Refinery column

碳税正当时

发自华盛顿特区——在过去的几十年间,油价的大幅波动——高的时候140美元/桶,低的时候不过10美元——对生产者和消费者都构成了挑战。然而对政策制定者来说,这些波动提供了一个机会——这在去年9月通过的可持续发展目标以及12月在巴黎达成的气候协议上有所体现——去实现延缓气候变化和建设更可持续的经济的全球核心政策目标。

近期石油价格的波动类似于微观经济理论中的经典蛛网模型。高油价会刺激石油投资。但是由于勘探和开采之间的间隔较长,在新产能实际投产的时候其他产品的替代效应已经发生,而需求往往也无法证明现有供给量的合理性。在这个节点上油价开始回落,对此的勘探和投资,包括石油替代品的产量也随之下降。一旦重新出现短缺,价格开始再度上涨,如此循环往复。

这一周期依然会持续存在,虽然其他因素——例如可再生能源成本的不断下降以及向低能源密集度生产流程的转变——意味着它可能会较窄范围内运行。在任何情况下,价格上涨都是必然的。

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