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U.S. climate czar urges oil industry to hasten transition to renewables

CommoditiesMar 02, 2021 01:01PM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. President-elect Joe Biden announces announces national security team at his transition headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware

By Valerie Volcovici

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. climate envoy John Kerry on Tuesday urged oil and gas companies to do more to diversify and adopt low-carbon technologies to tackle climate change.

Speaking alongside oil executives making the case for the continued production of oil and gas at the virtually-held CERAWeek conference, Kerry called for the United States to accelerate the development of hydrogen, carbon capture and other technologies that can reduce emissions.

"I think that the fossil fuel industry clearly could do a lot more to transition into being a full-fledged energy (industry) that is embracing some of these new technologies," Kerry said in a conversation with former U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz.

The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the transition to renewable fuels and electrification of key elements of energy use. Global majors have been playing catch-up, responding to demands from investors to reduce production of fuels that contribute to global warming.

The United States will disclose a new greenhouse gas emission reduction target for the next decade at a global leaders summit on April 22, he said. President Joe Biden, who appointed Kerry, announced on this first day in office in January that America will rejoin the Paris climate agreement.

Biden, in his first weeks as president, canceled a presidential permit that would have allowed the construction of the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline from Canada, and is taking steps to limit new oil and gas development that could limit new leases on federal lands.

His actions have drawn criticism from oil executives who believe this will make the United States more dependent on oil imports from countries other than neighboring Canada or Mexico.

"We’ve reached energy independence from just looking at North America - Canada, the United States and Mexico - and now we’re going to be importing 60% to 70% of our crude from OPEC again if they follow through with our ban and not allow any more production," said Scott Sheffield, chief executive officer at Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE:PXD) Co.

Chevron Corp (NYSE:CVX) CEO Michael Wirth said in a separate session that the oil industry and U.S. government can join to advance lower-carbon fuels.

"Natural gas should play a very important role," added Wirth. "This is an area where there should be common ground."

In his remarks, Kerry also highlighted the need for a major investment in energy infrastructure in the United States to accelerate the deployment of renewable electricity and called out states like Texas, for being resistant to modernizing the U.S. electric grid.

"We need to have a smart grid. That will save us huge amount of money, reduce emissions and produce a capacity to have baseload challenges met," Kerry said, adding the U.S. could drastically increase renewable electricity deployment.

"But we are going to have to get rid of some of our chauvinism and our parochial components that resist common sense and the need to move very hastily to get this done," he added.

U.S. climate czar urges oil industry to hasten transition to renewables
 

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Comments (10)
Jared Ryan
Jared Ryan Mar 02, 2021 1:58PM ET
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As he flies around the country in his private jet. Horse faced liar
Rad Chad
FeeFiFoFum Mar 02, 2021 1:36PM ET
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Kerry, you have to get India and China on board.  NOTHING else will provide the global results you allegedly seek
alex gallegos
alex gallegos Mar 02, 2021 1:36PM ET
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They will do what they want. Kerry has no influence over them.
Rick Baier
Rick Baier Mar 02, 2021 1:14PM ET
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Apfel, Yup there you go.
Kenneth nelson
grasshopper Mar 02, 2021 1:14PM ET
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Kerry needs the rope
George Jetson
George Jetson Mar 02, 2021 1:03PM ET
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sticks and stones may break my bones, but skulls and bones will ****me 👉🕳️
Alan Rice
Alan Rice Mar 02, 2021 12:11PM ET
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Mr. Secretary: Less consumption, not (different TYPES) of consumption. Tic-toc.
Alan Rice
Alan Rice Mar 02, 2021 12:09PM ET
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Secretary Kerry : LEADER, or merely, another politician ? Stay tuned.
Rad Chad
FeeFiFoFum Mar 02, 2021 12:09PM ET
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I can save you some time....just another politician......got all his money from his wife too
John Wim
John Wim Mar 02, 2021 11:04AM ET
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This guy is a traitor
Vlad Lozovskiy
Vlad Lozovskiy Mar 02, 2021 8:43AM ET
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Lol.  Wolf tells sheep that they need to eat less.
Rick Baier
Rick Baier Mar 02, 2021 8:39AM ET
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John Kerry and his wife have 5 homes a private jet and 6 vechicles. They did sell their yact in 2004 I believe. This man is gonna tell you and I we need to rdfuce our carbon footprint. The hyprocrites also know as the career politician.
Apfel Wein
Apfel Wein Mar 02, 2021 8:39AM ET
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made me recall this from HuffPo (july 2010, updated july 2013)," Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry is docking his family’s new $7 million yacht in neighboring Rhode Island, allowing him to avoid paying roughly $500,000 in taxes to the cash-strapped Bay State."
Alan Rice
Alan Rice Mar 02, 2021 8:39AM ET
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Rick: We will ALL be learning new tricks now, IF we are going to survive. Tic-toc.
 
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