The American Petroleum Institute (API) recently held its annual event addressing the state of American energy, but this year’s event seemed to focus more on climate change than anything else. Mike Sommers, CEO of API, seemed to be acknowledging alarmists claims that the industry is the majority contributor to a climate change problem, while at the same time he applauded the oil and natural gas industry’s reduction of harmful emissions. He touted the industry’s Environmental Partnership, a sort of think tank of corporations, for coming up with new ideas on how the industry can be a world leader in the fight against climate change. But I have a question for him: Why work so hard to convince the American people, and the world, that the fossil fuel industry is the problem?
The Bad and the Good of American Energy
By working so very hard to put forward a campaign filled to the brim with commentary on how the American energy industry has lowered emissions in this country, are you not saying it was the industry that brought on an alleged climate change problem? He declared the oil and natural gas industry will be on the offensive this year. But it sure seems like the industry, and API in particular, is on the defensive. It feels almost like they’re saying, “We’re the bad guys, but look at this good thing we did to make up for it!”
Will the Scientists Please Stand Up?
The last I checked, the majority of the people in this industry, in this country, and indeed in the world are not climate scientists. How then are we coming to the conclusion that fossil fuels are the bad guy? The news is filled with the answer. If you are told something over and over, whether or not it is the truth, you start believing it is a certainty. Climate alarmists worldwide have been spouting for years the evils of fossil fuels. Now, it seems it has been shouted so many times, even industry insiders are buying into it. American energy is at a crossroads.
What We All Want
What does the average American want from the energy industry? Their individual voices are becoming harder to hear as the gap between them and the large corporations widens. The stepping stones that once connected them are slowly being swallowed up by lobbying groups. It is time to work at rebuilding that pathway. When it comes down to it, what the American people want only the oil and natural gas industry can provide. Everyone wants consistent gas prices at the pump, rather than prices that spike everytime the Middle East decides to make it so. We want energy that is affordable, so we can pay our bills without emptying our wallets. And we want power that works whether or not the wind is blowing or the sun shining.
Is wanting a healthy environment on the list? Yes, it absolutely is. But I am not a scientist. Industry leaders are not scientists. It is not up to us to decide how and why the climate does what it does. Instead of trying to convince everyone everywhere that we are a bad guy trying to do good, let’s do what we do best: produce clean, reliable, affordable energy. Everywhere natural gas use is on the rise is seeing a reduction in pollution. We are part of the solution, without being part of the problem.