US en­ergy chief lauds China’s trans­parency

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By MICHAEL BARRIS in New York michael­bar­ris@chi­nadai­lyusa.com

China’s prom­ise to in­crease its en­ergy-mar­ket trans­parency by pub­lish­ing more com­plete en­ergy data is a move “in the right di­rec­tion”, US Sec­re­tary of En­ergy Ernest Moniz said.

China, which sur­passed the US in Septem­ber to be­come the world’s largest oil im­porter, is now “a huge player in the oil mar­kets”, Moniz told re­porters on the side­lines of the Platts Global En­ergy Out­look Fo­rum in Man­hat­tan. He re­peated Vice-Pres­i­dent Joe Bi­den’s state­ment last week that the Asian na­tion’s com­mit­ment to de­velop the ca­pac­ity to pub­lish more com­plete pub­lic en­ergy sta­tis­tics more fre­quently would help the func­tion­ing of global en­ergy mar­kets and re­duce price vo­latil­ity.

The White House said last week that Bi­den and Chi­nese of­fi­cials agreed to ex­pand co­op­er­a­tion on en­ergy-data trans­parency dur­ing Bi­den’s visit with Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping.

The US has of­fered China “tech­ni­cal as­sis­tance” to set up a datadis­sem­i­na­tion agency mod­eled af­ter the US En­ergy In­for­ma­tion Ad­min­is­tra­tion (EIA), Moniz said.

The EIA, part of the US Depart­ment of En­ergy, dis­perses data, anal­y­ses, prod­ucts and re­ports on coal, petroleum, nat­u­ral gas, elec­tric, re­new­able and nu­clear en­ergy. Es­tab­lished in 1977 in the wake of the US en­ergy cri­sis, it seeks to “pro­mote sound pol­i­cy­mak­ing, ef­fi­cient mar­kets, and pub­lic un­der­stand­ing of en­ergy and its in­ter­ac­tion with the econ­omy and the en­vi­ron­ment”, ac­cord­ing to the agency’s web­site.

Lu­cian Pugliaresi, pres­i­dent of the Wash­ing­ton-based En­ergy Pol­icy Re­search Foun­da­tion, a non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tion that pro­duces re­ports on oil and gas de­vel­op­ments, called China’s stated com­mit­ment to ex­pand en­ergy-data trans­parency a “good idea”.

“When we look at China data we are of­ten con­fused as to what’s hap­pen­ing,” Pugliaresi said dur­ing a panel dis­cus­sion on ad­vanced en­ergy and in­vest­ing in the fu­ture. “We get a lot of in­ac­cu­rate sig­nals about long-term growth, par­tic­u­larly in petroleum,” he said. “So I ap­plaud this ef­fort.”

His fel­low pan­elist, Wal van Lierop, CEO of Chrysalix En­ergy Ven­ture Cap­i­tal, based in Van­cou­ver, Bri­tish Columbia, said health hazards re­lated to China’s se­vere air-pol­lu­tion ne­ces­si­tate hav­ing an ac­cu­rate sta­tis­ti­cal pic­ture of the coun­try’s en­ergy use, par­tic­u­larly since China is the world’s big­gest source of cli­mate-chang­ing carbon emis­sions. “They need it be­cause of the daily health prob­lems,” van Lierop told the fo­rum. “We need to be tapped into what they are do­ing, be­cause, boy, will they drive change rapidly. And they have to change.”

MICHAEL BARRIS / CHINA DAILY

US En­ergy Sec­re­tary Ernest Moniz speaks at a news brief­ing on the side­lines of the Platts Global En­ergy Out­look Fo­rum in Man­hat­tan.

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