Give 'em what they want

The environmental movement has taken hold in much of the world. The growing desire to keep fossil fuels in  the ground and encourage a swift transition to renewables have become tenets of a new religion. Most of these the environmental evangelists are deaf to economic arguments such as access to cheaper and more plentiful energy. Increasingly, the projects that make economic sense, such as the Keystone XL pipeline or allowing fracking in New York state, are no longer politically feasible.

The most recent victim of the environmental movement was the Northeast Direct pipeline proposed by Kinder Morgan to bring Marcellus gas to the New England states. In the absence of this pipeline, New England industrial and residential consumers will have to continue to pay highest spot prices for LNG each season there is a severe winter.

Marketing 101 tells us to give the customers what they want. People on the Eastern seaboard and in California have been telling us that they will pay premium prices for greener forms of energy. We must remember that we're in the energy business and not necessarily in the oil and gas business. Facing up to market reality, the energy companies should supply an increasing proportion of renewable energy to customers in Western Europe, Canada, U.S. Eastern seaboard and California.

The oil and gas industry continues to enjoy public and political support in many regions of the world, including Texas, Oklahoma and Saudi Arabia, to name just a few. Our industry activities must continue in these regions to produce 90 MMbbl that the world continues to consume every day.

Pramod Kulkarni
Executive Director