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Saudi energy minister: don’t keep it in the ground

Saudi Arabia's Energy Minister Khalid A. Al-Falih says the idea that oil companies face "stranded assets" as the world moves toward green energy is dangerous. He praised the growth of renewables and electric cars, but noted growing global oil demand driven by Asia and warned of underinvestment in global supply.

"Misguided projections of peak demand and stranded petroleum resources may discourage the trillions of dollars of investments needed to underpin essential oil and gas supplies during the long transformation of our global energy [mix]." — Al-Falih at CERA Week conference in Houston

Underinvestment, he said, would "amount to nothing less than compromising the world's energy security by squandering staggering quantities of our planet's natural energy endowment." Damaging price spikes would follow.

Why it matters: The powerful oil kingdom is pushing back against climate change activists who have rallied around the term "keep it in the ground"—the "it" being fossil fuels—to describe the need to avoid runaway climate change.