n what would the most ambitious U.S. effort ever to stave off the worst effects of climate change, President Joe Biden is aiming to cut oil, gas and coal emissions and double energy production from offshore wind turbines through executive orders Wednesday. The orders awaiting his signature target federal subsidies for oil and other fossil fuels and halt new oil and gas leases on federal lands and waters.NOLA.COM
These proposals are different from what all past administrations have done as the focus of the effort is toward the minority and low income residents who live near the pollution making sites. Louisiana, the area from Baton Rouge and New Orleans “Death Valley” was specifically noted. Job losses in the oil and gas industry are projected to be eased by employment in the renewal energy field with wind, solar and other forms of energy becoming stronger and employing more people.
Biden has set a goal of zero carbon dioxide pollution in the power sector by 2035 and a net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The ambitious plan is aimed at slowing human-caused global warming that is magnifying extreme weather events such as deadly wildfires in the West and drenching rains and hurricanes in the East. The actions make clear that “both significant short-term global emission reductions and net-zero global emissions by mid-century – or before – are required to avoid setting the world on a dangerous, potentially catastrophic, climate trajectory,” the White House said in a statement before Biden signed the orders. The orders are aimed at “revitalizing the U.S. energy sector, conserving our natural resources and leveraging them to help drive our nation toward a clean energy future,” the White House said, while “creating well-paying jobs … and delivering justice for communities who have been subjected to environmental harm.”
Science is back and as opposed to the last administration who opened up lands to more drilling and favored oil and gas over renewables, these efforts are designed yo lower both green house gasses and carbon dioxide levels. As can be expected there were mixed comments on the release of these proposals. A positive cpmment came from Georgia Tech:
Georgia Tech climate scientist Kim Cobb called the executive orders an “excellent start” for the week-old Biden administration. “If this Day 7 momentum is representative of this administration’s 4-year term, there is every reason to believe that we might achieve carbon neutrality sooner than 2050,” even as key roadblocks lie ahead, Cobb said. Other environmental groups agreed. “The fossil fuel industry has inflicted tremendous damage on the planet. The administration’s review, if done correctly, will show that filthy fracking and drilling must end for good, everywhere,” said Kierán Suckling, executive director at the Center for Biological Diversity, an environmental group that has pushed for the drilling pause.
The oil and gas industry, seeing job losses as well as economic loss was not as favorable:
Kathleen Sgamma, president of the Western Energy Alliance, which represents oil and gas drillers in Western states, said the executive order is intended to delay drilling on federal lands to the point where it is no longer viable. Her group pledged a legal challenge. “The environmental left is leading the agenda at the White House when it comes to energy and environment issues,″ she said. She noted that the freeze would be felt most acutely in states such as Wyoming, North Dakota, Texas and Louisiana — all won by Trump. “This is just the start. It will get worse,” said Brook Simmons, president of the Petroleum Alliance of Oklahoma. “Meanwhile, the laws of physics, chemistry and supply and demand remain in effect. Oil and natural gas prices are going up, and so will home heating bills, consumer prices and fuel costs.”
This is a start. Permits issued under the last administration will remain in effect working against the climate change efforts. The desire to have the government use electric cars will help the car industry. The jobs increases will help some of the oil and gas workers as well as boost employment. Over all a good start.