Fossil fuel companies are trying to rig the marketplace

Fossil fuel companies are trying to rig the marketplace

Andrew Dessler writes:

Many of us focused on the problem of climate change have been waiting for the day when renewable energy would become cheaper than fossil fuels.

Well, we’re there: Solar and wind power are less expensive than oil, gas and coal in many places and are saving our economy billions of dollars. These and other renewable energy sources produced 30 percent of the world’s electricity in 2023, which may also have been the year that greenhouse gas emissions in the power sector peaked. In the United States alone, the amount of solar and wind energy capacity waiting to be built and connected to the grid is 18 times the amount of natural gas power capacity in the queue.

So you might reasonably conclude that the market is pivoting, and the end for fossil fuels is near.

But it’s not. Instead, fossil fuel interests — including think tanks, trade associations and dark money groups — are often preventing the market from shifting to the lowest cost energy.

Similar to other industries from tobacco to banking to pharmaceuticals, oil and gas interests use tactics like lobbying and manufacturing “grass-roots” support to maximize profits. They also spread misinformation: It’s well documented that fossil fuel interests tried to convince the public that their products didn’t cause climate change, in the same way that Big Tobacco tried to convince the public that its products didn’t harm people’s health.

But as renewables have become a more formidable competitor, we are now seeing something different: a large-scale effort to deceive the public into thinking that the alternative products are harmful, unreliable and worse for consumers. And as renewables continue to drop in cost, it will become even more critical for policymakers and others to challenge these attempts to slow the adoption of cheaper and healthier forms of energy. [Continue reading…]

Comments are closed.