With skyrocketing gas prices, Americans are wondering: what has gone wrong? President Biden has tried to shift the blame, but in reality, the driving force behind these high prices are misguided political promises the Biden administration made to radical environmental groups.
Everyone loves the party game/icebreaker “two truths and a lie.”Can you identify which of the following is NOT true about the state of U.S. energy?
A. Pipelines are the safest and most environmentally efficient way to move oil and refined products to consumers.
B. Starting in 2010, the U.S. oil and gas industry experienced a renaissance.
C. Pollution is too great a threat to justify the continued use of petroleum-based energy.
Let’s take these statements one at a time:
A. TRUTH! Climate activists who want to shut the oil and gas industry down target pipelines to achieve their goals. In reality, pipelines are the safest and most environmentally efficient way to move oil and refined products. Pipelines are essential in transporting extracted and delivering oil to processing refineries. Currently, 2.7 million miles of pipelines in the U.S. reliably deliver energy. Pipeline leaks are so rare, when they do happen, they make headlines.
B. TRUTH! Due to advancements in the extractive process like horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, the U.S. energy industry experienced massive growth as new oil and gas resources became accessible. This growth made the U.S. a global energy powerhouse by reducing our reliance on foreign imports and injecting the economy with new jobs and productivity. The Trump administration opened up federal lands and implemented policies to encourage growth and innovation in the oil and gas industry. In 2018, the U.S. became a net energy exporter of oil and gas breaking the almost 75-year trend of greater dependence on foreign oil. Simultaneously, the U.S. continued to lead the world in environmental progress and emissions reductions.
C. LIE! As we have come to understand the effects of the oil and gas industry, technological innovations and balanced regulatory requirements have worked to retain the benefits while reducing the environmental impact.
Some of these technologies include the invention of the catalytic converter and new gasoline mixtures, such as unleaded or reformulated, that have significantly reduced emissions. Advanced extraction processes like horizontal drilling have reduced the overall footprint of production. Integrating more efficient processes and pollution control devices like “scrubbers” at refiners and drilling sites have curbed emissions and reduced the impact on water resources. Since 1990, the industry has reduced methane emissions by 17% as production has grown by 66%.
We do not have to sacrifice our oil and gas industry or fossil fueled economy to ensure a healthy future for both people and the planet. Finding the right balance between energy development, economic growth, and environmental protection is best addressed through markets and innovation, not politics.