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US Republicans call IEA an ‘energy transition cheerleader’

US senator John Barrasso and Republican colleagues have said the IEA ' has been undermining energy security by discouraging sufficient investment in energy supplies' Reuters
US senator John Barrasso and Republican colleagues have said the IEA 'has been undermining energy security by discouraging sufficient investment in energy supplies'
  • IEA ‘undermining energy security’
  • US world’s largest oil producer
  • IEA received $22m in 2022

Members of the US Republican Party have hit out at the International Energy Agency, criticising its latest forecasts and accusing it of becoming an “energy transition cheerleader”.

Leaders from the Republicans, who hold the majority in the Congress, have opened a joint probe into the Paris-based watchdog this week, accusing the agency of straying from its core mission of promoting energy security.

They said, in a strongly worded letter sent to the agency’s executive director Fatih Birol, that the International Energy Agency (IEA) “no longer provides policymakers with balanced assessments of energy and climate proposals”.



“In recent years, the IEA has been undermining energy security by discouraging sufficient investment in energy supplies- specifically, oil, natural gas and coal,” the lawmakers wrote.

The letter adds to attacks from Opec and its leader Saudi Arabia over the long-term crude demand outlooks and policy recommendations for investments in hydrocarbon projects. 

According to Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee ranking member John Barrasso and House Energy and Commerce Committee chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the IEA’s “energy modelling no longer provides policymakers with balanced assessments of energy and climate proposals.”

IEA earlier this month forecasted much lower global oil demand growth than Opec and other bodies.

The watchdog predicts that oil demand may peak as early as in 2030, which Saudi Arabia contests.

Saudi Aramco’s chief executive Amin Nasser told the CERAWeek conference on Monday in Houston that “we should abandon the fantasy of phasing out oil and gas.”

The IEA represents industrialised countries. It was founded 50 years ago in response to the 1973 oil embargo, and oil security remains a central aspect of its work. 

Republicans have criticised the IEA in recent years for changing direction from its primary mission and instead “building net-zero emissions energy systems to comply with internationally agreed climate goals,” the letter stated.

The US, the world’s largest oil producer, is today also the largest contributor to the IEA’s budget.

The Republican leaders also called out the IEA’s funding, expenditure and the US share of it. 

The institution received $22 million annual funding from members in 2022 to accelerate the global transition to net zero emissions.

“It has been widely reported that the IEA recommends the immediate halt of all new investment in oil and natural gas production,” said House Republicans.

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