Resource pressure is a constant.
While the US continues to engage in a delusional energy “debate” about whether we will continue to burn coal and whether natural gas is a panacea, China is struggling to acquire and deploy of energy resources to support its economic growth targets.
China has an environment versus growth problem. Already China is the #1 importer of oil in the world. That‘s right. China imports more oil than the United States.
The US can hold its energy consumption below GDP growth through increased energy efficiency (technological improvements) and because our economy is more “services based” than China’s.
China on the other hand has to continue to consume more energy, particularly oil. The emerging and growing middle class there wants to buy cars, as is typical when annual GDP per capital hits $10,000-20,000 per year. With 4X the population of the US, if China approaches even 50% of the US’s car ownership rates, it will have TWICE as many cars in nominal terms.
Consider the following data point: China is adding one million new cars to its expanding road and highway network every single month.
This kind of growth will strains China’s energy and water supplies. Whenever the gap between demand and supply is enormous, literal fortunes can be made.
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