Op-Ed: ‘Green Deal’ is Raw Deal for Oil, Coal & Gas

The Misconception that there is no role for natural resources in a ‘lower carbon’ world … is wrong!

Dear Editor:

The attack on oil, gas and coal by Chicago Democrats who support the Green New Deal coming out of Washington, D.C. and continue to say oil, coal and gas are evil and only ‘renewables’ are good– is wrong! That Green New Deal is a raw deal for southern Illinois and a continued assault on business and jobs!

The Green New Deal is a set of goals aimed at addressing climate change and income inequality. The extremists propose to rapidly move the United States to a fossil fuel-free economy in just ten years, while at the same time guaranteeing everyone a job and a living wage. Lofty and unrealistic goals!

Based on independent data produced by the International Energy Agency, a balanced approach is essential to achieving shared goals on greenhouse gas emissions. Their discussion also focused on exploring the ways how fossil fuels and renewable sources together will shape the future of energy.

Renewable sources of energy (wind, solar, hydroelectric, biofuels, etc.) can’t realistically meet the world’s growing energy needs. The International Energy Agency’s most optimistic low-carbon forecast for 2040, points out that renewables – including hydro and biofuels – will only be able to meet about 30% of energy demand. Oil, coal and gas will form about half of the energy mix then, just as they do now. So, as it turns out, oil, coal and gas will have to come to the aid of the ‘green deal’ sources of energy to be able to heat homes, run trains and automobiles, and keep the computers and cell phones powered.

Now, with a ‘green deal’ legislation being proposed in Illinois, more people will have to move their businesses from Illinois to Indiana, Kentucky, or any number of neighboring states with friendlier economic environments that don’t have higher property taxes, sales taxes, higher income taxes, higher business taxes, business fees, business regulation, or a higher minimum wage at $15/hour.

Just a few years ago in 2015, Franklin Well Services Inc. relocated their headquarters from Lawrenceville, Illinois, to Vincennes, Indiana across the Wabash River. That relocation took 92 high wage jobs away from Illinois!

In our area for example, Pioneer Oil moved out of Illinois three years ago to Vincennes, IN…taking with them jobs and opportunity for our citizens. Owner, Don Jones, a fifth generation oil producer, at age 69 finally had enough of the Chicago Democrats creating a hostile business climate for his company. The governor of Indiana was so excited about growing jobs in that state that he traveled down for the ribbon cutting!

Just a reminder that there are 36,000 wells in Illinois with 8.8 million barrels produced annually. That oil created and supports approximately 14,000 jobs and over $700 million in taxes paid to Illinois.

It is not immoral to explore, develop and produce oil and gas. It is difficult and challenging, and for many, many years, oil and gas will still be a prerequisite for keeping society going. Oil and gas companies’ biggest challenge is still not declining demand, but how to find more oil and gas. We have it here in southern Illinois!

You can learn more about the history and impact of oil and gas in Illinois through the Illinois Oil Field Museum and Resource Center at Oblong, IL (http://www.theonlyoblong.com/oil_field/index.html)

Chris Miller 

State Representative – 110th District y31 \lsdl