By Vijay Jayaraj
Climate activists’ ill-founded opposition to fossil fuels threatens to stop a major pipeline project in East Africa and stymie economic growth in Uganda and Tanzania — home to some of the world’s poorest people.
Uganda is betting big on its fossil fuel reserves. In February, China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) and France’s TotalEnergies agreed to invest $10 billion to develop two Ugandan oil reserves. But the landlocked country needs the East African Crude Oil Pipeline project (EACOP) to transport its product to a port in Tanzania.
The 895-mile-long pipeline from Uganda’s Lake Alberta region to the seaport of Tanga will be the longest electrically heated crude oil pipeline in the world and will carry 216,000 barrels per day. The project received a green light for construction after the completion of an Environment and Social Impact Assessment.
The Africa Report says that the investment will be huge: “(A)bout $10 billion will be invested in the sector (oil and gas) before first oil is produced in 2025, mainly on the pipeline, refinery, and infrastructure. The government has been commissioning road construction in the region where oil will be produced, in Buliisa and Hoima districts, and an airport is also being constructed in the region.” The project is expected to generate around 10,000 jobs even after the construction phase.
The Government of Uganda expects massive employment of its citizens during construction: “This will be through direct employment of about 14,000 people by the companies, indirect employment of about 45,000 people by the contractors, and induced employment of about 105,000 people as a result of utilization of other services by the oil and gas sector. Of the direct employment, 57 percent are expected to be Ugandans, which is expected to result in an estimated $48.5 million annual payment to Ugandan employees.”
However, the global war against fossil fuel has now reached Ugandan soil and extremists are determined to stop this lifesaving, economically critical project.
Vanessa Nakate of StopEACOP rants against the pipeline in a recent column in the New York Times, saying the project would bring poverty and destruction to the people of Africa. She also references extreme weather in implying the pipeline will worsen the climate.
During a visit to the ultra-rich Vatican, Vanessa says: “It is evident that there is no future in the fossil fuel industry…. we know the impacts on our food. We know the impacts on our water. We know the impacts on our livelihood…… the climate crisis is already affecting so many people not only in Uganda, but the African continent.”
But her reasons for opposing the pipeline are scientifically inaccurate and logically senseless.
She points to a forecast by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that predicts African droughts. But IPCC, by its own admission, has indicated that extreme weather events have no significant correlation with rising global average temperatures. Neither has there been any significant increase in the frequency of extreme cyclones, droughts, rainfall, and fires. Even if droughts and cyclones were to increase, a better socio-economic condition would enable people to adapt more effectively.
Contrary to Vanessa’s hyperbole, the world is experiencing near optimum temperatures for global food production and the advancement of human society, much as it did 1,000 years ago during the Medieval Warm Period and 2,000 years ago during the Roman Warm Period. Globally, we now have better access to clean water, better access to nutritious food, people with higher income, and a very rapid increase in life expectancy rates. How are we in a crisis if climate is aiding the improvement of every metric used to measure the quality of people’s lives?
It is shocking how Vanessa ignores the plight of millions of her own people dwelling in persistent poverty and in need of affordable, dependable energy sources like coal, oil, and gas. It is less shocking if we understand the DNA of climate extremists, which has them deny the reality of energy needs and promote unreliable, primitive, and expensive wind turbines that even economic giants like Germany and the U.S. hesitate to adopt completely.
Climate extremists like Vanessa are fostering the continuation of abject poverty in Africa — a continent with the lowest level of electrification and highest rates of poverty in the world. Vanessa claims that the pipeline is another colonial project subjecting Africans to slavery. But, it is Vanessa and her ilk who are the colonialists and would-be slave masters.
Vijay Jayaraj is a Research Associate at the CO2 Coalition, Arlington, Va., and holds a Master’s degree in environmental sciences from the University of East Anglia, England. He resides in Bengaluru, India.
This article was first published on April 28, 2022 at RealClear Energy.
Greens want to keep people in mud huts, burning dung.
Which was patently evident a few years ago when that village in India rioted against the solar panels that Greenpeace magnanimously provided to them.
The ungrateful villagers had the audacity to claim that they needed “PROPER ELECTRICITY”, not the rationed, daylight hours only trickle.
The gall of these people!
What a f’n liberty!
Nothing new. The eco-left has been working to keep the third world poor and dependent for generations now, just like they think it’s supposed to be.
Business as usual. The New-Vatican-at-Harvard routinely turns fairly nice places into slums, ruins and hellholes. Both nearby (former fourth largest city in USA) and anywhere a revolutionary puppet can be found. Cairo, for example.
