With domestic needs more than satisfied and prices low the carbon fuel industry is turning to global markets, seemingly heedless of climate change. In a item focusing on the pending end to the embargo on export of US crude oil, The Economist said this:
“OPEC is about to receive a dose of its own medicine. The bold decision, expected by the end of the week, to lift a 40-year-old ban on American oil exports is not just a victory for the principles of free commerce. A dollop of American crude on world markets would put even more pressure on the faltering cartel. In a frenzy of trading in the last few days, expectations of a policy change have virtually wiped out the premium that Brent, the global benchmark, has habitually enjoyed over West Texas Intermediate, its American equivalent. Some of this may be premature. Without a discount to Brent, paying to transport American crude abroad is less attractive. But lifting the ban may also encourage international oil-traders to finance shale production in America in order to secure its easily refined, light, sweet crude. Result: Shale 1, Sheiks 0. Hats off to Congress.”
Market forces and the relentless corporate drive for growth and profit will drive carbon energy companies to find ways to get their product out of the ground and off to market. Without a balancing force like CCD (Carbon Fee and Dividend) and with our legislators unable or unwilling to take the climate situation seriously, there seems little hope of keeping the carbon in the ground where it must stay for the sake of future generations.