People don’t generally understand the reality today that the primary usage of crude oil is not to generate electricity, but to manufacture derivatives and fuels which are the ingredients of everything needed by economies and lifestyles to exist and prosper.
Energy realism requires that the legislators, policymakers, media and the investment community begin to understand the staggering scale of what decarbonization would truly mean.
ESG Versus Oil
Advocates for divesting from companies involved in the production of oil as part of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) goals are seemingly unaware that crude oil not used to generate electricity.
In fact, until crude oil is refined it is virtually useless. But once refined, it is a miracle product, with oil derivatives serving as the basis of more than 6,000 products in our daily lives that did not exist before the 1900s, and as the fuels to move the heavy-weight and long-range needs of aircraft, cruise and merchant ships.
Products from crude oil are the foundation of modern society and few consumers are willing to give up those benefits. Access to inexpensive, abundant, and dependable crude oil has been the cornerstone of the Industrial Revolution and humanity’s achievements.
Pervasive ignorance about crude oil usage and the desirability of divest from the oil and gas industry could do irreparable harm to it, as well as inflict supply shortages and soaring prices upon consumers for the numerous much in demand products manufactured from crude oil.
Neither solar and wind generated electricity can produce any of the products derived from crude oil, they can only generate intermittent electricity. In fact, renewables cannot exist without crude oil as all the parts of wind turbines and solar panels are made with oil derivatives manufactured from crude oil.
Banks and investment giants that are driving today’s Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) movement to divest from fossil fuels are all the rage on Wall Street as a way of reducing to non-toxic greenhouse gas emissions. It is appalling that both President Biden and the United Nations support the investment community collusion in efforts to reshape economies and our energy infrastructure.
Before divesting in all three fossil fuels of coal, natural gas, and crude oil, where is the replacement or clone for crude oil, to keep today’s societies and economies running?
Looking back a little more than 100 years, it’s easy to see how civilization has benefited from more than 250 leading-edge, hydrocarbon processing licensed refining technologies used by the more than 700 refineries worldwide that service the demands of the eight billion people living on earth with more than 6,000 products made from the oil derivatives manufactured out of raw crude oil at refineries. None of these products were available to society before 1900.
Ending crude oil production and use would reverse much of the progress made over the last few centuries. Indeed the use of petroleum in the early 1900s led us into the power America’s industrial revolution and and victories in World Wars I and II.
The products from fossil fuels have reduced infant mortality, extended average lifespans from approximately from 40 years to more than 80, allowed us to move to anywhere in the world via planes, trains, ships and vehicles, and virtually eliminated weather related fatalities.
‘Banks … Short Memories’
As ESG progresses, banks and investment giants are demonstrating they have short memories concerning the vital nature of petroleum based products to modern socieity.
Efforts to cease the use of crude oil could be the greatest threat to civilization, not climate change, and lead the world to an era of guaranteed extreme shortages of fossil fuel products, like we had in the decarbonized world in the 1800s. This would likely result in billions of fatalities from diseases, malnutrition and weather-related deaths trying to live without the more than 6,000 products currently created from oil derivatives.
Abandoning fossil fuels now would also deprive and/or delay providing nine percent of humanity, or more than 689 million people, in this world living below the international poverty line of $1.90 a day, from enjoying the same products and standards of living wealthy and healthy countries take for granted.
Allowing banks to collude with investment community to reshape economies and lifestyles, in line with the progressive politics of their woke leadership, is an extremely dangerous precedent. Consumers never voted to give banks this sort of control over our world.
For these reasons and more, depriving citizens of oil is immoral and evil.
It is time for the people to demand anti-ESG bills from their legislatures to stop the collusion between big banks and large investment firms, which will inflict even greater shortages and inflation on people in developing countries, and subject people in developing countries to continued, preventable abject penury.
In short, it’s time to ban ESG, not oil.
Ronald Stein (Ronald.Stein@PTSadvance.com) is the founder of and ambassador for Energy & Infrastructure at PTS Advance.
This is a modified version of an article which originally appeared in Oilman Magazine.