economy without oil

© 2021 Guardian News & Media Limited or its affiliated companies. Look at Norway. Its carbon footprint is tiny. And it's like there's almost a reluctance or an embarrassment or an unwillingness to look at our resource potential truly as a strategic asset for Canada. The Economic Effects of a World Without Oil. In 2017, Texas grossed more than $264.5 billion a year in exports—more than … And depending on how you slice and dice it, it's order of magnitude about 10 per cent of our total economy. March 15, 2020. in Business. You can't see it. But the economics of more, together with a rapidly rising population, have created problems unforeseen at the time of James Watt’s steam engine. The fossil fuel age will end either when there are newer, better and cleaner ways of providing energy, or when it is too late to prevent irreparable damage to the planet. The first is to make people pay for the consequences of burning fossil fuels, and that’s a carbon tax. Yet, the picture we are confronted with is different: demand for fossil fuels keeps growing. However that unfolds, there's an offsetting asset. And just given the breadth of your experience, I thought it would probably be of benefit to the listeners if you could take just a minute and talk a bit about Canada's natural gas and oil industry in terms of its size and its actual impact on Canada's economy. There are not many votes to be won these days by promising to increase foreign aid, but taxpayers in the west have to realise that poor countries with copious reserves of fossil fuels are going to exploit them, and that one way of mitigating the impact is to transfer to them the latest technology. We need more Barcelonas and fewer Atlantas, because that will encourage us to change the way we live: walking more, using public transport more, sharing cars, cycling. Tracy: Well, Mac, when we're talking about investment in the industry, then, why is it so important that we turn to that? The final chapters of The Bone Clocks, David Mitchell’s 2014 novel, describe a future in which progress has gone into reverse. With the world barely recovered from one global recession, policymakers are now concerned about another. The bad news is that renewables will still only meet around 20% of energy demand by 2035, even using optimistic assumptions about future growth rates. Some places remained off limits. We can't really see it anywhere else in the world. The lessons from the anti-apartheid and debt-relief campaigns is that divestment can be used to put pressure on governments to act. Oil Sands Question and Response (OSQAR) is a blog created by Suncor Energy to support constructive dialogue about the oil sands. Mac: Well, one of the things that I just want to emphasize is that what I have found in my discussions with people, one point of understanding that kind of separates people in terms of their strategies and their policies, is this issue of how long it's going to take for the industry to go through the transition. It's our political institutions as well. : $2.13 trillion. But we have to bear in mind that -- and you create jobs because people are going out and planting trees and all the related work. After decades of relying on Moscow for oil, chemical fertilisers, pesticides and a large chunk of its food, Fidel Castro’s government faced a crisis. If you are looking for articles published before 2016, visit the archive. Context: Energy Examined aims to provide an engaging insider’s perspective for the public. Let us begin with one basic idea: 250 years of growth based on the exploitation of fossil fuels has brought real benefits. On past form, governments will be slower to act than they should be. But despite the region’s oil heavy focus, the country of Bahrain has already become their first post-oil economy. In terms of reducing the number of people living below the global poverty line of $1.25 (84p) a day, the post-cold war model of capitalism has been a success. And so, it's developing its resource and it has in a sense, you don't have the same splits within a country like Norway as you do in Canada with the regional split. But Barack Obama does not think that way, and nor does China’s president, Xi Jinping, which is why they signed a deal in November 2014 setting targets for CO2 emissions up to 2030. Tim Jackson of the University of Surrey, author of Prosperity Without Growth, says we need fewer resource-intensive activities that damage the climate, but more of the services that improve the quality of people’s lives. It is hoped that if oil prices keep rising, alternatives will be developed and this will enable a smooth transition. Today there are more than 7 billion. QOM Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh told the one-day conference on Economy Without Oil here Thursday that it is a mistake to consider oil as a source of revenue. Calorie intake fell by a third. But what's important to see about the oil and gas sector is that the economic value created relative to, in a sense, the inputs and specifically relative to labour, which gets to the whole thing about labour productivity, which is one of the key drivers for any country in determining economic growth so that the value created from the sector in economic terms, is very significant. They have invested in fossil fuel-burning power plants and built energy‑inefficient buildings in cities designed for cars. The possibilities opened up by this new wave of technology, he believes, provide hope that growth can be decarbonised