Alternative? Yes; ‘Unfriendly’? Think again
By Gregory Hale, InTech, Editor
With all the spin doctors, communication control experts, and just plain liars out there, it is hard to understand what people really mean when they say something.
Sometimes it can be very easy to listen or read what somebody says and take it totally out of context. Or maybe they literally just mean what they say.
Take a look at the future of energy sources across the globe.
There is no doubt there is a huge push to find, and then develop and use, renewable energy at all corners of the Earth. Germany is pushing wind energy, and parts of the U.S. want solar energy to prevail. However, if you listen to attendees at the Offshore Technical Conference (OTC) in Houston, oil and gas will be around, and be a force, for quite a while.
“There is no silver bullet,” said Karen Harbert, president and chief executive, U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for 21st Century Energy during OTC last month. “There is only silver buckshot.”
“Yes, we need wind and solar, but they will not be the only answer.”
Harbert said when it comes to alternatives, public education is important. “When it comes to energy, we can’t demonize energy entities. Oil will be and will remain the backbone of our economy for quite some time.”
Yes, President Barack Obama is pushing to grow alternative energy as a growth platform for the future, and if you really look at it, with the hike in energy usage throughout the world, there will have to be plenty of energy sources to go around, with oil and gas at the top of the list.
But when someone in the oil and gas sector goes about calling the alternative energy arena “unfriendly,” then you have to wonder what all that means.
“The renewable and alternative energy agenda is not going away,” said Gary Luquette, president Chevron North America Exploration and Production Co. “We need to engage the unfriendlies to find common ground.”
Needing to find the common ground is important and vital to the future of the energy industry, but to call those in the alternative energy sector “unfriendlies” makes you think where he and his company are coming from.
If you think they are unfriendly now, just wait until they gain more political and industry clout. It will be like a hungry great white shark looking for its next meal.
Yes, everyone is out there looking to make a profit, and yes, the big, bad oil and gas industry has a bad PR image, but it surely does not help when you call a sister energy segment “unfriendly.”
Overall, everyone has to be able to work together. As others said at the conference, there will be no one energy source in the future.
“Renewable sources like wind, solar, and biofuels need to be developed, but they are not the only answer,” said Tim Cejka, president Exxon Mobil Exploration Co. “The world is not running out of energy resources.”
“Wind energy is popular, but not the answer. Natural gas and oil will remain effective,” said Larry Nichols, chairman and chief executive at Devon Energy.
Why not throw all the spin out the window and think about what is good for your company, which is what will be good for the U.S. and for the world. Working together for a complete energy portfolio will be the answer.
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