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Point of View: Flawed energy policy blackouts

Mike Cantrell
Mike Cantrell

The short answer is a flawed energy policy built more on ideology than reality. We’ve shuttered coal plants and subsidized supplements like wind and solar, which has made us more dependent on them. The problem is the sun doesn’t always shine, the wind doesn’t always blow, wind blades and solar panels freeze over, and battery storage technology isn’t advanced enough to make them viable as replacements, at least not yet.

These policies have disadvantaged coal and natural gas, both of which are affordable and reliable sources of power generation. Bottom line: America got caught with our energy pants down.

We’ve followed this unrealistic policy out of fear for what might happen in the future at the expense of reliable energy today.

Our energy policy is the worst case of all-or-nothing thinking in modern history.

Of course, we must pursue alternatives. If we are not considering nuclear power, wind and solar are our best way into the future. However, they are just not there now. We must, as Americans, face the current reality and stop disadvantaging the natural gas and coal industry.

When we have policies that force the economy to invest in more solar power and not natural gas or coal, when the time comes (like now) where natural gas is desperately needed, it’s not immediately available. Our country has the resources in the ground, but when demand isn’t there, there is no incentive for producers to produce it.

We must immediately march realistically into the future with an energy policy based on “the now” and not ideology.

If the natural gas and the coal industry had a theme song today, it might be Toby Keith’s hit song, “How Do You Like Me Now?!”

At the end of the day, we need oil, we need coal and we need natural gas to keep our citizens safe, warm and keep America running.

Mike Cantrell is an oil producer from Ada and is a board member of the National Stripper Well Association.