Why would they let places already as nasty as Detroit became (or worse) to raise above that level? Keeping them down sounds easier than letting them raise, then trying to detroitify them back later.
That Vanessa is a scientific idiot – does she want those local people to continue to live in dung-burning mud huts? I bet she doesn’t live there!
This country should be candidate to hold the first Climate Change POLICY Crimes Against Humanity trials.
Jury selection from the poorest of the poor.
Reprise the chase from The Naked Prey (1965) starring Cornel Wilde as their justice.
Vanessa Nakate is educated, wealthy and well-connected as an international activist. Presumably she has no qualms about stopping the rest of her people from having the same opportunities that she enjoys.
We must determine who pays Vanessa to keep oil from being developed/produced. Chances are you’ll find its the Rockefeller Foundation or similar groups who want to keep oil prices high.
Stopping the oil development and pipeline is a crime against impoverished Ugandans.
Leftards always create misery, starvation and death. It is all they have.
It is past time for smug, arrogant no nothing westerners to stop interfering with African affairs. I see Vanessa as nothing but a punk. Having said that I must also say the Chinese Communist government is also a punk. However what I would like to see happen is for the Chinese to be put in charge of the pipeline and for Vanessa to go down to Africa and stop the Chinese. She would get an immediate and thorough lesson in how socialist, command economies truly work.
What did the punks ever did to you?
Lake Albert, not Alberta. I did some Wikipedia work in the region.
Did a bit of research on this before commenting. I think this guest post ‘green opposition’ premise is largely wrong. It isn’t green protestors like Vanessa holding things up, it is basic economics.
The two Uganda lower value heavy oil fields were discovered over 12 years ago (explains why an African pipeline must be heated). They cannot be commercialized without the pipeline to port to market. That took 5 years to negotiate between Uganda and Tanzania. But its estimated cost per barrel transported over field life adds $12.50 (implying these are not big fields). At a time just a year ago when light sweet crude was under $40/bbl, the whole thing simply did not work economically.
Maybe now it will eventually get done despite Vanessa and her ilk, thanks to Biden and Putin foolishness. Biden made war on US fossil fuels, Putin made war on Ukraine and got his oil exports sanctioned.
The way things are going, Africa may overtake the West in productivity & quality of life- not because
they worked very hard to do it but because we destroyed what we once had. 😮
Can be done. Alberta- Canada has been doing it for many many years. No problem.
Is it economically feasible to refine the heavy crude close to the oilfields and ship finished products via pipeline?
Usually not unless the fields are real big.
Hasn’t stopped the Albertan oil sands.
True, but they are REAL big, unlike Uganda.
That’s interesting, Mr. Istvan. Wouldn’t it be nice if economics were the main driver of decision-making today, instead of the preachings of committed idealogues and the politicians they’ve purchased?
Better to transport all that oil by donkey. They’re fueled by renewables (plants), biologically heated, and can be converted into material for other uses like fertilizer. They emit methane though. Much safer than transporting oil in a pipeline. Donkeys never spill or have accidents, right?
I nominate AOC.
Vanessa Nakate is most likely being paid by US or European billionaires, so, like them she does not care about the people of Africa.
Similar how activists in Alberta, interfering with oilsands and pipelines, have financial backers in Russia.
The Allan report shows most of the money to disrupt Alberta’s oil sands is from the USA.
The obnoxious eco-missionary Vanessa Nakate needs Africa to remain poor and under-developed. This gives the likes of her and her New York friends a prop, against which they can style themselves as a white saviour. This is the only role that traditional westerners see Africa as ever having.
Actual development and elevation from poverty, such as happened in China (that’s why the west hates China so much – why couldn’t they stay in their place??) happening in Africa would be a disorienting nightmare for Vanessa and her ilk.
Oddly enough she was photoshopped out of the photo’s of a group of young women activists some years ago (which also included Greta) all of whom, apart from Vanessa, were obviously of European descent.
The ignorance of these eco-loons is amazing . Africa’s population has increased by over 1 billion people since 1970, from 363 million in 1970 to 1400 million today.
Clearly there’s no problems with the climate and their life expectancy has increased from 46 years in 1970 to 63 years in 2022. Look up the data for yourselves.
The developers of these resources should just issue a statement that all oil will only be used for making plastics needed in the manufacture of medical supplies & equipment.
That’s not a lie.
