Achieving Carbon Goals with an ‘All-of-the- Above’ Energy Mix

Inspirational Women 2022
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It’s no secret that the world is made up of many different beliefs, economies, traditions and social norms. But there is one thing that countries and communities across the globe have in common, and that is the unquenching need for more and more energy to power our lives.

As populations continue to grow in the coming years - and decades - transportation needs will continue to rise, and households and businesses will continue to need more and more energy, power and fuel to keep societies moving.

The broader energy industry, including oil and gas companies, public utilities, grid operators and other power providers are already challenged to keep up, as seen by the threat of rolling blackouts in California, the “great freeze” in Texas and high energy prices around the world from supply shortages. In addition to the need for more energy, governments, businesses and consumers are all trying to be as environmentally responsible as possible in delivering that energy.

As part of a well-intended - but often unpragmatic - sustainability push, politicians and governments are introducing strict mandates and bans around the type of energy that can and should be delivered, specifically aimed to reduce oil and gas usage, in a time when we need all the energy sources we can get.

Right now, oil and gas are the most affordable and reliable sources of energy, and some are trying to limit usage at a time when supply is strained, prices are high and there simply isn’t adequate alternatives with our current infrastructure. These unilateral bans and mandates are actually causing more supply shortages, as well as job losses and cost increases. It is a dangerous policy masked under environmental advocacy at all costs, and as a result economies and everyday lives are being disrupted. There must be a better path forward to a sustainable energy future that works for everyone.

The Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) supports the ongoing push for a lower carbon future, and we’re doing our part to reduce emissions and help develop new clean technologies, while still providing the reliable energy that this country - and world - need to thrive. But recent policies have pushed many regions into dangerous situations by limiting the available supply of energy, particularly oil and gas, in favor of other options that aren’t ready to deliver like we need them to.

That’s why our organization has pushed for an “all-of-the-above energy mix” for years. We must be able to meet ever-growing demand for reliable energy. That means more renewables, more new technologies and yes, more oil and gas, to ensure our homes, our businesses, our transportation systems and our communities are safeguarded and reliably powered.

“Our industry continues to be focused on providing affordable, reliable energy to the West and throughout the country. In fact, U.S. refiners are running near or at capacity, and production is at post-COVID highs,” said Catherine Reheis-Boyd, WSPA’s president and CEO. “The president, governors and lawmakers should be focused on removing the policy hurdles being imposed on the energy industry that limit and discourage production and refining, which hurts the ability of American workers to provide the fuels needed to meet consumer demands. Unfortunately, what we are seeing today is an example of the costs and significant impacts bans, mandates and policies that limit the type of energy we can use have on our families and economy.”

From renewables to hydrogen to natural gas to petroleum to geothermal and beyond, we believe that more energy options and supply are good for everyone. In fact, most energy innovations today are coming from oil and gas company product innovations. By pushing for more clean technology options in addition to the tried-and-true options that have successfully powered society for decades, we will advance our climate progress while also maintaining stability. Currently, concern is rising across the nation over energy cost and availability, and it doesn’t need to be that way.

“This should be a wakeup call for our leaders,” said Reheis-Boyd. “It’s time for a realistic discussion on energy policy and the role our industry must play to provide the energy our families and economy need now and for decades to come.”

A sustainable energy future that works for everyone does not include unpredictable energy price spikes, fuel rationing and rolling blackouts. The oil and gas industry is proud to be a part of an energy transition to lower carbon solutions while meeting the energy needs of today and planning ahead for tomorrow. Only with an all-of-the-above approach to energy sources can we ensure a future that works equitably for the environment, our economy and communities everywhere.

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