It’s sad to see so much ignorance about the energy industry, especially on the left side of the aisle. Biden says he’ll make it his mission to transition the country to 100% renewable energy. It’s an impossible goal, but I understand why he’s been so vocal. “Going green” is popular among the general public. After all, who would be against the environment?
I wish I could invite everyone to come with me to visit an oil well. In the few years since I started working in the industry, first as a landman and now as an oil and gas accountant, I’ve come to realize just how much work it takes to keep rigs functioning and how much care is taken to protect our environment. The men and women harvesting the energy we use every day care deeply about preserving our country’s natural beauty and go to great lengths to ensure the laws we have to protect the environment are followed.
These companies are working hard to provide America with our energy needs the right way. And it’s working — over the last 50 years, the U.S. has cut key air pollutants by more than three-fourths while increasing our energy production, population, and economy.
We should celebrate being a global environmental leader — and look carefully at proposals to create more red tape to ensure the environmental benefit is worth making energy production more complicated and expensive.
That would be the inevitable result of Biden’s energy plans, because ditching fossil fuels isn’t as easy as it sounds. Solar and wind energy are what industry experts call “diffuse”: they produce a small amount of electricity over a vast amount of land, an environmental impact few people recognize. And they can’t be depended on to produce the kind of constant power our society needs to function, since they depend on the weather.
Because they are intermittent by nature, wind and solar also make energy more expensive. That’s a problem for the countless millions of families already struggling to make ends meet, and it limits the potential of American energy exports to help improve lives and fight poverty around the world.
America cannot meet its energy needs when the oil and gas industry is being taxed and regulated out of existence, Green New Deal or no deal. We must allow the businesses working every day to power our nation to flourish and grow — and the men and women working there should never be ashamed of the work we do.
American energy does a lot of good for our country and the world. Biden should recognize that