Achieving Carbon Goals with an “All-of-the-Above” Energy Mix

By Catherine Reheis-Boyd, WSPA President and CEO

Governments, businesses and media from around the world are currently reflecting on commodity shortages that are affecting everything from energy supply to supply chain reliability. Most major economies – and consumers – are seeing increased energy prices, and in some cases, power and fuel rationing.

Across Europe, there is an extreme natural gas shortage, which is causing prices to surge. The UK is forced to limit the amount of fuel it is selling to businesses and the public, causing transportation disruptions across the country. And in an unprecedented move, the U.S., China, India, Japan, South Korea and the U.K. are releasing its strategic petroleum reserves to keep up with demand and keep its economy running. Right here at home in the U.S., we’re headed into the winter season where more energy is needed for homes, transportation, and business. At the same time, experts are warning that a lack of energy supply – from fuel to natural gas and other energy sources – will result in higher prices and could lead to power disruptions and overall energy instability.

The Western States Petroleum Association fully 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.

On September 30th, we held WSPA’s Annual Conference, where we virtually brought together hundreds of members of the energy industry to learn, listen to new perspectives and continue our work towards an equitable, sustainable energy future. Our opening panel, “Achieving Carbon Reduction Goals with an All-of-the-Above Energy Mix,” discussed this very topic – balancing responsible environmental progress with the very honest reality that more energy sources – not less – are needed right now, and will be for the foreseeable future.

WSPA’s leadership led an insightful discussion with Dr. Genevieve Giuliano, Professor in the Sol Price School of Public Policy, University of Southern California and Director of the METRANS joint USC and California State University Long Beach Transportation Center, and Matt Baker, Deputy Secretary for Energy at the California Natural Resources Agency.

The group discussed the roles that new technologies could play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions while also preparing for the growing energy demands of tomorrow. A lot of passion came through in discussing hope for further developing and expanding future clean technologies. But we also acknowledged the critical need to keep the lights on and keep society moving, which means continuing to improve sustainability efforts within our oil and gas industry to meet that demand.

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. By pushing for more clean technology options in addition to the tried-and-true ones powering society today, we will advance our climate progress while also maintaining stability.

A sustainable energy future that works for everyone does not include unpredictable energy price spikes, fuel rationing and rolling blackouts. 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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