Opinion: A surprising agreement on how to produce our oil and gas responsibly

Hugh Helferty and Myles Allen published this article in The Houston Chronicle, explaining that we don’t need to pit environmental responsibility against meeting society’s energy needs with oil and gas. Instead, a Carbon Takeback Obligation could achieve both goals.

From the article:

Unlike a carbon tax, which simply makes polluting more expensive, a carbon takeback obligation will ensure that we limit global warming and achieve net zero emissions by 2050. And unlike a tax credit for capturing and storing carbon, a carbon takeback obligation would not take the cost of that carbon sequestration out of taxpayers’ pockets.

Technologies to capture carbon and store it deep underground already exist. More advanced technologies, like Direct Air Capture, which removes carbon from the atmosphere for storage, are under development. But additional, more economic approaches must be invented — and will be, as a takeback obligation drives companies to develop and deploy the capability to permanently store carbon at a reasonable cost.

We have given ourselves until 2050 to reach net zero. For the oil and gas industry to meet this goal, that means raising the fraction of carbon stored by 3.5 percent per year, on average, from now on –– not 100 percent overnight. In a race to achieve the safest and most cost-efficient ways to store carbon, oil and gas companies would unlock enormous innovative potential.

Read the full article here.

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