Climate Change, Energy How Oil and Gas Companies Can Fight Climate Change
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April 29, 2021
Noah McQueen | Kleinman Center for Energy Policy
In his first month in office, President Biden signed an executive order directing federal agencies to eliminate subsidies for fossil fuels. Initiatives like these beg the question: is there a role for oil and gas companies in the fight against climate change?
Oil and gas production are crucial to society as we know it. From plastics used in personal protection equipment to gasoline used in combustion engines, oil and gas have made their way to the heart of both economic and social development. By working to eliminate oil and gas companies, we minimize their role in creating the climate crisis and in cleaning it up. Ending fossil subsidies is one way to disincentivize continued fossil fuel production, but how do we hold oil and gas companies accountable for the mess they helped create?
While many oil and gas companies are working to develop a portfolio of renewable energy options, they overlook a key resource: extensive ownership of carbon storage reservoirs, or geologic formations whose physical properties are suitable to store carbon dioxide over thousands of years. Instead of working to eliminate oil and gas companies, legislation should require they transition to carbon storage companies that assist in decarbonizing our global society.