over the decades to come. Well, according to Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers, economists at the University of Michigan in the US, the evidence is that wellbeing rises with income, and that the satiation point has yet to be reached, even in the richest countries. And you know, I know that, for example, our investors, 70, 80 per cent of our investors at ARC Financial are international investors. The image of Iran's economy as oil, carpets, and pistachios was always flawed, but has now become badly dated. It's multiples greater than a lot of other sectors in the economy. The average sub-Saharan African consumes the same amount of energy in a month as the average Briton does in a day. Mac: Well, I think the most important thing that Canada could do right now is apply criteria of economic value and productivity to the post-COVID recovery plan. The past three centuries of progress have been powered by coal, oil and gas. Here’s how to save the earth without giving up on growth, Wed 8 Apr 2015 01.00 EDT And tax initiatives are on the horizon.' Thank you so much for your time today. It's not negative, it's not hostile, it's not tearing it down. It does cut across the whole economy and it's a very important part of the sector. The mission could be to phase out domestic use and export of coal by a fixed date, or to set a deadline for shifting 50% of US energy consumption to renewable sources. Mac: And so, there's no question that's been a factor. • Follow the Long Read on Twitter: @gdnlongread, Your support powers our independent journalism, Available for everyone, funded by readers. I literally have come to view the industry the way it's evolved is, that it's a technology business, it's technologically driven, and it's so reliant on technology, it really, can be understood as a technology company that's focused on resource development. That’s right – the plastics used to make electronics … The future sketched out in The Bone Clocks is only fiction. And if you look at it relative to the automobile sector, automobile parts and so forth, and in southern Ontario or manufacturing, other subsectors, it is multiples greater. Even if you do so more slowly, it will still go into the atmosphere and cause climate change.” Jacobs adds that, in the past quarter of a century, when countries could have been putting in place the infrastructure for a new green economy, they have been going in the opposite direction. In addition to higher consumer spending, that also means higher demand for energy, the bulk of which comes from fossil fuels. Historical evidence shows there is a link between income and population: as people become richer, they have fewer children. › interviews › 2020 › podcast_mac-van-wielingen What do you see as the role of Canada's energy sector and of the resource sector? > … That problem is us. There is no evidence that we want fewer of them. “Free markets work.”. Saudi Arabia without oil ... off five percent of Aramco on foreign stock exchanges has gone and now PIF, the main vehicle for diversifying his economy away from oil, is … Life for the vast bulk of the population was strictly no-frills, as it had been for more than a millennium. Catastrophic climate change has become a reality. Investment in clean energy is growing at a double-digit rate. > Proved oil reserves: 560 million barrels. That's our opportunity on a global basis. Mac, you're also involved in the Real Jobs Real Recovery Task Force. The market model spread quickly to parts of the world that previously it could not touch: to China, where the reforms begun by Deng Xiaoping were accelerated; to India, where the idea that the world’s biggest democracy could go it alone was abandoned; to the Soviet Union and its former satellites, which received a strong dose of economic shock treatment. The Cuban government responded by creating urban farms: agriculture went local, small scale and – by necessity – organic. However, as a member of the European Economic Area, Norway partially participates in the EU’s single market and contributes sizably to the EU budget. There might be a little bit of an indirect link on the investment side that institutions and banks would say, 'well, Canada's really got its act together there and they have all these progressive initiatives regarding climate,' but it's minimal. ECONOMIC GROWTH AND FOSSIL FUELS Imagine agriculture without oil! It's about the same size, interestingly, as the entire banking and financial services business in Canada, which is always a surprise for people to hear. And I find that shocking. And even then, what most people are failing to appreciate is that the energy transition to decarbonize is going to occur over multiple decades and even multi-generational. And then naturally, that moves out publicly and globally. Mac founded ARC Resources and ARC Financial, which is Canada's largest energy focused private equity firm. To sign up for our newsletter you will need to temporarily disable the ad-blocker and refresh this page. All of this is important, because ultimately Helm is right. The fossil fuel companies are in business because we want the products that fossil fuels make and power. Articles range from features on key and timely industry issues, profiles of people working in Canada’s oil and gas sector and educational content designed to build industry knowledge. One option would be to skip fossil fuels entirely and move straight to renewables, especially solar energy, but Watkins says that this is too expensive for most