Trump was right about energy
On energy, President Trump again demonstrated his uncanny ability to see around the corner, and what he saw is now being seen by some Wall Street heavyweights. As a commonsense American, Trump saw the handwriting — now some hand-wringing — that the green energy solutions aren't ready for prime time. While his insights and warnings went unheeded, his message is now getting a hearing on Wall Street.
According to Larry Fink of BlackRock in his 2022 shareholder letter (bold type his):
The transition to net zero is already uneven with different parts of the global economy moving at different speeds. It will not happen overnight. We need to pass through shades of brown to shades of green. For example, to ensure continuity of affordable energy supplies during the transition, traditional fossil fuels like natural gas will play an important role both for power generation and heating in certain regions, as well as for the production of hydrogen.
As we pursue these ambitious goals — which will take time — governments and companies must ensure that people continue to have access to reliable and affordable energy sources. This is the only way we will create a green economy that is fair and just and avoid societal discord. And any plan that focuses solely on limiting supply and fails to address demand for hydrocarbons will drive up energy prices for those who can least afford it, resulting in greater polarization around climate change and eroding progress.
Divesting from entire sectors — or simply passing carbon-intensive assets from public markets to private markets — will not get the world to net zero.
Interestingly, Mr. Fink makes the new "energy equity" argument — namely, that high energy costs are far from equitable and are arguably racist since they target the less fortunate, who all too often are non-white people — not to mention traditionally Democrat voters.
Fink finds himself singing the same tune as hedge fund billionaire Ray Dalio. Earlier this year, he addressed a conference in Abu Dhabi.
"Thank God for the oil producers" because they are providing reliable supply, Dalio said Monday on a panel at the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week summit. Dalio is adding his voice to a chorus urging vigilance in how the world transitions toward greening the economy and the impact it could have on everything from the cost of fuel to food.
As always, politicians are the last to know. But the new "tap the brakes on green energy" message is coming from the folks who bankroll the politicians. So perhaps there's hope for a more Trumpian energy future.
Image: Gage Skidmore.