(maybe it is a bit of bullshit, but these days, that’s de rigeur in climate politics)
We only just dodged that one 🙂
well, so far he missed that one by 22 years & counting, maybe Peter James
can do better the next time
I know they are full of sh!t anyway, but what is the rationale for all these various eco-doom predictions to say we have until (insert date 10 years or so in future here).
It seems like somekind of scientist is involved, so one would naturally assume some calculations are done – so where do they all get the idea that we have 10 or so years to economically euthanize ourselves?
Snopes has a particularly fine example of backpedalling and pretzel-twisting logic to explain this piece – worth taking a look just for the amusement factor.
The Western woke campaign of subversion of education to prepare children to serve the Globalist néomarxiste plan for us all, has reached further than I had thought. Vanessa is a business grad in her twenties in Uganda. Like Greta, she didn’t arrive at her convictions on ‘climate crisis’ through deep study of climate science and observation. She was indoctrinated by the education system.
What is most outrageous is this is a young intelligent person
whose country needs talented people to help advance their efforts toward prosperity, not be an opponent of it, not be an empty-headed agent of an evil cabal from former colonial powers. What the totalitarian murderous Idi Amin did to his people might not be worse than what the despotic global elites with their climate change false front have in mind. Amin lasted 8yrs, the would-be new despots have forever as their timeline.
It is really sad when educated people fall for the stupidity of climate change emergency.
I feel even worse when I hear fellow engineers talking about agw as though it were really true – of course while still buying over-powered vehicles (gas or electric), other toys, flying in planes, etc. all the things against the Umpteen Commandments of the Climate Church.
So, they don’t really buy it. Doublethink at most.
The Lumberjack Song
Is that the trans lobby’s new promo tune?
It’s incredible and disheartening to see how easy it is for her to lie about the situation.
Practice. Lots of practice.
Devils Avocado incoming:
Quote from the wiki:”Uganda has proven crude oil reserves of 6.5 billion barrels, about 2.2 billion of which is recoverable.
iow:Well less than one month’s worth of global oil demand/consumption
And that is going to solve Uganda’s problems, that is going to:
‘Set up Uganda for the rest of it’s life‘
Who Are You Kidding.
and thro an electrically heated pipeline?
All that oil is gonna finish up pushing cars in the west around and whatever financial proceeds do trickle back into Uganda will only power corruption and, in all probability, set off civil war
Maybe that woman isn’t a ‘climate’ activist at all
I smell desperation and see panic setting in about the prospect of someone’s continued supply of oil coming to an end.
I see and hear people lying about their Good Intentions and High Ideals while saying: “Stuff you Uganda” for the sake of 30 days supply of oil
While that crappy little pipe moves maybe 100 million barrels per year and the ‘Employees of Uganda‘ get $48.5 Million per year
Your kindness and generosity are off the scale – while you cheerfully blow $1.25 Billion on electricity just to move that sludge out of the country
The best answer to that would be that it is better for that money to be invested and spent in the country than to have them in poverty.
If wind and solar are truly the cheapest energy than they’ll probably use those to heat the pipeline.
Doesn’t matter what the current surveys say about how much oil is there and how much is recoverable – always more oil is eventually pulled out and other fields are found.
They should have just said that the pipeline will be for transporting ‘green hydrogen’ when it becomes economically viable…
Great article, thank you.
You are welcome.
she might get “sorted out” if the EU and buddies keep cutting their nose to spite face re Russian oil/gas etc betch a nice helpful nation magically appears to help smooth the way and provide some mercenaries to protect it as well
piddling small volume regardless, the african people wont see much/if any of it
Why “colonialists”? Do they try to settle in Africa and eventually secede from their masters in Washington & California?
It’s the new colonialism, Greenie style.
“climate activist”; without them, we would not have a climate…
Vanessa Nakate is green. She is 25 and lacks life experience and discernment. She is being used by people sitting in their plush air conditioned offices and heated homes in Western countries who have never spent a decent amount of time in any African country if any at all.
It angers me that these Westerners want to impose their failed solutions on probably the poorest continent with over 1.2 billion people. It is not colonialism or racism that most fills me with shame but what whites from various countries have done in Africa since Ghana’s independence in 1957.
Nothing in the West has done more to harm the promotion of individual responsibilty than the nanny state and yet they have encouraged African countries to emulate them. This has led to many times the amount given in aid squandered through fraud, mismanagement and incompetence. Sadly some of the most competent and honest black people have been treated like dirt by other black people. As Europeans we have certainly not been good role models.
In Africa, western elites have historically amplified the tribal animosities for personal gain. By encouraging corruption and the outright theft of natural resources.