Morning Consult recently published an op-ed by Guy Caruso, former Administrator of the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), regarding the latest developments with the Dakota Access Pipeline. Getting louder and louder, the anti-pipeline community has been very vocal in light of the Biden administration’s recent decision to keep the Dakota Access Pipeline operating while it remains under environmental review. Keep in mind: at this point in its life, DAPL has enjoyed four accident-free years of safe operation.
As most Americans realize, 73% according to Morning Consult’s findings, oil and natural gas remain as and will be integral parts of the energy landscape for the next few decades. It takes time— not to mention a heaping amount of resources— to effectively develop, test, and implement these green technologies to cultivate a cleaner environment. As Caruso writes, “In the meantime, the International Energy Agency is predicting that global energy demand is poised for a 4.6 percent increase this year, with nearly 70 percent of that increase in emerging markets and developing economies.” Emissions-cutting, “green” technology and renewables just can’t keep up; there is no way they are able to meet this demand. Therefore, why don’t we seek to ameliorate our existing, effective energy avenues through innovative upgrades? For example, Caruso writes that the Center on Global Energy Policy proposes “ upgrading and retrofitting the 2.5 million miles of pipeline infrastructure throughout the nation for the future transportation of green fuels like hydrogen.” Practicality must meet ingenuity to unify this problem.
To come to a clean yet practical solution, a combination of energy resources will need to be utilized— not leaving oil and natural gas in the dust. There doesn’t need to be a harsh binary of green solutions or fossil fuels. We must invest in both green technology and traditional pipelines to both support and enhance our nation’s multi-tiered prosperity.