Friday, April 29, 2005


Energy on the G8 agenda

The lack of a global framework for the distribution of energy is resulting in growing friction between nations.

Should we rely, instead, on a global free market? Unfortunately, a free market in energy doesn't really exist, because many supplier nations regard oil and gas as strategic assets that must be distributed through nationalised companies. Energy is highly political.

Could a politically free market exist? The signs are that many nations, including the US, would oppose this idea. For example, "Under U.S. law, the first of these aims [a desire to open up Iranian oil and gas fields to exploitation by American firms] can only be achieved after the President lifts EO 12959, and this is not likely to occur as long as Iran is controlled by anti-American mullahs and refuses to abandon its uranium enrichment activities with potential bomb-making applications. Likewise, the ban on U.S. involvement in Iranian energy production and export gives Tehran no choice but to pursue ties with other consuming nations." See:

Perhaps the G8 could start to sort this out? The Secretary-General of the OECD thinks so; he writes this month on "The Energy Challenge". See:
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