Saturday, February 26, 2022

True Energy Independence Means More Renewables, Not Letting Foreign Markets Or Despots Dictate What We Pay For Energy

The Russian invasion of the Ukraine last week renewed a debate in the U.S. over what it means to be Energy Independent.

The old definition first coined during the 1970s OPEC oil embargo-- simply meant developing our own supplies of the same old source of energy-- petroleum.

The Energy Independent definition was expanded to include another old energy source-- natural gas-- when the fracking boom hit.

Now, a more comprehensive definition is being discussed defining “True Energy Independence” as not only developing homegrown energy resources, but those energy resources based on commodities where foreign energy markets do not dictate what we pay for energy.

True Energy Independence means developing more renewables-- moving away from coal, natural gas and petroleum to generate electricity and power our transportation system.

It also means a cleaner and healthier environment.

It’s a long term goal, but the transition is already happening as a result of market-driven changes and changes in investment strategies by private industry and governments.

It’s not going to be easy, but we’re an inventive bunch.

There are lots of issues to work out-- like critical minerals, sustainable sourcing, grid reliability-- but the better direction seems very clear.

Continuing to go down the same path of promoting more and more of the same commodity energy resources means we only guaranteed we’ll continue to be held hostage to the whims of international energy markets for what we pay at the gasoline pump, what we pay to heat our homes, power our businesses and farms and pay for electricity.

Why not determine our own future through True Energy Independence?

Food For Thought

Here are some articles from last week that discuss various aspects of True Energy Independence and continuing down the same path--

-- StateImpactPA - The Allegheny Front: PA Natural Gas Industry Looks To Export To Europe As Prices Skyrocket On Foreign Markets And PA Due To Russian Invasion Of Ukraine 

-- Inquirer - Andrew Maykuth: Natural Gas Utility Bills Soaring In Philly Region And So Is Customer Outrage- PECO Gas Up 38%, PGW Up 17% [PA Needs True Energy Independence, Not Energy Sources Whose Price Is Controlled By Foreign Markets And Despots]

-- PUC To Investigate UGI Utilities Natural Gas Service Rate Increase

-- WBTimes: PUC Suspends Proposed 9.5% UGI Natural Gas Rate Hike To Investigate

-- Republican Senators Yaw, Pittman, Langerholc Introduce Resolution Urging Biden To Restart The Keystone XL Pipeline [A Canadian Oil pipeline. From American Petroleum Institute Talking Points]

-- The Economist: If Russian Natural Gas Was Cut Off To Europe, Could LNG Plug The Gap? [Spoiler - Not From The U.S. Which Is Already Exporting At Near Full Capacity]

-- TribLive Guest Essay: It’s Time U.S. Energy Policy Stops Empowering Russia - PA Chamber Of Commerce [From American Petroleum Institute Talking Points]

-- PG Guest Essay: Creating A Mineral Supply Chain From Mining Wastes - Jennifer Wilcox, DOE [PA Highlighted - Why Don’t State Lawmakers Support This?]

-- PG Editorial: Ukraine Is The End Of Easy Peace, PA Can Play Key Supply Chain Role By Reclaiming Critical Rare Earth Elements From Coal Mine Waste  [Why Don’t PA Lawmakers Support This?]

-- PA Cap-Star: Renewable Energy Project Backlog Hampers Projects, Industry Group Says; 13 GW Of Solar Power Waiting In PA Alone Would Create 45,000 Direct Jobs

-- WHYY - Susan Phillips: Offshore Wind Leases Top $4 Billion For Coastal NJ, NY; More Than Oil & Gas Leases  

-- NYT: No True Energy Independence As Long As U.S. Tied To Globally Priced Fossil Fuels, Critical Minerals 

-- The Guardian Guest Essay: This Is How We Defeat Putin And Other Petrostate Autocrats - More Renewables

-- NYT: U.S. Oil Industry Uses Ukraine Invasion To Push For More Drilling, Although Wind And Solar Provide More Protection From Boom And Bust Oil Markets

-- The Guardian: U.S. Fossil Fuel Industry Leaps On Russia’s Invasion Of Ukraine To Argue For Looser Regulation, Drilling On Public Lands [As They Try To Profit From Fossil Fuel Price Increases Caused By War]

-- The Economist: If Russian Natural Gas Was Cut Off To Europe, Could LNG Plug The Gap? [Spoiler - Not From The U.S. Which Is Already Exporting At Near Full Capacity]

-- Financial Times: The New [Fossil Fuel] Energy Shock: Putin, Ukraine And The Global Economy

-- WSJ: Europe’s Dependence On Natural Gas Ties West’s Hands In Russia’s War On Ukraine

-- Bloomberg: EU Climate Chief Wants Renewables To Stop Making Putin ‘Rich’ 

-- MarketWatch: ‘Want To Stop Making Putin Rich… Renewables Is The Answer’

-- WPost: EU Will Unveil Strategy To Break Free From Russian Gas, Push Europe Toward More Renewables; Will Change Come Quickly Enough?

-- American Petroleum Institute Talking Points On Ukraine Crisis And Energy Security [Watch for them in PA Lawmaker Statements]

-- Huffpost: Oil-Backed Republicans Push For More Domestic Oil & Gas Production, Restart Of Keystone XL Pipeline [Learn about American Petroleum Institute Talking Points]

-- Yahoo!News: Biden’s Republican Critics Are Wrong About U.S. Natural Gas Production, Experts Say

-- U.S. DOE: Releases First-Ever Comprehensive Strategy To Secure America’s Clean Energy Supply Chain

-- U.S. DOE: Announces $150 Million To Reduce Climate Impacts Of Energy Technologies, Manufacturing

-- US EIA: Energy Implications Of Potential Iron And Steel Sector Decarbonization Pathways

(Written by David Hess, former Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection.)

[Posted: February 26, 2022]  PA Environment Digest

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