Transitioning the Petroleum Industry

Transitioning the Petroleum Industry Laser Talk

On the importance of the petroleum industry in the transition to a zero-emission economy, it should be recognized that fossil fuels will still be needed to support the decades-long transition to 100% renewable energy.

  • The reality is that there is not enough renewable power available to immediately power the factories necessary to build and transport all the solar panels, wind turbines, batteries, and other devices we need to reach the renewable energy goals by 2050, while still supplying the power necessary to maintain our economy.
  • Even with the adoption of Citizens’ Climate Lobby’s Carbon Fee and Dividend policy, the modeling (conducted by REMI) (Figure 3.30) indicates natural gas combined with carbon capture and storage will be significant contributors to the energy mix throughout the life of the Carbon Fee and Dividend plan.
  • Not only are petroleum-companies necessary to supply natural gas for a coal-free electric grid; they are also a natural fit to produce the hydrogen and liquid or compressed natural gas needed to power heavy vehicles and machinery necessary to construct the renewable energy infrastructure.
  • Furthermore, present day petroleum companies will probably be major producers and distributors of advanced biofuels, which are predicted to be a large fraction of the renewable energy mix.

Finally, even though a petroleum company recognizes the dangers of climate change, it cannot voluntarily reduce oil and gas production without violating its legally required fiduciary duty and thus precipitating an investor revolt. To avoid legal jeopardy, they must wait for government policies to be enacted after mobilization of political will by organizations such as Citizens’ Climate Lobby.

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