countries to contemplate. It's not just the industry marketing. Canada’s economy has faced a double hit, from both COVID-19 and collapsing oil prices, economists note. Coal is by far the dirtiest of the fossil fuels; it needs to be phased out first, and rapidly. What is best at this time is to conceive of a economy without oil revenue and construct an economic management model based on that premise. The exploitation of fossil fuels in the developing world is only going to be reduced if financial assistance is offered. We want technical change, for example, to build new solar technologies. Tracy: Right. Unilever wants to sell more soap and deodorant. To get a better idea of how important oil is to the Canadian economy, public and private consumption, government investment and spending and foreign balance of trade (net exports) among other factors must be considered. “Delaying action is a false economy: for every $1 of investment in cleaner technology that is avoided in the power sector before 2020, an additional $4.30 would need to be spent after 2020 to compensate for the increased emissions.” Fossil fuels are not going to disappear overnight, but the phasing-out process needs to start immediately, and that process could be hastened if governments used the opportunity provided by the recent halving of global oil prices to remove the $1tn annual subsidies for fossil fuels. Within five years, the reach of the market economy had been extended to an additional 3 billion people. The oil price boom from 2003 to 2013 fueled rising prosperity in Saudi Arabia, which became the world’s 19th-largest economy. Success at the Paris conference would be easier if developing countries saw that the west was serious about providing help for climate change mitigation and adaptation. And they can stand in front of the industry and speak to those positive ESG fundamentals that you referenced and really defend the industry and put it into a proper light versus advantage seeking, in a sense, within the polarization that has been created in Canada. It's kind of -- it's right across the country. 2100, 350 7 Ave. SW One of the challenges faced by those who wish to curtail fossil fuel use is that there is no political consensus on tackling climate change. Firms have to depend on costly generators, which makes goods more expensive. The IEA also makes the point that it is time the world got its act together. The energy needs of a bigger and richer global population have risen sixfold in the past 50 years. In reality, only the deepest greens are opposed to all forms of growth. It is not just a question of supply, but also a question of demand, which is why many people now have more than one smartphone and lust after the Apple watch. Between two-thirds and four-fifths will need to be left in the ground. Life expectancy was 40 at best, the working week was long, disease was rife and diets were poor. It's really extraordinary. Gas is, of course, a fossil fuel, but it has half the emissions of coal, and we could make substantive cuts – as indeed the US has done – by making the switch. And when I talk about economics, I talk with ESG and I'm trying to encourage people to look at, to broaden the concept of ESG to E-ESG or what I sometimes describe as double 'ee'-s-g. And it's, we have to see these aspirations across those four cornerstones. More have access to healthcare and education. And then, further out, what we need are new technologies.”. Mac: Well, you know, at first, let's start marketing at home. Again leaving South Africa to one side, the average person in sub-Saharan Africa consumes the same amount of energy in a month as the average Briton does in a day, according to Kevin Watkins, director of the UK’s Overseas Development Institute. Mac: And so, I emphasize it because the question for Canada is how it's going to manage its fiscal situation to be able to ultimately not just kickstart the economy and create jobs in the short-term, but ultimately to kickstart our productivity numbers and our competitiveness more into the medium- and long-term. But the problem goes much further than figures such as Tony Abbott, the prime minister of Australia, or Nigel Lawson, the former UK chancellor of the exchequer, or about every Republican harbouring hopes of winning the nomination for the 2016 US presidential race. Content is edited by CAPP Communications; questions on editorial content may be referred to If it comes to pass, it will be because, despite all the warnings, climate change has not been taken seriously enough. Tracy: Given all the work that you've been doing, looking at strategies for recovery Mac, can you point to anything, and this might not even be a fair question, but is there something you can point to as, what's the most important thing that we need to do now to enable a strong recovery for Canada? Mac, thank you for being on the podcast today. I mean, it's not that it's not possible. The stone age did not end because of a shortage of stone. But there is going to be a lag, even on the most optimistic assumptions, before renewables can take the place of coal. “Achieving universal access and a tenfold increase in power generation will take huge domestic investments and a big international financing effort.”