of the book
Case for Fossil
Fuels” published by Portfolio, an
imprint of the Penguin Group.
This article first appeared in the
November 2014 issue of Pipeline
& Gas Journal and is used with
permission of the publisher,
Oildom Publishing Company of
resource, they were creating a resource.
The world was a better place for it.
It is obscene to call today’s new resource creators in the shale energy industry and the oil sands energy industry “exploiters” when they have turned
stone and sludge into life-giving energy—a feat that may ultimately extend to
trillions of barrels of once inaccessible
oil (in all of human history we’ve used
just over a trillion barrels). The fact that
oil is a “finite” material is not a problem,
any more than the “finite” supply of ra-re-earth metals is a black mark against
windmills. Every material is finite.
Life is all about taking the theoretically finite but practically limitless materials in nature and creatively turning
them into useful resources. The fossil
fuel industry does it, the “renewable”—
actually, the “unreliable”—energy industry doesn’t. End of story. “
Renewables” are no more the ideal form of
energy than wood is the ideal material
And by creating the best form of energy resource, the fossil fuel industry
helps every other industry more efficiently create every other type of resource, from food to steel.
The fossil fuel industry is fundamentally good. It minimizes environmental
threats and maximizes environmental
resources. This truth, along with the
rest of the moral case for fossil fuels, is
something the industry needs to understand and communicate—for all our
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