Turning black, not green: U.S. oil and gas cuts will hurt the environment, report says
Environmentalists seeking to halt U.S. oil and gas production in the name of fighting climate change are undermining their own plans and risking more damage to the planet, according to a new report.
The Institute for Energy Research (IER) has released a paper showing the US is the cleanest major energy producer and argues that whether you like it or not, as oil products remain, limiting US production will have a devastating effect on the global economy. Wednesday.
The report comes as Republican and Alaska Native leaders urged the Biden administration, which has pledged to phase out fossil fuels entirely, not to shut down a major oil project in the state.
The main hurdle for the administration, according to the IER, is that global efforts to curb oil and gas production have not reduced the world’s dependence on fossil fuels for energy—petroleum products have become ingrained in modern society to the point where fossil fuels and modernity have become almost inseparable.
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“Nearly every aspect of today’s advanced economy requires petroleum products and natural gas to function and provide the comfortable lifestyles that citizens of developed countries expect,” the report says. “These resources are needed for agriculture, heavy industry, transport by all modes of transport – road, rail, air or sea – and for a large number of products that we take for granted. They are rooted in almost everything.”
As a result, the report continues, efforts to reduce or stop oil and gas production in developed countries will simply move production to other countries to meet global demand that does not disappear.
In other words, if the US, the world’s largest producer of both oil and natural gas, cuts its output significantly, other energy producers such as China, Russia, and Saudi Arabia, among others, are likely to pick up the slack, thus not leading to any reduction in global fossil fuel use.
Such a scenario does not simply mean the same level of supply, just from different sources. The ecological situation will change significantly – but not for the better.
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“The big irony is that this political movement that claims to protect the environment is causing oil and natural gas production to move from countries with the highest environmental standards to countries with lower or even functionally zero environmental standards.” IER says. , explaining that other major energy producers have much lower environmental standards than the US.
The IER quantifies how much more environmentally friendly the US is with the well-known Environmental Performance Index (EPI) developed by Yale University.
According to the report, the average EPI for the top 20 oil-producing countries outside the US is 39. The EPI for the Americas is 51.1, which means the average barrel of non-US oil is produced in a country with an environmental score of 23.6. % lower than in the US
For natural gas, the average EPI score for the top 20 non-US natural gas producers is 38.6. America’s estimate is the same, meaning that the average billion cubic feet of natural gas is produced in a country with an environmental record that is 24.5% lower than that of the US.
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America is second in environmental quality to only three of the top 20 oil producers (Norway, the UK and the United Arab Emirates) and the top three gas producers (Norway, Australia and the United Arab Emirates). these countries produce even one quarter of the oil or natural gas that the US produces.
“Huge US production, combined with superior environmental standards, means that US production disproportionately reduces the environmental impact of oil and gas production globally,” the report says.
The IER also details how air pollution and emissions have steadily declined in the US over the past few decades as oil and gas production has increased.
“A barrel of oil produced in Saudi Arabia or Venezuela rather than the US has a more negative impact on the global environment,” the report concludes. “This inevitable fact should be part of the political discussion in developed countries as high-profile special interest groups seek to end safe and clean domestic oil and natural gas production. The world requires oil, natural gas and their by-products. for the environment if that demand is met by production in countries like the US with high environmental standards.”
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The IER document backs up what US oil and gas leaders told Fox News Digital.
“The United States is a world leader not only in production, but also in how it is produced,” said Tim Stewart, president of the US Oil and Gas Association. “There is a complex and robust overlay of federal and state environmental laws designed to protect every aspect of the environment, from protecting groundwater and air quality to vulnerable or endangered species and sacred archaeological sites.”
“The typical oil and gas operator operating on federal lands in the west must comply with more than 100 different federal and state laws in order to extract energy from underground and deliver it to the market,” Stewart continued. “No other place in the world has this level of demand. As a result, we produce what is without a doubt the cleanest fossil energy in the world.”
However, efforts to limit or stop the use of fossil fuels are gaining momentum in some states and the federal government. In New York City, for example, the State Senate on Wednesday passed a sweeping climate bill that would give the state energy authority more room to build renewables and mandate the shutdown of fossil fuel plants.
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Meanwhile, in Alaska, Republican and Native leaders are asking the Biden administration to allow a major oil project to proceed unhindered.
Their concerns came after the US Bureau of Land Management conducted an environmental review of the initial proposal for the ConocoPhillips Alaska Willow project earlier this month, which ultimately led to a reduction in the number of proposed drilling sites. Lawmakers have warned that any further cuts would kill him completely.
After the administration canceled the Alaska project, Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon) wrote that the approval of “new fossil fuel projects exacerbates climate chaos and undermines the leading role it has said the United States will play in addressing the climate crisis. quickly phase out fossil fuels and discourage new oil and gas projects. Dot”.
President Biden infamously vowed to “end” and “get rid” of fossil fuels while on the campaign trail. Since joining the White House, he has stated that his goal is to have “a carbon-neutral energy sector by 2035 and a net-zero economy by 2050 at the latest.”
Biden also pledged to cut U.S. fossil fuel emissions by 52% by 2030 and make half of all new cars sold in the U.S. electric.
In his State of the Union address earlier this month, Biden said the country “will still need oil and gas for a while,” before adding, “Oil will be needed for at least another ten years or more.”
According to Stewart, White House policy is being carried out without a clear plan to actually replace oil and natural gas, for which demand is only growing.
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“The White House, in its race to take the cleanest fossil energy off the market, is doing so with no real replacement,” Stewart said. “Global demand for fossil fuels will be 110 million barrels per day by 2025, and that energy has to come from somewhere. If we don’t produce it at home, where the rules enforce responsibility, the global market and global players will be looking for it. from other countries, many of which are rife with corruption and where government officials can be easily bribed by bad players. The best thing for the global environment would be to not give these bad players that opportunity. So that calls for even more attention to strong US manufacturing.”
The White House did not respond to a request for comment on the story.
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texasstandard.news contributed to this report.