TULSA - A proposal dubbed the “Green New Deal” has alarmed many in the fossil fuels industry, since it calls for the elimination of that industry in the space of a decade.
The consensus among most experts in the field is that goal, while some may find it laudable, is hardly practical.
Greg Kozera, President of the Virginia Oil & Gas Association, holds a Masters Degree in Environmental Engineering.
He tells KRMG the idea of eliminating fossil fuels is not only impractical, it would do major damage.
“It's primarily wind, it's solar, it's geothermal, it's waves, it's hydroelectric, but when you put all those pieces together, and I looked at it an engineer, there's only five percent of that energy that you can count on 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” he told KRMG.
He added that the plan in no way makes provisions for how the US military could even function.
“The military...runs on fossil fuels. You can't run a tank on solar, and you can't run a fighter jet on wind,” he said, “you've got to have fossil fuels.”
Jack Kerfoot has forty years of experience as a geophysicist and energy consultant, and while he agrees that some aspects of the “Green New Deal” as recently proposed in Congress would be potentially “catastrophic,” he does believe the change to renewable forms of energy is both inevitable, and desirable.
“If we're talking about moving to renewable energy, what we're really saying is that we now will have the energy independence, and we'll never again be reliant on foreign oil imports,” he told KRMG.
Moreover, market forces have already increased demand for renewable energy, for the simple and fundamental reason that it's cheaper.
“In 2005, over 51% of electricity in the US was generated from coal,” Kerfoot said. “Now, in April of this year, that number was actually 22%, and renewable energy had gone from (2005) 8% or less than 8%, to over 23%.”
He says it doesn't really matter whether or not one accepts the prevailing scientific opinion on climate change.
“When I meet a climate skeptic, the first thing I like to ask them is 'do you like to save money?' Of course, renewable energy is cheaper than any form of fossil fuel for power,” Kerfoot said. “And then the next question, you remind them of the importance of being energy independent.”