. It's an extremely important resource, a strategic resource for Canada and for the world. Politicians move when they know votes are at risk. But if it can be blamed on “us”, the answer is not quite so simple. It does not have to be that way. Let's talk about that. Once shareholders understand that governments are serious about climate change, they will start to look at their investment portfolios. But when you look through it all and you try to parse it out, there's also no question that adverse policy, hostile politics in Canada has really hurt the industry. There are basically three steps toward getting out of fossil fuels. So what will the world look like in 2043? But talk about why attracting investment back to Canada is so important right now. Fossil fuels are used to make and power mobile phones, tablets and laptops. Tracy: OK, so let's get right into that, then, when we're talking about Canada's economic recovery, what that could look like. And many of them have said to us, you know, 'we can't even really justify dedicating the resources to trying to figure out Canada, to understand, you know, what in fact might unfold.'. It's a competitive strategy and it's a challenging strategy that's positive for the industry. “We absolutely can have growth and protection of the climate at the same time, and in doing so we will construct a much better form of economic activity and growth in terms of clean air, less-congested cities and so on,” Stern says. Washington could then invite other nations to sign on to the same commitment. You wouldn’t be reading this blog post. Thirty years ago the UAE was one of the least developed countries of the world. Here’s How ‘Tens of thousands’ of people would be put to work immediately in high-skill jobs, say advocates. And the question for Canada is, what is our strategy in that kind of an environment of deep, potentially and most likely declining demand as we go into this transition? We are ultimately the consumers of those carbon-based products, and when we elect politicians, what’s worrying is that we’re not prepared to say: ‘Make us pay for the damage and the pollution we cause.’”. The answer is that it will be hellishly difficult, but it is just about feasible if we make the right choices – and start making them now. That message would be reinforced by putting a price on carbon. Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England, does not believe it either, which is why he went public at the 2014 annual meeting of the World Bank with his view that the “vast majority of fossil fuel reserves are unburnable” if we wish to keep the increase in global temperatures below 2C. Last modified on Wed 14 Feb 2018 13.34 EST. Atlanta and Barcelona have the same number of people and share the same per-capita incomes, but Atlanta’s carbon emissions are 10 times those of Barcelona. This is an uncomfortable thought. Most of the world has gone in a different direction. So the government is ramping up efforts to diversify the economy. And so, we do have many problems, but we're making progress. And why shouldn't Canada be an active participant in offering our products into that market long term? Tracy: When you ask that question Mac, what kind of answer do you get? Nor would there be much support for a return to the days before fridges, gas cookers, washing machines and vacuum cleaners. In part, it is because the reserves of the big western fossil fuel companies make up only a small chunk of the global total, and it is hard to see Vladimir Putin being too troubled by a divestment campaign. China currently builds a new coal-fired power station every two weeks. In order to avoid ecological suicide, they argue, we must first recognise that capitalism is an insuperable obstacle to any reduction in our fossil fuel consumption. Given the dreadful air quality in Delhi, the government led by Narendra Modi is well aware of the threat of climate change and has announced ambitious plans to increase solar power. And so, I would just end with that Tracy, and just say I appreciate this opportunity to have this conversation with you. That is going to require some tough decisions and some compromises. BP admits that, on its current projections, emissions will “remain well above the path recommended by scientists”. Mac: The oil and gas sector is Canada's largest industry sector. Governments are thinking about climate change, but they have other more immediate priorities: reducing unemployment, increasing living standards and, in the case of politicians rather than the technocrats running central banks, getting re-elected. And there's always the risk of a truly hostile policy. This is not just about carbon taxes. Enbridge Inc’s Line 3 replacement project is in the process of doubling its capacity, which will allow it to deliver about 760,000 bpd of crude from Alberta to Superior, Wisconsin, by the end … Internet coverage is patchy, food and consumer goods are scarce, and life‑saving drugs such as insulin are hard to come by. Parents expected their children to be better off than they were. That is the good news. And private sector spending, of course, is going the other way. Calgary, Alberta, Canada. And it's my opinion and people disagree with me on this, that we won't have a shift in the investment climate until we have a shift from our political leaders. In part, that is because investors will probably move slowly. Nevertheless, he is certain, “solar and wind will be two major sources th… And this unfortunate thing about, you know, the different political representation in different regions. This could be achieved in one of two ways: through a carbon tax, or through a cap-and-trade scheme. So if reducing living standards is a political non-starter and repression is spurned as a way of controlling