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  • German Unions and Bosses Oppose Gas Embargo // Tesla's Solar Deployments Drop by Half // John Kerry: No[,] Gas Now[!]

German Unions and Bosses Oppose Gas Embargo // Tesla's Solar Deployments Drop by Half // John Kerry: No[,] Gas Now[!]

German Unions and Bosses Oppose Gas Embargo

Germany's trade unions and bosses have linked arms to decry potential sanctions on Russian gas.

In a joint statement Rainer Dulger, chairman of the BDA employer's group, and Reiner Hoffmann, chairman of the DGB trade union confederation, said, "A rapid gas embargo would lead to loss of production, shutdowns, a further de-industrialization and the long-term loss of work positions in Germany.”

They voiced concern that the current sanctions talk don't weigh economic blowback heavily enough.

Germany's Vice-Chancellor, Robert Habeck, has more or less agreed. In a recent interview, he said that “an immediate gas embargo would endanger social peace in Germany.”

The EU is still sending Russia $850 million a day in return for oil and gas. It's likely that gas can't be replaced as it's an essential element for things like food processing, metal, and glass.

If Germany does the rest of Europe does put their foot down and ban Russian gas they will likely see rationing and unrest. EU consumers are already facing a gob-smacking 7.5% inflation.

Tesla's Solar Deployments Drop by Half

Import challenges have seriously hurt Tesla's solar deployments.

Here's the rundown:

  • Tesla says it deployed 48 MW of solar in this Q1 this year, which is down from last year Q1's 92 MW, and 85MW last quarter. That's a 48% drop.

  • Over the last year, solar has faced significant logistics and trade difficulties--largely because the majority of panels installed in America are made in Southeast Asia.

  • Tesla's facing supply-chain issues in other parts of its business.

  • Tesla posted record profits for Q1 this year.

John Kerry: No[,] Gas Now[!]

In one of my favorite Simpsons episodes, Bart goes to see the attorney Lionel Hutz. When Hutz agrees to take Bart's case he asks for a $1000 retainer.

"A thousand dollars!" Bart says. "But your ad says 'no money down.'"

Hutz takes the ad from Bart and says, "Oh, they got this all screwed up."

Then he fixes it with a red pen.

This is the exact kind of confusion Biden administration members are creating with regard to oil and gas.

For context, Biden rode into office on fighting with the fossil fuel sector. Reality checked his ambitions. First, an energy crisis opened up in the fall of last year, then the Ukraine war put it on rails. Now the US is pouring LNG into Europe to ease its energy woes and mitigate its dependence on Russia.

The administration has been cajoling O&G to do more while trying to look tough on Big Fossil to its base. So far, neither has been pleased.

Enter the latest Lionel Hutz: John Kerry.

Here's what Kerry said Wednesday: "I'll take the gas conversion right now, today, for a coal-fired power plant or oil-fired power today in a nanosecond, because the gas is an automatic, immediate 50% reduction in emissions from those other sources."

But, he warned, leaders shouldn't fall prey "to this snake oil that's being sold that suggests that we can just go whole-hog with gas that's unabated for a long term."

That seems like sensible energy centrism: recognition of the need for natural gas now with one eye toward its future emissions. It's also true that Kerry is on record as calling natural gas a "bridge fuel" to a lower-carbon future.

But let's rewind: what was Kerry up to before this war broke out? According to members of the Senate Banking Committee he was "pressuring banks to make extralegal commitments regarding energy-related lending and investment activities” that would create “higher energy costs for American consumers."

Biden's climate envoy had been putting the screws to banks and financial institutions to cut their commitments to US fossil fuel companies and come aboard the Net-Zero Banking Alliance, which would cripple the ability of oil and gas companies to increase production. Last year, Citi, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, and JPMorgan Chase signed on to the alliance.

You can't push major financial institutions to disinvest from industry and then turn around a say that same industry provides a necessary bridge fuel that also happens to be of dire importance to America's allies in the middle of an energy crisis.

So, what's happening here? Is it "NO GAS NOW" or "NO, GAS NOW!"?

Conversation Starters

  • A German authority that minds the Wadden Sea Islands has given a Dutch company the green light to drill in the North Sea to help reduce the country's dependence on Russia.

  • Rolls-Royce hopes to secure regulatory approval for an SMR by 2024 and to complete it on UK soil by 2029.

  • Diablo Canyon nuclear plant in California is set to shut down in 2025. Pacific Gas & Electric has just commissioned Orano to defuel the plant.

Word of the Day

Christmas tree

1. n. [Drilling]

The set of valves, spools, and fittings connected to the top of a well to direct and control the flow of formation fluids from the well.

2. n. [Well Completions]

An assembly of valves, spools, pressure gauges and chokes fitted to the wellhead of a completed well to control production. Christmas trees are available in a wide range of sizes and configurations, such as low- or high-pressure capacity and single- or multiple-completion capacity. (source)

Crom's Blessing