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Even Big-Oil is begging for Big-Green subsidies

Posted By Joanne Nova On June 19, 2013 @ 1:42 pm In Global Warming | Comments Disabled

Royal Dutch Shell is concerned we won’t sequester away enough of that pollutant, carbon dioxide.

Carbon capture and storage [CCS], a way of cutting emissions from industry by burying them underground, needs more state support for the European Union to meet clean-energy goals, a Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) adviser said.

“We’ve got to be clear that the EU’s climate goals in the long run cannot be met without clear policy intervention and that CCS is vital for the delivery of that,” Graeme Sweeney, who advises Shell on carbon-dioxide strategy, said by telephone. — Bloomberg

If Royal Dutch Shell had so much as suggested that the warming threat might be exaggerated, a team of activists from Greenpeace, WWF and the IPCC would issue press releases overnight declaring “Vested Interests Promote Doubt and Denial”. Other lobbyists like, say, The Royal Society, would write a letter to Shell blasting it for “disinformation“.

But when Shell asks for more government handouts to fund its ventures in Carbon Capture and Storage, the vested interest is obvious, but the apoplexy and conspiracist accusations are nowhere to be seen. Shell, of course, sells oil, but it also sells CCS. And things haven’t been going well for Shell’s carbon storage projects. The EU carbon price has crashed, taking all the fun (and profits) out of carbon capture.

“We’ve made limited progress,” Sweeney said. “It’s time for us all to recognize that we really need a reset if we’re going to make all of this work.”

The first phase of a European Commission program to finance as many as 12 demonstration plants failed to fund a single one as member states were unable to supply the required matching funds by the deadline. Nine projects applied for funding under a second round that closes July 3, the commission’s website shows.

Sweeney sees a possible three to five demonstration projects being built in the EU, putting it on course to start commercial CCS plants in the late 2020s or early 2030s. He’s also chairman of the European Technology Platform for Zero-Emission Fossil-Fuel Power Plants, or ZEP.”    — Bloomberg

Big Oil has been demonized as the shady-hand influencing governments to get policies that give them profits. But the profits Big-Oil hunts are the green-gravy-train type, not the ones dependent on the oil price (which they will get in any case, because demand for oil is inelastic). In the end, Big Government is bigger than Big Oil, and it bought off most the sector off long ago by offering big-subsidies.

To be fair on Shell, they are just doing what any good corporate does — following the money. The profits that are at risk on the Shell annual return are not the ones from oil, but the ones from carbon capture. The numbers men at Shell know that no matter what anyone says about renewables, they are no threat at all to their oil sales (who wants a solar car?). But if governments stop buying the carbon-capture meme, there goes the one and only customer for the CCS.

Long ago, Exxon’s crime was to suggest there were “gaps in the science”. It was vilified, even though it had been funding climate change research for 25 years, including the work of IPCC authors at major universities.  Ponder that The Royal Society is so under the spell of the global warming doctrine that it opposed a corporate which funded scientific research. But when corporations trumpet the profoundly anti-science notion of “consensus” and exploit that to gain profits from taxpayers, that’s OK. There are no scientific observations that suggest the public or the planet would benefit from carbon capture. We know climate models don’t work. Who does the Royal Society serve? Not science, and not citizens.

As Andrew Bolt would say, it’s not about the principle, it’s about the side.

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And for Anthony A., can I just cryptically say, thank you! I owe you a letter and it’s on the way. I’m thinking of you. :- )

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