making hay while the sun shines, but I think we need a better metaphor. Dig it, pump it, sell it where you can … the end is nigh, sometime.

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David Waterworth

David Waterworth is a retired teacher who divides his time between looking after his grandchildren and trying to make sure they have a planet to live on. He is long on Tesla [NASDAQ:TSLA].

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