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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on May 11th, 2007
by Pincas Jawetz (pj@sustainabilitank.info)

EU warning system to tackle potential energy shocks.

writes Renata Goldirova from Brussels for the EUobserver, May 11, 2007.

“In response to a sudden cut in oil supplies coming from Russia earlier this year, the European Union is setting up an early-warning system for potential gas and oil supply shocks.   Brussels has announced it will put in place a network of energy security correspondents tasked to monitor, assess and exchange information about brewing crises that could affect the 27-nation bloc.”

It will be “a crucial part of the union’s efforts to have a credible long-term energy policy”, EU external relations commissioner Benita Ferrrero-Waldner said, according to press reports.

The network – to be discussed at the upcoming EU-Russia summit in Samara (17-18 May) – will use services of the EU’s 130 delegations worldwide, EU governments, energy advisory panels and the European commission’ external relations crisis room.

Energy security has topped the EU’s political agenda since January, when Moscow closed the Druzhba oil pipeline supplying Eastern and Western Europe through Belarus because of a price row with Minsk.

The oil disruption – following a similar unilateral move in 2006 involving Ukraine – affected several EU states, including Germany, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

The row also prompted the EU’s shift towards renewable sources of energy, such as solar, wind or biomass, which are believed will decrease the bloc’s dependency on external energy sources as well as help combat climate change.

In March, the 27 member states legally bound themselves to use 20 percent renewable energy and cut CO2 emissions by 20 percent by 2020.

For the European Union, Russia is the single most important external supplier of energy, 25%   of the bloc’s gas as well as 25%of its oil originates from the vast country.

According to Brussels, the dependency is likely to increase, with forecasts saying the EU will import 70 percent of its energy by 2030.

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SustainabiliTank.info sees here the creation of an EU Central Intelligence Energy Agency, this having been for many years also one of the functions of the US CIA that is looking at implications of energy shortages worlwide – including such implications for the Europeans. We remember back in the early 1980s how CIA people would come to energy conferences that were held in Moscow. It was also the CIA that warned Europe of depending on Soviet oil pipelines. We thought differently at that time. Pincas Jawetz even had an article in the Wall Street Journal saying that the Soviets could always interfere with shipments of oil from the Middle East, but would never shoot themselves in the foot by losing direct business they establish with the west. We were right – the Soviets never did anything that is similar to what the Russians did in the last year – to stop the flow of gas. Things have changed and the rationale of   State Government leaders has changed with the demise of the Soviet Union, and the enlargement of the EU. The target this year were the satellite states rather then the EU, but then, Moscow thinks that it must wrestle the remaining two main satellites – Belarus and Ukraine – from getting too close to the EU – and everything is now open for reinterpretation. China needs gas and oil also and pipelies can go east as well as west. Intelligence is needed to gather information on future business dealings, and on future strikes on finding reserves and on policy moves as well.

Will this lead also to information gathering on questions of renewablwe energy production? Possible deals like large solar and wind plans for the Sahara desert, or biofuels in Africa? Is this what the US CIA has now in mind by taking Brazil to the Caribbean? Will there be studies on food versus fuel production issues? Will Europe do deals for swaps of food for fuel? Is genetic engineering of biofuel production in the cards? is this why the nice lady from Bayer Crop Science was doing this week watching closely what was going on at CSD15?

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