IEA: Their gap with U.S. energy prices is likely to hurt Europe for “at least 20 years”

posted at 8:51 pm on January 29, 2014 by Erika Johnsen

This is what President Obama had to say about natural gas and the shale revolution during his State of the Union address last night:

Now, one of the biggest factors in bringing more jobs back is our commitment to American energy. The all-of-the-above energy strategy I announced a few years ago is working, and today, America is closer to energy independence than we’ve been in decades.

One of the reasons why is natural gas – if extracted safely, it’s the bridge fuel that can power our economy with less of the carbon pollution that causes climate change. Businesses plan to invest almost $100 billion in new factories that use natural gas. I’ll cut red tape to help states get those factories built, and this Congress can help by putting people to work building fueling stations that shift more cars and trucks from foreign oil to American natural gas. My administration will keep working with the industry to sustain production and job growth while strengthening protection of our air, our water, and our communities. And while we’re at it, I’ll use my authority to protect more of our pristine federal lands for future generations.

…Which is fine, I suppose, except that it does seem rather mealy-mouthed for what should really be a gigantic, resounding thank-you/love letter to the shale revolution that has happened, hardly at all because of his administration’s policies, but very much in spite of them. Oil and gas are the only parts of his “all of the above” energy strategy that have gone above and beyond, and the Obama administration owes so many of what few economic gains they can boast about to the innovations in fracking technology that have swept the country in just a few years time: Economic and income growth, increased exports, job creation, our increasing attractiveness as a potential new home for energy-intensive industries — you name it.

If President Obama had really had his way with the “necessarily skyrocketing” energy prices he once so fervently hoped for, and, let’s face it, pretty much still does — i.e., by following many of the same policies the Europeans have been righteously adopting — we’d be stuck in the same comparatively uncompetitive, economically lethargic boat right now. Yikes, via the Financial Times:

In findings likely to inflame claims EU climate change policies are damaging the bloc’s manufacturers, the International Energy Agency said Europe will lose a third of its global market share of energy-intensive exports over the next two decades because energy prices will stay stubbornly higher than those in the US. …

Fatih Birol, the IEA’s chief economist, said environmental policies alone had not pushed up energy costs but the price gap between the EU and the US was going to last much longer than some expected. …

“Europe didn’t realise the seriousness of this competitive issue,” he said, warning the situation raises concern for the almost 30m people working in heavy industries such as iron, steel and petrochemicals across the continent.

European gas import prices are currently around three times higher than in the US while industrial electricity prices are about twice as high, creating an energy price gap Dr Birol said would last “at least 20 years”.


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With so many finds in so many countries, it would seem that everyone will be energy independent but I guess we still have everyone beat on technology.

Cindy Munford on January 29, 2014 at 9:09 PM

I’ll cut red tape to help states get those factories built

Yah huh, at least until some ecofreak group decides that the Saber-Toothed Dung Fly will be hurt by the building of said factory and everything gets shutdown forever.

Bishop on January 29, 2014 at 9:25 PM

Cindy Munford on January 29, 2014 at 9:09 PM

Perhaps. But technology doesn’t just happen. It needs to be developed. By entrepreneurs,people who risk a lot, and can be rich if they succeed.The very people the government is teaching it young to hate and vilify.

tngmv on January 29, 2014 at 9:26 PM

European gas import prices are currently around three times higher than in the US while industrial electricity prices are about twice as high, creating an energy price gap Dr Birol said would last “at least 20 years”.

“We should be more like Europe..cuz..Kewl!”

Every single Liberal

Mimzey on January 29, 2014 at 9:41 PM

The Europeans lurved him.
Let them suffer with the rest of us.

vityas on January 29, 2014 at 9:50 PM

maybe they should build more solar arrays and offshore wind turbines!

WryTrvllr on January 29, 2014 at 10:01 PM

Keep in mind that Mr. I-Hate-Fossil-Fuels also said, “The debate is settled. Climate change is real”. Meaning, he’s not giving up on the AGW theory and erasing CO2, no matter what physics says.

