Owen Jones’ latest mind burbling is that if only we nationalised the oil companies then climate change would be solved. Because wise government would be able to direct activities to the result that we don’t boil Flipper in the vapour of that last remaining ice floe. A contention to which the correct answer is you what you dribbling idiot?
Or, to be less flagrantly objectionable about it, anyone ever told Owen that it is state owned oil companies which pump the most oil? Like, say, Saudi Aramco?
The Saudi Aramco which is to be partially privatised. The implication of what Owen’s saying here being that privatisation will immediately turn that currently non-emittive corporation into a emittive one. Or summat:
So long as these sectors remain in private hands, they will continue to place short-term profit for elite investors ahead of the future of the planet and continued existence of humanity. They must be brought under public ownership, with a legal mandate to “green” the economy. One suggestion by the Next System Project is that the US government could create a community ownership of power administration, modelled on Roosevelt-era New Deal agencies. It would grant legal authority and funding mechanisms to buy back the energy grid and take over energy utilities.
But there are more radical solutions. Since the crash, quantitative easing (QE) has been used extensively, with central banks creating money to buy bonds from financial institutions. Why not use QE to buy a controlling stake in the fossil fuel companies? It has been estimated that the US has spent nearly $6tn on its post-9/11 wars. If it has the resources to engage in catastrophic wars, could it not afford to pay a small fraction of that sum to help save the planet from destruction? The same goes for the banks – except rather than nationalising the risks and privatising the profit, as the state did in 2008, they should this time be brought under democratic, accountable public control.
These proposals will undoubtedly be dismissed as extreme,
No, they’re not extreme, they’re idiocy. Consider this list of oil companies with their revenue:
Saudi Aramco 465.49
Sinopec Group 448.00
China National Petroleum Corporation 428.62
Exxon Mobil 268.9
Royal Dutch Shell 265
Kuwait Petroleum Corporation 251.94
Total SA 212
Valero Energy 130.84
Chevron Corporation 129.9
National Iranian Oil Company 110.00**
Phillips 66 102.35
China National Offshore Oil 98.53
We can argue a bit about some of them – Gazprom is quoted but anyone think it’s really not part of the Russian state? ENI and Italy? 9 – at least – of the top 19 are state owned. So, nationalising the ones that aren’t state owned will stop the oil pumping will it?