Although the fight against climate changes and the use fossil fuels is continuing on many fronts the environment will not benefit from every effort. While the carbon tax is the most rational and cost-effective tool, it was not possible to pass Congress. However, activists and politicians have pursued other climate-friendly legislation, as well as lawsuits and federal regulations. These actions are intended to shift the nation’s energy mix towards fossil fuels.
Congress passed legislation last year to improve passenger rail and provide additional charging stations for electric cars. The SEC is currently considering legislation. New ruleThat would require firms to report their carbon emissions as well as their financial exposure for long-term climate change. The EPA recently Set forth a ruleThis would allow for higher fuel economy standards in the future.
However, recent efforts to combat fossil fuels, particularly those that involve transporting oil or natural gases, have done little to improve our environment. They would be Pyrrhic victories to environmentalists if they succeeded.
Regardless of the passionate wishes to the contrary fossil fuels will still play an important part in providing energy for the next decades. Recognizing this reality is not hypocritical, nor self-destructive. However, it is important to take steps to minimize the environmental impact of these fuels.
One way is to make sure we transport oil and natural gases in the most efficient, safest, and cost-effective manner. Pipelines are a better way to transport oil across land than trucking or by train.
Oil should be transported across the ocean using the largest and most efficient vessels possible. This reduces the amount of oil being transported. LowerIt is easier to transport than on smaller ships. This means that Very Large Crude Carriers are now available, which can carry as much cargo as a ship’s hull. 80 million gallonsone barrel of crude oil at once.
These ships are too large to be able to reach most ports due to their size. They require a pipeline to transport oil from the coast into deeper waters.
The United States has a Only one of these terminals is availableThere are many other projects that are being considered, almost all of them on the Texas Gulf Coast. Environmentalists have resisted these projects. They believe that increased oil and gas production will lead to climate change and worsening emissions. This is false. In fact, it is the reverse.
It is helpful to consider the counterfactual in order to understand the fallacy of this argument. That is, what would happen if these terminals weren’t built. It is not true that oil exports will stop or that production will decrease.
The demand for oil would not change. People will still drive gasoline-powered vehicles and utilities will continue burning oil to produce energy. Because their energy needs cannot be met with alternative fuels, the governments of countries with growing economies won’t stop growth. This reality means that we can reduce the energy intensity and the environmental impact of transporting oil across oceans. Very Large Crude Carrier do exactly that.
Others oppose terminal construction projects because they believe that increasing fuel exports will raise our energy prices and threaten our energy reliability.
However, this is not the truth. Fracking means that the United States can produce more oil than it uses. How much oil the US produces and exports depends on its oil price. A higher, sustained global oil price will determine how many oil companies in the USA produce.
This is because increasing the cost and energy in exporting oil won’t change that equation. If the global price stays at its current elevated level, exports will soon increase. The only problem is how the oil will be transported.
It is not logical to object to the construction of new infrastructure in order to reduce the cost and emissions of transporting oil and natural gas when there is a real geopolitical crisis.
A federal policy that would reduce climate change through a carbon tax is the most practical and effective way to stop carbon emissions. It also would prevent smog and other pollutants from contaminating the air in many American cities. However, if such a measure is not implemented, the reflexive opposition to initiatives to reduce emissions and improve safety that deal with fossil fuels will not work to improve the environment.