By Corbin Robertson Jr.
Last week the United Nations convened meetings in Glasgow to take on climate change. They discussed efforts to curb a warming planet and what the public and private sector should do to address this challenge. And just like previous climate conferences, there was no shortage of attacks on the fossil fuel industry and calls to implement radical plans like the Green New Deal.
Obviously, this would destroy the Texas economy, not to mention the oil and gas capitols of the world, Odessa and Midland. It would devastate the American way of life by banning everyday items like PVC pipe from use. And it would be a major setback for American energy independence.
Thanks to the herculean efforts of the oil and gas pioneers over the last several years, America overtook Saudi Arabia as the number one oil and gas producer on the planet, leading to an economic boom and enhancing our national security. And any action the federal government may take to implement radical climate policies, on behalf of UN decrees would undo all the accomplishments the fossil fuel industry has achieved.
This is not to say that curbing emissions and addressing climate change is anathema to the fossil fuel industry. In fact, you would be hard pressed to find an oil and gas company currently who isn’t taking this challenge seriously. It seems as if every week, there is a new energy company announcing plans to curb their emissions.
However, addressing this issue must not come at the expense of millions of jobs and livelihoods.
The Carbon Neutral Coalition (CNC), of which I am the Founder, is fighting for a way to clean up our environment while preserving the vital fossil fuel industry. Spearheaded by an advisory board made up of energy experts, the CNC is proposing solutions to capture CO2 and methane so that industry sequesters it or distributes it for others to make use of it in industrial applications. We are also seeking to utilize Carbon Capture Underground Storage (CCUS), to cut down on emissions and create a carbon neutral Lone Star State by 2050. CCUS will enable fossil fuel producers to inject carbon emissions into permanent storage.
However, legislation is needed from the state government to resolve the issues that have prevented the development of CCUS projects, and the coalition is working to establish the infrastructure that will incentivize the energy industry to cut their carbon emissions by utilizing CCUS. It will focus on bringing government and the private sector together to reduce carbon, while creating jobs and new investment opportunities for Texans.
Landowners, mineral owners, and ranchers would be able to offer up their considerable acreage to store carbon in exchange for a fee, creating another revenue stream for our agriculture industry.
In short, the industry is prepared to act but needs the Texas government to put the guardrails in place to allow it to cut their carbon.
Make no mistake about it, investors are pulling back on the fossil fuel industry, governments are handing down regulation after regulation, and if there is no action by people within the energy sector to cut their emissions, oil and gas jobs in Odessa and Midland and throughout Texas will be gone in a few short years.
CNC is working to preserve our industry, and I encourage all those who care about Texas jobs, energy independence and the American way of life to join us in our efforts.
Corbin Robertson Jr. is the CEO of Quintana Resources and Founder of the Carbon Neutral Coalition (CNC).