Outside the Box: The U.S. needs a unified energy industry to deal with soaring oil prices, OPEC+ and climate change

by | Oct 7, 2022 | Stock Market

Americans are paying 25% more for gasoline than they did a year ago. Higher gas prices force difficult decisions about buying food, paying rent and other essentials. Some argue it’s an insufficient supply issue, while others contend that the U.S. must transition to a cleaner-burning fuel economy. The real issue around gasoline prices and the costs of all types of energy is that the U.S. has no clear, coherent and consistent energy policy. 

The energy policy debate spans decades and with it a seesaw of energy policy from one administration to the next. Presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, and Joe Biden all advocated new and cleaner sources of energy, while Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, and Donald Trump largely trusted the marketplace, technology, and reducing dependency on foreign oil. Former President George H.W. Bush signed the revised Clean Air Act into law in 1990 and he also relied on the marketplace for solutions. The back and forth on energy policy leads to inconsistency, policy uncertainty, and at times higher gasoline and energy prices.  The U.S. has experienced considerable volatility and change over the past two decades. That is nothing new; volatility and change are part of U.S. history. But what does seem to be new and unique to this era is the speed at which changes are happening, and how quickly everyone is aware of them. The speed of change and policy uncertainty opens the door to reimagination, especially when it comes to U.S.-produced energy.  The likely way forward is by tapping into the intellectual capital of all aspects of the entire energy industry, including nuclear, solar, biomass, wind, oil, coal, hydroelectric, natural gas, hydrogen and fuel cells. The effort could develop precompetitive strategies that allow each of the energy sectors to shape a practical and viable energy policy. With this scale, the entire energy generation, storage and transmission industry could build a long term strategy, an implementation roadmap, and a viable transition plan to a different future. Read: What’s next for oil prices after OP …

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