Oil drillers make the tricky case that they can help the ‘climate emergency’

Washington Examiner | John Siciliano & Josh Siegel | July 10, 2019

OIL DRILLERS MAKE THE TRICKY CASE THEY CAN HELP WITH THE ‘CLIMATE EMERGENCY’: Oil and natural gas producers aren’t walking away from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s latest effort to combat climate change, but instead are making the case that they can be part of the solution even though Democrats blame them as the cause.

“Efforts to ‘fight climate change’ should include producing and using more American oil and natural gas,” said Tim Charters, head of government affairs for the National Ocean Industries Association, a trade group representing offshore oil and natural gas producers.

Charters was responding to Tuesday’s introduction of a new bicameral climate resolution from AOC, Bernie Sanders, and other Democrats in the House and Senate, calling for the government to invoke a “climate emergency” and mobilize resources to reduce global warming.

Charters’ basic argument is that the U.S. produces energy more responsibly than other nations do. “We can do better by using and producing our energy here at home,” he said.

It’s a hard case to make for the industry as Democrats look to stifle fossil fuel production in favor of renewable energy at every turn, while eyeing a zero-emission future in as little as a decade.

But energy production and environmental protection need not be “mutually exclusive goals,” Charters said. “[W]e can do both.”

A five-year plan: The offshore industry is anticipating the Trump administration will release its five-year offshore drilling plan, but the plan has faced delays, as well as a tide of opposition from House Democrats looking to block the plan with legislation.

The oil industry is trying to convince lawmakers that the plan can be implemented without endangering the country’s coastal areas by producing energy in an “ecologically and socially responsible manner.”

The petrochemical industry has been pushing the idea of promoting more oil and natural gas production in the U.S. as a means of lowering global emissions. They argue that by relying on the nation’s more responsible environmental standards when compared to other countries, more energy production in the U.S. equates to lower global emissions.

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