“The art of simplicity is a puzzle of complexity.” – Douglas Horton
In August, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz led a delegation of senior political and business leaders on a trip to Canada. Desperate for every joule of primary energy he could get his hands on, Scholz’s primary mission was to beg Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to consider fast-tracking the approval of new liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facilities along Canada’s Atlantic Coast, something Trudeau has consistently been loath to consider.
Despite historic spreads between the price of natural gas in North America and the rest of the world, the drama-teacher-turned-cosplay-Prime-Minister professed to be unable to find a compelling business case for the proposal (although he did leave the door open for further consideration). In Trudeau’s fossil fuel-free vision of the future, such multi-billion-dollar investments will be obsolete before they could generate an economic return. How embarrassing it must have been for members of the European elite to submit themselves to the whims of the ultimate “legacy” admission to the political arena.
Instead, the two countries entered into a bizarre agreement to develop a “transatlantic hydrogen supply chain” (emphasis added throughout):
“Canada and Germany say a new hydrogen pact will kick-start a transatlantic hydrogen supply chain, with the first deliveries expected in just three years. Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson and German Vice-Chancellor Robert Habeck signed the deal on Tuesday in the port town of Stephenville, N.L., where they attended a hydrogen trade show along with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
The five-page agreement is a ‘declaration of intent’ to create a hydrogen alliance between the two countries. ‘The world is going to need energy in the coming decades,’ Trudeau said. ‘It also is going to need to make sure that that energy is net-zero.’”
We were a little dumbfounded when saw these headlines. Surely, this must be a joke? Alas, like much of what emanates from the current slate of Western leaders, the two countries appear to be as serious in intent as they are unserious in understanding. While we could write an entire piece demonstrating why this effort is destined to be just another multi-billion-dollar boondoggle, we’ll dispatch with those particulars rather quickly and, instead, propose a practical yet superior alternative for Germany. Let’s dig in.