As Kautilya (aka the “Indian Machiavelli”) said 2,400 years ago, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” And with that, I can explain my new crush. Like most voyages of the heart, it is a) short lived and b) somewhat ill-conceived; however, by the end of my soliloquy about Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi, you’ll understand why he’s my new iPhone screensaver.
Ali (as I call him in my head) just gave the loudest proverbial SMACK against the back of the head to US and North American oil producers yesterday since he is the current decisive voice behind the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, or OPEC. As the 79 year
old young Saudi Oil Minister said, “It was a great decision.” And, for what it’s worth, short term, it was. Because my sweet Ali (that’s what I’m calling him now, in my head) is totally fed up with North America’s flooding the worldwide oil market with all it’s shale oil overproduction, and all that expensive fracking and polluting (okay, Ali didn’t mention “pollution,” but in my head, he did).
Now, why is this, ultimately, a short term “win” for
me the environment? Well, because of what OPEC did yesterday, which is to announce that they are NOT going to cut their member’s oil production (which would mean that the market would tighten and oil prices would get up off the floor and go way up), North American oil companies and their respective gangs of thieves have taken a serious hit to their egos and to their pocketbooks. And such arrows to their buttocks may have ultimately helped the people we truly (and for the long term) love, such as those Burnaby Mountain protestors who have given their hearts, souls and considerable amounts of time through their opposition to tar sands projects bearing down on them in Alberta, Canada.
If a Saudi butterfly flaps its wings in an OPEC conference room in Vienna, does an arthritic Canadian grandmother get out of being arrested at a muddy protest in British Columbia? I believe so. But let us forget this mostly anecdotal linkage and look at the wallop that Ali Baby (my newest name for him, in my head) did to our local oil baron’s stock prices today:
…and then, because Baker Hughes and Halliburton are going to be in bed with each other’s nastiness:
and just one more for good measure (and to make everyone extra HAPPY), here is ExxonMobil’s bad news:
Long term, or BIG picture, this isn’t going to solve the climate crisis. Sure, oil prices are so far low that even Dick Cheney couldn’t shoot at them, which may, for the time being, slow down the dirtiest and costliest oil extraction methods, such as fracking, and yes, Rex Tillerson may have had a slightly sad Thanksgiving, which makes me love Ali all the more. However, the cheap oil prices were decidedly good news for airlines and other fossil fuel end-users, including even the average American who felt that they could drive a little further because it didn’t cost as much. Which doesn’t help the climate.
In the end, it would be impossible to calculate the net result of this OPEC action by my honey bear, Ali (I’m gonna call him that, in my head, for another day or so) by putting his foot down to the lunatic and extreme oil production in North America, thanks to their misinterpretation of Obama’s “all of the above” energy policies. My point here, other than having an excuse to post pictures of my heart throb (like the gratuitous one below) is that this is an enormously complicated industry. It’s killing our planet. Even Ali is killing our planet and I seriously doubt I’d be able to talk him out of it. So they must be marginalized and criminalized. Even the whiff of criminalizing their actions would constrict funding for further extraction activities, which are just going to get dirtier and more aggressive as fossil fuels get harder to reach.
Okay, just one more picture. It’s the last one as I think I’m over it, um, him: