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From: Douglas Grandt answerthecall@mac.

Subject:#5 of sixteen questions you must ask oil & gas.
Date:April 12, 2019 at 7:07 PM
To:John Crowther (Senate ENR-R), Brian Hughes (Senate ENR-R), Melissa Enriquez (Senate ENR-R)
Cc: Senator Bernie Sanders, Katie Thomas (Sen.Sanders)

Dear Senator Murkowski,


As Chairman of the Senate Energy

and Natural Resources Committee
this is #5 of sixteen questions that
you must ask the oil & gas industry
Doug Grandt
Putney, VT

Oil companies and their governments admittedly "want

their cake and eat it, too.” Even US is denying the end.
Oil-wealthy Norway faces a political
crossroads as climate concerns grow
Norway's sovereign wealth fund grew to $1 trillion with oil.
Now, times are changing

Arts Technica / MEGAN GEUSS / 4/8/2019, 2:00 PM /

On Saturday, the leader of Norway's Labor Party said the party would stop pushing for oil
exploration in the country's ecologically sensitive Lofoten Islands, according to
Bloomberg. Norway is a major oil producer, pumping more than 1.6 million barrels of oil
per day from its oil-rich offshore areas.

Permission to conduct exploration missions in the waters off the Arctic Lofoten Islands
has been at the top of the wish list for Norway's powerful oil industry. The waters have
been estimated to contain a reserve of one billion to three billion barrels of oil, and state-
owned oil company Equinor has said that exploiting Lofoten is key to maintaining
Norway's status as an oil powerhouse in the future.

Norway is particularly invested in oil. The country maintains one of the largest sovereign
wealth funds in the world, built on the profits of the state's oil industry. The so-called
Government Pension Fund has assets worth more than $1 trillion.

Thus far, Norway's parties have held Lofoten exploration at bay by using it as a
bargaining chip in political negotiations. But with the sizable Labor Party's official
opposition to exploration, oil companies see almost no future in Lofoten exploration.

Bloomberg notes that the Labor Party's move also "adds uncertainty about how much
support the [oil] industry can expect from Norwegian politicians in the future." The oil
industry in Norway worries that if the Labor party gains more power, oil might face gas
taxes or lose certain tax refunds for exploration activity.

The Saturday announcement was not universally supported by every backer of the Labor
Party; the oil industry workers' union, known as Industry Energy, criticized Labor's move.

Permission to invest
As the oil industry has faced burgeoning opposition at home, government has made it
easier for managers of Norway's Government Pension Fund to invest in renewable
projects. Norway's Minister of Finance announced on Friday that it would permit the fund
to invest up to NOK 120 billion (USD $12.9 billion) in unlisted renewable projects, that is,
projects carried out by companies not listed on a stock exchange. That number reflects a
doubling of the Government Pension Fund's previous limit of NOK 60 billion.
"The market for renewable energy is growing rapidly," a Norwegian government press
release read. "A major part of the renewable energy investment opportunities is found in
the unlisted market, especially in unlisted infrastructure projects."

However, the fund is still required to meet performance expectations, and fund managers
might not invest the full amount in renewable energy projects if they don't find projects
that are safe enough. In order to mitigate risk, the Norwegian government also proposed
an upper limit on unlisted renewable energy infrastructure investments, at two percent of
the Fund.

The bank managing these investments "stated that it will proceed with caution and start
out by considering investments with partners in developed markets, and in projects with
relatively low operational and market risk," according to the Norwegian government.

Divesting for profit

The news follows Norway's proposal in March to divest its Government Pension Fund
from oil exploration and production companies, excluding the government's stake in
Equinor. The Minister of Finance said the move would reduce the sovereign wealth fund's
exposure to a potential drop in oil prices, and it would shield the fund from any further oil
price volatility.

Despite environmentalists heralding the news, Norway's Minister of Finance stressed that
divestment was not a reflection of Norway's wavering dedication to oil but a purely
financial move that would take place over a very gradual period of time. "The oil industry
will be an important and major industry in Norway for many years to come," a press
release from the country stated. "The state’s revenues from the continental shelf are, as a
general rule, a consequence of the profitability of exploration and production activities.
Therefore this measure is about diversification."