The timing of the transition is difficult to pin down, in part because the energy sector has undergone rapid change in recent years. The United States was importing increasing amounts of oil and natural gas just 15 years ago when hydraulic fracturing suddenly produced a glut of both fuels and made the United States a major exporter.
Today, electric cars are more and more popular, and the costs of wind and solar power are falling rapidly. Coal, which was the main energy fuel at the turn of the century, is in deep decline, losing to natural gas and renewables.
“The fact that oil and gas is 70% of the world’s energy means you can’t change it all at once,” said Jon Olson, chair of the University’s Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering. from Texas to Austin. “If we don’t manage the transition very well, we could end up with energy shortages and all kinds of disasters.”
This still leaves the sustainable oil and gas policy in places like Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas that Democrats would like to win but where tens of thousands of jobs are directly or indirectly tied to production or processing of fossil fuels. A factory, built by Royal Dutch Shell in western Pennsylvania to produce plastic from a byproduct of natural gas, provides construction jobs for thousands of workers.
After watching the debate, Mike Belding, chairman of the Greene County Commission in western Pennsylvania, expressed concern about the economic consequences of a Biden presidency.
“Regionally, coal, natural gas and petroleum have been an economic and labor-intensive industry over the past century,” he said in an email. “New technologies, such as fracking and cracking operations, have great potential to boost our economies for the next century.
But the growth in oil and gas exploration in recent years has also angered some voters in Pennsylvania, who said it had not been an economic boon to many residents and criticized the industry’s environmental record. .