Thursday, February 09, 2006

G8 Looks At One Of Their Members In Fear

Should the G8 become the G7 again? It seems that way, given that their finance ministers will be looking at energy security when they meet in Moscow next week. Between Iranian oil and Russian natural gas, the Europeans are concerned:
Higher oil prices have increased oil protectionism, analysts said.

"There was an assumption in the past that high prices would lead to increased investment and more oil," said Antoine Halff.

"But high prices have instead fostered resources nationalism, and there has been a drive by countries not to open up to investment, but instead to preserve resources and claim a higher share of revenue."

So, how's that work, again? Is the EU getting nervous? Oh, my, yes:
The European Union and the United States should cooperate more closely on energy issues, the president of the EU executive Commission said on Thursday.

"In today's world, if the energy security of either one of us is impaired, it affects the other. I believe this situation calls for a transformation in our cooperation on energy issues," Jose Manuel Barroso said in a speech at Washington's Georgetown University where he was receiving an honorary degree.

"Just as it is ridiculous to have 25 separate energy policies in the European Union, so it would fly in the face of common sense for the transatlantic partnership to pull in different directions in this critical area," Barroso said, according to excerpts of his speech released in Brussels.

The Russians have done themselves no favors by baring their teeth at the rest of Europe, shutting off gas, if indirectly, to their Western customers, and before that with the Yukos fiasco. It's fairly clear now that the G8 has one member too many, one that nobody else trusts anymore.