Has coal found an unlikely friend in Europe’s green policies? According to an analysis in the FT, the people who want to lead the world in clean energy may make their continent a sinkhole for the dirtiest energy resource around. The rationale for investment in renewable energy has always relied on the assumption that fossil fuel prices will continue to rise inexorably. The revolution in shale, however, has pushed gas prices down to record lows.
This is a big moment for Europe. Many of its assumptions have been upended by shale, and its climate and energy policies are in total disarray. One would hope that Europe’s greens have the prudence and flexibility necessary to adapt to the changing energy scene, but the possibility looms that they will double-down on their present failed policies. Given that green groups have often had a quixotic view of their own importance, it’s possible that many of them will eschew more pragmatic goals in favor of a narrative that sets them up as the planet’s last chance for salvation.