Also remember that he’s one of the biggest and most compulsive liars since “Sir” John Mandeville. With a side order of Heinrich Schliemann.

He still wants to bankrupt any energy plan except Holy Wind and Holy Sun, and when everyone thinks he’s on their side- that’s when he’ll insert the knife in the back.

Like the scorpion and the frog, it’s just his nature.

clear ether

eon

eon on January 29, 2014 at 10:06 PM

What happens in 20 years to make Europe competitive with America on energy prices?

Do the Democrats again hold both houses of Congress and the Presidency?

unclesmrgol on January 29, 2014 at 10:38 PM

If President Obama had really had his way with the “necessarily skyrocketing” energy prices he once so fervently hoped for, and, let’s face it, pretty much still does — i.e., by following many of the same policies the Europeans have been righteously adopting — we’d be stuck in the same comparatively uncompetitive, economically lethargic boat right now. Yikes, via the Financial Times:

Trust me these clowns haven’t given up based on what I see in a company I work with. This is a big outfit with very close ties to both parties but very, very close to the Dems and Obama. I can see from internal propaganda that the Wind and Solar push is just beginning. It’s really a sad situation, it’s the Synfuel crap all over again (for you young folks, that would be the Carter plan to save the world). These people are like the terminator.

whbates on January 29, 2014 at 11:16 PM

Energy inequality.

This guy can make a political campaign out of anything.

BobMbx on January 29, 2014 at 11:27 PM

I blame the UN IPCC. Europe bought into their fantasy.

J_Crater on January 30, 2014 at 12:59 AM

The all-of-the-above energy strategy I announced a few years ago is working,

That’s funny. I seem to remember the McCain campaign in 2008 touting an “all-of-the-above energy strategy” that the Obama campaign rejected.

And now he acts like it’s his idea?

There Goes the Neighborhood on January 30, 2014 at 1:05 AM

What happens in 20 years to make Europe competitive with America on energy prices?

Do the Democrats again hold both houses of Congress and the Presidency?

unclesmrgol on January 29, 2014 at 10:38 PM

That would be the middle of the Clinton Presidency.

Chelsea.

Yes. I believe this country is that stupid.

trigon on January 30, 2014 at 1:09 AM

<blockquoteFatih Birol, the IEA’s chief economist, said environmental policies alone had not pushed up energy costs but the price gap between the EU and the US was going to last much longer than some expected. …

Okay, if we can identify one part of what pushes up the prices, why not list the other factors.
Were they:

A- unreasonably high taxes on these types of energy?

B- unreasonable amounts of burdensome regulation?

C- underdevelopment of resources?

D- all of the above coupled with LMD ( liberal mental disorder )?

Paco on January 30, 2014 at 1:15 AM

The all-of-the-above energy strategy I announced a few years ago is working,…

Tell that to the coal miners and power production industry. Oh and don’t forget the thousands unemployed because you are stalling the Keystone Pipeline- which by the way is succeeding on places in spite of your policies. Also, we should believe your policies on fracking are …helping? Who believes that?

and today, America is closer to energy independence than we’ve been in decades.

No thanks to you or your administration. The energy industry moves largely on its own and doesn’t need you or the government to be productive. In fact, they also succeed in spite of you. The changes and regulation your administration has put in place have negatively affected production.

Once again, the president is trying to take credit for something he had nothing to do with.

How about he takes credit and perhaps apologizes for something he did do, like Obamacare?

Marcus Traianus on January 30, 2014 at 6:50 AM

Hey, Barry, what happened to electric cars? Now you want vehicles powered by natural gas? Can you please make up your mind? (No wonder people are reluctant to invest in his schemes.)

Colony14 on January 30, 2014 at 7:32 PM

Cheap and abundant oil, and natural gas, and coal. We really do have it all. More abundant energy than any other nation on earth.

J Baustian on January 30, 2014 at 9:51 PM