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Our Take: Big Oil: Dead Men Walking by ClimateYou Senior Editor George Ropes

Big Oil still doesn’t get it. What will it take to make the majors realize that they are all dead men walking? These guys refuse to see the light. As reported by Rakteem Katakey on Bloomberg news,  the oil giant BP Plc is sending their heavy hitters to the annual Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition & Conference where big oil companies compete for access to the Emirate’s abundant offshore oil resources.

Maybe if Bonn (COP23) slashes governments’ fossil fuel subsidies? Maybe if the banks stop financing any more coal (or oil) projects. China and India have begun their disinvestment in high carbon power; Germany, Poland, and others should follow suit. More university endowment funds and both public and private retirement funds need to join the disinvestment movement that now totals over a trillion dollars. Conservative politicians speak of ‘starving the beast’ in order to shrink government; climate activists need to bang the same drums to choke off the further contamination of the planet from fossil fuel emissions. The world’s energy transition is already well under way. Saudi Arabia gets it, and has begun diversifying its overly oil-dependent economy. Soon the titans of the fossil fuel industry will be forced to admit that their long hegemony is ending, is in fact almost over. Several countries and several car companies have announced that by 2040 all their vehicles will be powered not by petrol-powered internal combustion engines but by electrical motors. Wind and solar power plants already produce electricity more cheaply under most circumstances than do coal, oil, natural gas plants and certainly the costly and risky nuclear power. Battery technology is developing rapidly to overcome renewables’ intermittency issue. It’s obvious to all but the ostrich-like vested interests that Big Oil is doomed, it’s days numbered, it’s sun setting.

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One Response

  1. Thank you for sharing this opinion. How do you think American political leadership is contributing to the belief that big oil can continue its’ domineering presence in the economy? The alternative energy sources are presenting a real competitive threat that I’m not sure big oil fully understands. The new focus on these alternative sources is what the American government needs to get behind and not necessarily saving big oil jobs. It is important to create a strategy for transitioning to alternative energy production, so that the end of big oil does not create a huge loss in jobs as is a big concern for keeping it around.

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