The energy and products derived from fossil fuels are essential to modern life.
More than 80% of the energy that we consume and almost all of the products that we use every day are derived from fossil fuels.
Fossil fuels have revolutionized agriculture production and reduced our agricultural footprint due to innovations in fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides, as well as ever-more-efficient fossil-fueled machinery. As a result, America uses less land for agricultural production now than it did a century ago, despite a more than three-fold increase in population.
Decreasing the availability of fossil fuels and increasing their cost through mandates and taxes limits the choices of American consumers and increases the cost of goods, electricity, and food, which harms the poor the most.
America leads the world in environmental protection.
Since 1970, the United States has achieved unprecedented environmental improvements (73% reduction in emissions of criteria air pollutants) while dramatically increasing GDP (262%), miles traveled (189%), population (59%), and energy consumption (44%).
The United States has reduced ambient levels of air pollution across the board:
– 99% of lead (since 1980)
– 90% of hourly sulfur dioxide (since 1980)
– 84% of carbon monoxide (since 1980)
– 60% of hourly NOx (since 1980)
– 32% of 8-hour ozone (since 1980)
– 41% of 24-hour PM10 (since 1990)
– 34% of annual PM2.5 (since 1990)
America can promulgate a sound environmental regulatory approach by applying a predictable state-federal framework (rule of law) based on demonstrated technology (practical) targeted to reduce known health risks (sound science).
Despite persistent claims to the contrary, the oil and gas industry has proven that hydraulic fracturing can be done in a safe and environmentally responsible manner. With proper well casing and handling of fluids, more than one million oil and gas wells have been hydraulically fractured in the U.S. without incident.
The U.S. has achieved energy security and should not let it go.
According to the EIA, the U.S. is expected to surpass U.S. above Saudi Arabia and Russia as the world’s largest producer of crude oil in 2018, producing 10.7 million bpd.
The U.S. has long been the world’s largest producer of natural gas and now produces nearly 80 bcf per day of dry gas.
The U.S. also sits atop the world’s largest recoverable coal reserves, more than 254 billion short tons.
The U.S. trade deficit in petroleum goods has declined by over $300 billion, or 85%, since 2008 and in 2017 accounted for less than 10% of our total trade deficit in goods
The Energy Information Administration predicts that the U.S. will become a net energy exporter within the next 5 years, enabling America and her trading partners to rely less on unstable countries for their energy supply.
Our recoverable supply of fossil fuels are growing every day. Contrary to the popular “peak oil” theories of prior decades, new discoveries and technologies are growing our recoverable reserves of fossil fuels faster than we are depleting them.
American fuels and technology can improve health worldwide.
Humans with consistent access to affordable electricity survive childhood more, eat better, drink cleaner water, live longer, and are better educated.
According to a 2015 report by the International Energy Agency, “an estimated 1.2 billion people – 17% of the global population – remain without electricity, and 2.7 billion people – 38% of the global population – put their health at risk through reliance on the traditional use of solid biomass for cooking.” Thus, nearly half the world’s population suffers from some degree of energy poverty.
According to the World Health Organization, “Each year, close to 4 million people die prematurely from illness attributable to household air pollution from inefficient cooking practices using polluting stoves paired with solid fuels and kerosene.”
Due to its leadership in fossil fuel production and environmental protection technology, the United States is in a position to help developing nations improve their indoor and outdoor air quality through the use of American natural gas, low sulfur coal, and oil, as well as environmental control technologies.
Local, state, and federal renewable energy mandates and subsidies are regressive, distort markets, and don’t move the needle on climate change.
Subsidies shift the true cost of renewable energy from our utility bills to our tax bills. The Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that U.S. taxpayers will pay $11.8 billion for solar subsidies and $23.7 billion for wind subsidies from 2017 to 2021. At the state level, the costs of extra transmission and distribution infrastructure to integrate renewable energy into the electric grid are often socialized and not apparent in electricity rates.
Forcing 100% renewable generation through taxes and mandates is unduly difficult and counterproductive. Average electricity rates in Germany have risen by more than 50% in the last 10 years, primarily due to levies and taxes to support renewable energy generation integration. Meanwhile, CO2 emissions there only fell 6% from 2005 to 2016. California’s electric rates have risen by more than 30% in the past 10 years and are now 65% higher than the national average.
100% renewable electricity generation goals will be prohibitively expensive to achieve, require too much land, and expose the electricity grid to reliability problems. While some localities and companies might be able to purchase credits or otherwise contract for 100% of their electricity from renewable sources, they depend upon materials and electricity grids that are not possible without fossil energy.
Extreme environmentalist calls for eliminating domestic fossil energy use are based on an anti-fossil belief system, not on science or realistic policy goals. For example, based on projections of U.S. emissions and the predictions from the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report, the elimination of all CO2 emissions from the U.S. power sector starting in 2020 would only reduce 2050 ambient levels by 0.7% (3.3 out of 498 ppm). This reduction would equate to:
– Less than 1 cm of sea level rise mitigation (roughly the thickness of an iPhone)
– A 0.09°F reduction in average global temperature.