Decarbonization cannot produce the products that civilization demands

As late as the 1800s, the world was “decarbonized” because there were no coal or natural gas power plants, and what the Beverly Hillbillies sitcoms of the 1960s theme song called “petroleum i.e., black gold, Texas tea”, had not been discovered as something that could be made into usable products.

Before the 1900s, life was tough and dirty, and most people never traveled 100 to 200 miles from where they were born, and life expectancy was short. Today, crude oil is manufactured in all products used in the medical industry, fertilizers, electronics and more 6,000 other products which are the basis of lifestyles and economies.

Today, global efforts are in place for electricity to be generated by the breeze and the sun to decarbonize electricity generated by coal and natural gas. The “other” fossil fuel in crude oil is caught up in the chopping block’s efforts to phase out ALL 3 fossil fuels, but crude oil is rarely used for power generation!

Saule Omarova, who stepped down as Biden’s candidate for comptroller of the currency, wants the coal, oil and gas industries to ‘go bankrupt’ is a reflection that she is either unaware or unaware of the way life and the economies of the world were before 1900. The world had no electricity generated by coal and natural gas, nor any of the products, nor the fuels made from crude oil needed by airlines, ships and the military around the world, as none of these existed before 1900! If confirmed, Saule Omarova wanted to take the world back to those decarbonized days of the 1800s.

As environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors take over the agenda, there is a lost reality that the main use of crude oil is NOT for generating electricity, but for making derivatives and fuels that are the ingredients of everything economies and lifestyles need to exist and thrive. Energy realism demands that legislators, policy makers and the media who demonstrate a general ignorance of the use of crude oil understand the staggering scale of the decarbonization challenge.

The oil that reduced infant mortality, extended longevity to over 80 and allowed the world to be populated by 8 billion in less than two centuries, is now needed to provide the food, medical care and communications needed to sustain and grow this population. How can world leaders consciously support the demise of crude oil?

Just because 2 of the more than 6,000 products made from crude oil are gasoline and diesel fuels for short-range, light-duty equipment like cars and trucks, why continue to chase the disappearance of crude oil? Electric vehicle technology is advancing to replace these two petroleum-based products. Electric vehicle owners have demonstrated that their use of electric vehicles for approximately 5,000 miles per year represents a real opportunity to meet this short-range need with electric vehicles.

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Ron Stein is an engineer who, drawing on 25 years of project management and business development experience, launched PTS Advance in 1995. He is an author, engineer and energy expert who writes frequently on issues energy and savings.

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