Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Norway Turns Against Statoil

It's the state oil company, which generates about a quarter of national income.

Still, the far-left Norwegian population has turned against the company. You know, it's all about the environment to leftists. Too bad we can't ship all of ours to Scandinavia.

At the New York Times, "Norwegians Turn Ambivalent on Statoil, Their Economic Bedrock":
OSLO — This has not been a particularly good year for Statoil, the huge state-controlled oil company that has had a commanding presence in Norway’s economy and society for more than four decades.

In the spring, Statoil cut 1,000 jobs, or 4 percent of its work force. In September, it postponed a much-criticized project in the Canadian tar sands for at least three years. On Oct. 29, reflecting collapsing oil prices and a steep tumble of its stock, it reported its first quarterly loss since 2001. And in November, it announced disappointing results from the year’s program of drilling for new oil and gas in the Norwegian Arctic.

But it is not just the vicissitudes of oil markets and exploratory wells that are causing difficulties for Statoil. In an era of climate change, the company — and by extension Norway’s entire oil and gas industry, which accounts for nearly a quarter of the country’s gross domestic product and contributes to greenhouse gas emissions worldwide — is coming under increasing pressure from within its own borders.

The activism goes beyond conventional environmental concerns to issues of the company’s pervasive presence in Norwegian life.

At the University of Bergen and other schools, for instance, professors and students have protested Statoil’s financing of academic research, worth about $12 million annually. And musicians and artists have campaigned against the company’s widespread sponsorship of cultural events and organizations, which has included cash awards to performers whom Statoil calls “Heroes of Tomorrow.”

“Basically, you’re a billboard for an oil company,” Martin Hagfors, a musician, said in an interview in his studio in Oslo’s lively Gronland district. “And if you have any sense that we need to change direction, you can’t be a billboard for an oil company.”

The tensions are playing out in Parliament, too. In June, majority and opposition parties pressured Statoil to agree to provide electricity to several North Sea oil fields from land, using clean hydroelectricity delivered by cable rather than greenhouse-gas-emitting gas generators offshore.

“There’s a growing concern that Norway is basing its welfare to such a large extent on something that is increasing global warming,” said Rasmus Hansson, who last year became the first member of the Green Party to be elected to Parliament. “It’s a moral issue.”

Statoil, which was concerned about costs and delays, fought back, and a compromise was eventually reached that will cut emissions by up to 23 million tons of carbon dioxide over the lifetime of the fields. The episode was seen as a milestone for Parliament, which normally rubber-stamps most Statoil projects.

“It was a very important thing to do at the time we did it,” said Terje Aasland, a member of Parliament with the Labor Party, the largest opposition party.

“Climate change is coming closer and closer every day,” he added. “I think people are more concerned about the future.”
A bunch of blithering idiots. The climate change consensus has completely collapsed, but these Norwegian socialists are still lapping up the global warming Kool-Aid.

It's not going to be good for the country's long-term prosperity, but leftists never learn.