The Hill | Wednesday, December 9, 2015 | Senator Bill Cassidy
As the Paris climate talks continue, President Obama has repeatedly made clear his belief that no challenge poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change. The president and his administration have attempted to lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by limiting domestic oil and gas production on federal lands, continuing the 40-year-old crude oil export ban (presumably to decrease oil consumption worldwide) and imposing regulations on the U.S. oil and gas exploration industry, designed to restrict U.S. oil production. This, while the president’s Iran agreement allows Iran to increase their oil production by 2 million barrels per day by 2021 and gives them access to new global markets. If Obama wants to lower GHG emissions and simultaneously address that which most Americans think is the greatest threat – terrorism - he should allow Americans to explore for and export oil.
Unlike Iran, the U.S. has a long-standing commitment to conservation. America leads the world in both emissions reductions and production of oil and natural gas due to industry investment and advanced technology. While pushing the Iran deal, Obama failed to mention that Iran does not share our commitment to reducing emissions from oil production. The International Council on Clean Transportation and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace determined that Iran emits almost three times the GHG per barrel during production of crude oil than that of U.S. producers in the Gulf of Mexico. Major oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico emit 0.031 and 0.034 metric tons of CO2 equivalents, a measurement of greenhouse gas emissions, per barrel while Iranian oil fields emit 0.070 to 0.099 metric tons of CO2 equivalents per barrel. If this seems small, understand that if Iran increases oil production by 2 million barrels per day due to a vacuum the U.S. leaves in the market, they will emit 100,000 metric tons more of CO2 equivalents per day. In a real sense, either the U.S. or Iran will supply oil to the international oil market. If it is the U.S., less GHG is emitted, if Iran, more GHG is emitted.
Read the full editorial here.
Bill Cassidy (R) is Louisiana’s junior senator, serving since 2015. He sits on the Appropriations; the Energy and Natural Resources; the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions; and the Veterans’ Affairs committees.