The oil industry is starting to recover, after collapsing in historic fashion during the early days of the pandemic last year. But there are new headwinds on the horizon, with the Biden administration and other world leaders pushing anti-fossil fuel, 'green new deal' policies. The price of crude oil recently flirted with $70 a barrel, but has since slipped back to around the $60 mark, as OPEC announced plans to increase production next month.
All of these factors make for an uncertain future for oil and gas, as some analysts wonder if demand will ever fully return to pre-pandemic levels. David Holt, president of the Consumer Energy Alliance, agrees the industry is entering a new era. "Energy diversity is going to continue to be a big driving part of the energy economy, but there is no possible way that oil and natural gas go away completely," he tells KTRH.
"Some in government talk about banning fossil energy...I don't think that's something that we should really consider," says Holt. "Frankly, we're going to have to find ways to continue to use oil and gas while we improve the environmental performance."
Holt believes politicians and activists have created a false choice between the environment and energy production, while the U.S. has already proven that both can be successful at the same time. "We are very close to achieving what was required of the United States under the Paris Climate Accords, without even actually signing it until recently," he says. "So we're doing our part, and we're doing it at a time when the United States produced more oil and natural gas than it ever has before."
Ultimately, Holt believes the future of energy is an all-of-the-above approach. "We can meet our energy needs, and protect the environment, and ensure that we have affordable, reliable energy for those who can't afford to pay more for energy," he says.