The “4 Pillars of Energy” per Regina Mayor, KPMG Global Head of Energy (on Bloomberg TV this morning) are as follows:
Security, Reliability, Affordability, and Sustainability.
It seems you must have 3 of the 4 pillars if you want to achieve and maintain a stable and peaceful society. Once you lose 2 of the 4 pillars, you will awaken the voters and/or the proletariat. People will initially react to the pain they experience by grumbling. However, once you lose 3 of the 5, you may reasonably expect unrest, rebellion, and wholesale rejection of the national leaders in charge.
The following linked diagram incorporates the Pillars of Energy into global “sustainability” goals:
A little over a year ago, when “energy independence” made US energy secure, reliable, and affordable, the voters welcomed a change in leadership promising to bring us sustainability. Unfortunately, Vladimir Putin’s actions in Ukraine have taken away the same 3 pillars which made it feasible for US leaders to pursue the sustainability goals they promised.
Marie Antoinette’s attitude toward the peasants of France cost her her head. So the people have no bread? “Let them eat cake.”
A prominent US policymaker was criticized last November when he said that people who could not afford high gas prices ought to buy an electric car. His stated reasoning at the time was perfectly accurate.
The people who stand to benefit most from owning an EV [electric vehicle] are often rural residents who have the most distances to drive, who burn the most gas, and underserved urban residents in areas where there are higher gas prices and lower income.
Unfortunately, tin-eared policymakers “make the perfect the enemy of the good.” By elevating the goal of sustainability so aggressively and obviously ahead of security, reliability, and affordability, our leaders have sealed their fate this November.
For all our sake, let’s hope that in the future, policymakers will remember that low-wage and rural voters do not have the luxury of fat 401(k) and money market accounts to insulate themselves from the painful decisions of which household bills get paid - food, shelter, or gasoline. When a voter’s rent is rising along with the price of diapers, baby food, and hamburger meat, that is a voter who will not be assuaged by promises of environmental sustainability.
Policymakers need to understand that in addition to being correct or admirable, their messages and their policies must also be sensitive, tactful, diplomatic, and most of all - practical.
Not everyone can afford a new electric or high MPG vehicle - especially when Russian and Ukrainian materials such as aluminum, lithium, platinum, titanium, and nickel are simply not available. Today, the London Metals Exchange suspended all trading in nickel - after prices doubled to $100,000 per ton overnight.
LONDON, March 8 (Reuters) - The London Metal Exchange (LME) was forced to halt trading in nickel and said it would cancel trades as prices doubled to more than $100,000 per tonne on Tuesday, a surge sources blamed on short covering by one of the world’s top producers.
The trading shutdown after Western sanctions threatened supply from major producer Russia is the biggest crisis to hit the 145-year-old exchange in decades.
I began this post by stating that you must have 3 of the 4 Pillars of Energy if you want to have and maintain a stable and peaceful society. I fear that US policymakers are going to be taught this in the form of a lesson at the polls this fall.
The only thing that might - just might - save the day (and our government’s idealistic energy policies) would be for the Russian proletariat to rise up against Vladimir Putin and teach him a lesson first. No matter how repressive a government may be, it must always be aware that its power is precarious if its policies do not preserve a stable and peaceful society.