Oil Companies Hammer Environment Efforts

Johannes Plenio Pexels

Environmentalists were supposed to force large fossil fuel companies to reduce pollution footprints and commit to alternative energy. By 2050, these companies were supposed to be small and inconsequential compared to the energy provided by solar, wind, nuclear, thermal, and water infrastructures. Coal-fired energy should be gone in two decades.  

Nuclear Power –Americans Are Afraid

Cost Of Climate-$280 Billion

It hasn’t worked out that way. Big oil, in particular, has turned the tables and will get bigger and bigger, at least for several years–if not longer. According to The Guardian, “The world’s fossil-fuel producers are on track to nearly quadruple the amount of extracted oil and gas from newly approved projects by the end of this decade, with the US leading the way in a surge of activity that threatens to blow apart agreed climate goals,” The industry, almost single-handedly, could undermine any chance of avoiding the growing climate catastrophe. 

Oil And Gas Grows

The New York Times observed, “It wasn’t long ago that big fossil fuel companies were making bold claims about their plans to embrace a low-carbon future. Yet over the past year, many of those companies have walked back those commitments as they reaped outsize profits and made ambitious plans to expand their production of oil and gas.”

What happened? At least two things. Oil is cheap. At $70 a barrel, gas prices are well within what most consumers can afford. Petrochemical companies can have large margins. The trucking and airline industries can post solid profits. On the other hand, drilling for oil has also been relatively cheap. Fracking has reinvented the drilling equation. 

Solar Energy Problems

On the other hand, renewables have struggled, particularly financially. Wind farms have had infrastructure problems. EV sales increases have tapered off. The picture of acre after acre of solar panels has disappeared. 

Even President Biden said that oil is a critical resource. In his State of the Union speech just over a year ago, he said, “We’re still going to need oil and gas for a while.” A while has become a very long while.

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