Report: America's oil boom could lead to a 'climate catastrophe'

The US drive to become the world's largest oil and gas producer will sow the seeds of a "climate catastrophe," according to a report delivered at the Davos summit.



The report by Oil Change International said that the United States is set to "unleash the world's largest burst" of carbon emissions from new oil and gas development if it goes ahead with its plans to expand drilling.

"At precisely the time in which the world must begin rapidly decarbonizing to avoid runaway climate disaster, the United States is moving further and faster than any other country to expand oil and gas extraction," the report said.

Let the unleashing begin! You would think "moving further and faster than any other country" in producing oil would be cause for a celebration of national pride.

Uh uh.

The United States became the world's largest oil producer last year, surpassing Russia and Saudi Arabia. America's oil output has more than doubled over the past decade, mostly thanks to the huge shale oil boom.

The International Energy Agency said Friday that US oil output soared by more than 2 million barrels per day in 2018, the biggest jump ever recorded by any country. The agency, which monitors energy markets trends for the world's richest nations, said the growth will continue this year.

Again, isn't that cause for a celebration? At least it's worth an "atta boy." US oil output is making energy cheaper for poor people. What's wrong with that?

The report by Oil Change International said that existing oil and gas fields and coal mines already contain enough carbon to push the world beyond the goals of the Paris Agreement.

"Stopping new projects alone will not be enough to keep warming well below" 2 degrees Celsius, it said.

"To limit catastrophic climate change, governments must manage the decline of the fossil fuel industry, and do so over the next few decades," it added.

I would love to drive an electric car, have my home powered by solar energy, and live the wonderful green life we're all destined to live - just as soon as an electric car is made as well and operates as efficiently as a gas powered car and solar energy can be made as cheaply and reliably as oil or gas powered electricity.

But that day is not today. Or anytime soon, for that matter. Meanwhile, the drilling itself does not cause climate change, so drill, baby drill.