Publications: Notes at the Margin

Leave No One Behind (November 23, 2020)


Those enlisting in the US Army learn the Soldier's Creed. A key line reads, "I will never leave a fallen comrade." This observation may seem unrelated to oil prices, energy prices, energy demand, or anything to do with our research.


It is not. It has everything to do with the intermediate and long-term outlook for oil. As will become apparent, the election in the United States and recent news from China expose a vulnerability for energy markets over the next decade: global oil consumption in 2030 could be twenty, thirty, or even forty percent below projections. This collapse may occur because many countries, including the United States and those in the European Union, have not followed the Soldier's Creed.


Billions of people have been left behind. These "left-behinds," who Hillary Clinton once called "deplorables," are exacting their revenge on the global economy. They are winning in US politics. Detailed results from the elections, as well as the likely split in the US Senate, support the view that the losers are winning even while many celebrate Donald Trump's defeat. The United States is not alone in this. The losers are winning in many other countries. The consequence will be sluggish economic growth, if not a further global recession. Fossil fuels will be shoved to the sidelines.


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