In 1992, I founded the IEPC (International Energy Policy Conference) with the theme being “Striving for Energy Efficiency and Environmental Preservation.” This underlying theme has been part of each conference event which has been held in Tulsa, Norman, OK, Stillwater, OK, Washington, D.C., Denver, Houston, Oklahoma City, and other locations.
Twenty-seven years later, from the first IEPC conference, America’s energy and environmental stewardship continues to be addressed. Especially, the subject of climate change continues to be debated. Also, included in the climate change debate are the prospects of a carbon tax.
Many oil and gas companies are taking the lead in addressing environmentally sound policies. Oil and natural gas will be in demand for quite some time. The way we use and preserve energy are important concerns for our society.
Front and center for a carbon tax is Exxon. Exxon has committed $1 million over two years to promote a national tax on carbon. The United Nation’s IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) released a climate change report. The writers of the report want to drastically cut carbon emissions by 1.5 degrees over the next few decades.
Former Republican U.S. Congressman Ryan Costello states that the “disconnect may be widest on climate change, in which the gap between Republican voters and their elected leaders continues to grow. More than 80 percent of Americans including nearly two-thirds of Republican voters believe that the government should take action to reduce carbon emissions according to one survey.”
As Mark Mills, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, in a WSJ article states, “Even a compromise that yielded enough in subsidies to double the green-tech ‘progress’ of the past couple of decades would result in wind and solar supplying less than 10 percent of America’s energy. Even with subsidies, it would be a struggle to keep nuclear power and corn alcohol at 10 percent of America’s energy supply. Meanwhile, the absolute level of hydrocarbon consumption would still go up, comprising a smaller share of a much larger pie.”
As I wrote in my 2012 book “America Needs America’s Energy: Creating Together the People’s Energy Plan,” a heated debate over proposed legislation for a ‘‘cap and trade’’ system occurred in 2009. Although the concept behind the cap and trade system seems simple, the devil is in the details. Future generations are depending on us. Looking forward as we envision the future, together we all should strive to make the planet a much better place to live.
National Energy Talk (NET), an Energy Advocate Initiative, was launched July 31st, 2017 in Elk City, Oklahoma and meetings have been held in Tulsa, Edmond and Oklahoma City along with presentations in Houston, Denver and other cities. In 2019, NET will continue its efforts as a platform engaging a national energy dialogue. Go to Facebook: National Energy Talk to support/learn more about NET.