| The jack pump and the turbine don’t need to be on opposite sides of the solution. (Alex Bauernschub/Flickr)
Energy leaders should “move from breathless anticipation of a green dawn” and focus on the heavy lifting that will be required to create a low-carbon future, says Joe Stanislaw, a professor, senior advisor to Deloitte and co-founder of Cambridge Energy Research Associates.
In a white paper released today at Deloitte’s annual oil and gas conference, Stanislaw says policy makers and businesses need to stop chasing after only the energy solutions that are “green” or from renewable sources in order to meet the goals of fighting dwindling energy supplies and pollution. This means looking at oil, natural gas and coal as having the potential to be clean sources with the development of new technologies.
“The principle goal of policymakers should be to establish a level playing field that makes it easier to identify the cleanest fuels producible at the lowest cost, while also reducing energy use through efficiency and other technologies,” said Stanislaw.
Some of the key points Stanislaw recommends for reaching that goal:
• Establish a predictable price for carbon emissions to “unleash greater efforts at conservation, efficiency and demand reduction.” This sounds like a preference for a set carbon tax versus a cap-and-trade system where the price would change regularly (if not dramatically).
• Bridge the current divide between ‘old energy’ and ‘new energy’ — “wherein the green evangelists mock the traditional fuels and the oil and gas crowd reciprocate.”
• Stop marginalizing abundant natural gas and treat it equally with other fuels in the climate change bills currently being debated in Congress.
• Get the oil and gas industries to commit to developing carbon-neutral technology, with a goal of making ‘clean oil,’ ‘clean natural gas’ and ‘clean coal’ not sound like oxymoronic.