Op-ed written by Nick Deluliis | The Hill
While the novel coronavirus has triggered a global debate on how to balance short-term infection rates with long-term economic viability, a crucial epiphany is slowly emerging through the deliberations. Society realizes that the “Church of Climate” has propagated an epic fraud upon individual rights, taxpayers, and free enterprise.
Today roughly 80 percent of our domestic energy comes from fossil fuels, a.k.a. carbon. Our hospitals are powered by carbon, our grocery stores refrigerate food via carbon, and every transportation link of our vital logistical chain is fueled by carbon.
The high priests of the climate change movement constitute a dog’s breakfast of special interest groups. The obvious members of extreme environmental groups, academia and government bureaucrats are joined by their not-so-obvious allies of a Russian dictator, the Saudis and Chinese Communist Party leaders. Scores of urban politicians and biased media members serve as willing pawns to help catalyze the crusade.
Government bureaucrats for years have demanded public companies disclose in Securities and Exchange Commission filings endless text about how companies were poorly equipped to manage pending climatic doom.
You’d have to look long and hard to find any disclosure on risk from contagions such as the one we currently are facing, despite such public health crises having crippled economies through the centuries.
Politicians in several states have banned plastic bags, straws and disposable cups, all in the name of enviro cred. Now, in order to prevent the spread of the virus, many of these same politicians had to reverse course and are now welcoming plastic bags and disposable cups while rejecting reusable ones.
Environmental groups with latent support from Russia work to block infrastructure investment in the form of pipelines to transport clean burning natural gas manufactured in Appalachia to consumers in the Northeast. As a result, Boston, during the winter, buys natural gas from Russian tankers, exposing a compromised supply chain presenting both virus and despot risk.
Academics for years lectured us on the fabricated fantasy of a carbon-free economy — such a thing is impossible and violates the laws of thermodynamics — and how it could save society. Yet, as soon as the tangible risk of pandemic hit, campuses folded like a house of cards and were unable to function. The quad did not drown in rising sea levels. Rest assured when campuses return to life, it will be the mighty carbon atom that allows it to operate by powering campuses, student transportation, the internet and the adjacent communities that are the workforce behind day-to-day campus life.
Rent-seeking renewables, in a campaign to garner endless wasteful public subsidies, touted themselves as reliable planet saviors. But windmills and solar panels proved unable to save the supply chain, let alone the planet.
Natural gas manufactured domestically protects us. Converting to unreliable, subsidy-sucking renewables manufactured in China would be societal suicide.
Self-proclaimed thought leaders instructed us to move to the cities, live and work in tightly-packed cubicle pods, and adopt public transportation — all to reduce that evil carbon footprint. Today we find that the hardest hit areas from the coronavirus, suffering the highest mortality rates, are those very same areas. It appears that, ironically, a low-carbon footprint has correlated with a high health risk.
Two hundred years of unleashing the carbon atom has benefited humanity in countless ways — from lighting our homes, powering factories and fueling our transportation system. As carbon utilization increases, life expectancy skyrockets, infant mortality plummets, and individual rights flourish. Without carbon, we’d be living in the Dark Ages.
To no surprise, during the current public health crisis, carbon once again is saving our backsides. Carbon is the feedstock of medical equipment — ventilators, gloves, sanitizer and face shields — that health care workers sorely need. Carbon keeps the power on in hospitals and nursing homes, and as states begin to reopen businesses, it will power the economy once again.
Things only get better as American innovation disrupts the global supply of oil and natural gas, providing more energy for less money over decades. All the Saudis, Russians, Chinese and OPEC can do is hope for a ban on fracking in the U.S. to disrupt the production of shale oil and natural gas. The peak oil fallacy of the 1970s served as a harbinger for today’s climate doomsday predictions.
Despite accusations from the left, the energy industry’s No. 1 priority is environmental stewardship as we safely and responsibly develop clean-burning natural gas. If the biggest price we paid for 200 years of carbon use is atmospheric CO2 going from 0.028 percent (280 parts per million) to 0.040 percent (400 parts per million), consider that to be the best trade in human history. Don’t let elitists tell you differently.
Nick DeIuliis is president and CEO of CNX Resources Corporation, one of the largest independent natural gas exploration, development and production companies, with operations centered in the major shale formations of the Appalachian basin.