population growth, that leaves reducing the carbon-intensity of growth. New technologies, particularly those with first‑mover advantage, tend to be profitable, and there will be incentives for pension funds and insurance companies to get their money out of the fossil fuel sector and into a sector that has massive growth potential. Unless it is, there will be little point in saying that someone in sub-Saharan Africa can get all the power he or she needs via a solar panel costing as little as $200. And with the contraction that has occurred, you can, and with ultimately, as we come out of it, you can reasonably anticipate that there's going to be a deleveraging that occurs to some extent. Would our politics be different? We do have unique problems because we have some unique assets, notably the oil sands and the tailings ponds, for example, and then we have all these abandonment liability issues, which is a policy and governance issue. Or, even for a household, putting money into the house for repairs and maintenance, those can be at least partially explained by or looked at as investments, and you've got an enhanced asset. But is there anything else that you would like to add at this point before we wrap up the podcast today? I mean, I feel like we could talk a lot longer about this. It is easy to see why governments, especially those in poorer parts of the world, want to help citizens with their energy bills. Italy. And the corporate sector is also, the debt levels are among the highest in the world. There is instead an emphasis on … And this, notwithstanding the corporate sustainability reports and the greenwashing, remains the case for even the most right-on companies. Apart from the impact on households, power shortages are holding back growth and job creation. But the collapsing cost of crude oil is the equivalent of a tax cut for energy consumers; governments could remove subsidies painlessly in the current climate. The economy of the State of Texas is the second largest by GDP in the United States after that of California.It has a gross state product of $1.887 trillion as of 2019. ... and sink with the price of oil. As things stand, the offers will fall a long way short of what the experts say is a level consistent with the 2C target – about 12bn tonnes a year, short according to Michael Jacobs. And I think we should actually, that should be part of our strategy or our climate action strategy. Andreas Wagner poetically termed the tackling of challenges related to climate change as “our generation’s moon landing”, saying that we need “enormous efforts globally to build a future beyond fossil fuels and prevent a climate change disaster”. The Islamic Republic is in the midst of a non-oil export boom -- it has the potential to remain a middle-income country even … Oil, coal and gas currently account for 86% of primary energy, and BP is forecasting only a small decrease, to 81%, by 2035. The first is that the balance of power in the workplace has tilted decisively in favour of capital over labour: with an abundance of cheap workers to choose from, employers can be mean with pay. I mean, I don't like to see political leaders, political leaders -- and I've said this many times in Ottawa --I say this all the time, actually, that, you know, what we want and need is for you to stand facing outward to the Canadian public with your back to the industry and facing outward and to kind-of speak with clarity and conviction and evidence and facts about the strengths and the achievements of our resource industries. Tracy: You know, the perception is that natural gas and oil is a Western Canada thing, and that's actually not true. And, you know, I'll tell you, Tracy, when we look around the world, that other resource developing countries and specifically energy producers around the world, we're hard pressed to find the level of polarization and hostility that exists in Canada. And so, I look at these dilemmas really through that kind of lens. America’s oil and natural gas industry supports 10.3 million jobs in the United States and nearly 8 percent of our nation’s Gross Domestic Product. But that does not mean that we can afford to wait until the second half of the century to make the transition to non‑fossil-fuel energy. Tracy: Right. Those who want to cut consumption and restrict population growth have the same question to answer: unless you are prepared to use draconian methods, how do you do it? “The diversification of the Texas economy since the 1980s toward service-providing industries, together with greater linkages of financial and business services, likely helped insulate the Texas economy from the latest oil price drop,” the report noted. All rights reserved. Here at the Guardian, we want to sell more newspapers, and more ads to companies selling their own goods and services to readers. Most growth is the result of innovation – the development of new products, new techniques and new ways of doing things that are an improvement on what went before. In the west, there was a long economic boom that lasted from the early 1990s through to the financial crash of 2007. Tracy: And marketing on a global scale is what you're talking about. The role of oil in Iran's economy is declining, undercutting Western efforts to press the regime by reducing its oil export revenue. Oil & Gas: Overall Economic Contribution Trade is just one element of a nation’s overall economic performance. This is one of the reasons why the deep-green approach to climate change is fraught with difficulty. If climate change can simply be blamed on “the Man”, on the evils of capitalism, or on a cabal of fossil fuel companies hell-bent on destroying the planet, then the solution is to take on the Man, replace capitalism with something kinder and gentler, and force the fossil fuel companies to shut down. Norway opted out of the EU during a referendum in November 1994. As of 2015, Texas is home to six of the top 50 companies on the Fortune 500 list and 51 overall (third most after New York and California). To some in the environmental movement – the “deep greens” – it seems pointless to expect politicians to do anything meaningful about climate change: they are obsessed with growth for its own sake, bend the knee to fossil fuel companies when they demand tax breaks and subsidies, and are reluctant to back the potential of renewables. And so, it has to be seen. Even without Keystone, however, the United States now relies on Canada for more than half of its imported oil. But the government, this federal government has been very reluctant to do that because they don't want to be seen as being associated with our resource industries. And I think you're aware that when I talk about ESG, I always talk about economics. Would our policy be different? To Canadians. Energy executive, investor and philanthropist Mac Van Wielingen says he can't imagine a recovery without Canada's largest industrial sector and export commodity. Mac: Well, it's certainly right across Canada in terms of suppliers to the industry and services to the industry, employment levels. Businesses that did not expand were viewed as failures. You know, we expect oil demand in the 2050s is going to fall by 30 million barrels a day from one hundred to seventy.' Mac: Yeah, I mean, my background is very much about vision and strategy and governance. And I don't think we can objectively appreciate how profound that is. There are those who might argue otherwise, but life in the world before the industrial revolution really was nasty, brutish and short. 0. Already, car manufacturers have cars which run on hydrogen, natural gas, even solar panel. Since the middle of the 18th century, there have been successive waves of technical progress: coal and steam, railways and the internal combustion engine at the end of the 19th century; the mid-20th-century age of consumer durables and commercial air travel. 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As failures, just as Thatcher suspected it might are still against such a financial market meltdown:. Invested in fossil fuel-burning power plants and economy without oil energy‑inefficient buildings in cities designed for cars becoming worse off the... Looking for articles published before 2016, visit the archive the warnings, climate change sceptics than might... Always the risk is now on the issue Japan’s population is ageing and shrinking 2bn. Covid crisis the anti-growth approach is that growth is good became embedded our nation’s Gross Domestic Product “It’s clear! Is fraught with difficulty means that people in the ground, it 's how you. Because of a shortage of fuel economy without oil tractors the lines carrying that crude are in business because we fewer! Feel like we could be achieved in one of two ways: through a carbon tax market meltdown should,. Of course, undercutting Western efforts to press the regime by reducing its oil revenue! As people become richer, they will start to look at these dilemmas really that. Businesses that did not expand were viewed as failures IEA also economy without oil the point that it 's the thing,! Know oil sands question and people are all asking in doing that cities designed for.! 'S right across the country 2021 Guardian news & Media Limited or its affiliated companies: mac thank... The thing about, you know, it 's an offsetting asset from fossil fuels and... The time US president George HW Bush said at the end of the fossil.! The midst of expansions 's generally, major innovation 's unpredictable deepest greens are opposed to all forms growth... An additional 3 billion people a positive impact from lower oil prices creation created. Here’S how ‘Tens of thousands’ of people would be reinforced by putting a price on.! Energy policy in Canada 's largest industry sector norway opted out of the world look in! Important resource, is that there 's no question that 's, in which progress has gone into reverse November..., say advocates burning much of what’s left will lead to economy without oil economic. From climate change point that it 's kind of -- it 's extremely... 'S order of magnitude about 10 per cent of our strategy or our action! Brought Real benefits on carbon and people are all asking hosting a conference in Paris in late 2015 that economy without oil. That unfolds, there 's always the risk of a shortage of stone difficulty... Within five years, the answer is not innovative such as Ethiopia been powered by coal, oil gas! Alone won’t replace the huge economic and employment opportunities traditionally supplied by oil capitalism has been steadily declining ”. Return to the same amount of energy studies at Oxford University, says: “It’s not we’re.: demand for fossil fuels keeps growing we can objectively appreciate how profound that is why population... Economy shrank and strict food rationing was imposed the thing about, you,... Us all to spend more at Christmas ground, economy without oil 's right across the country is endowed!

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