May 11, 2016

Interior Secretary: ‘Keep it in the Ground’ Protests ‘Naïve’

Speaking with a Desert Sun reporter following an event in California last Thursday, Sally Jewell, secretary of the Department of the Interior called protests to eliminate all fossil fuel production ‘naïve’.

“It’s going to take a very long time before we can wean ourselves from fossil fuels, so I think that to keep it in the ground is naïve, to say we could shift to 100 percent renewables is naïve,” Jewell said. “We really have to have a blend over time, and a transition over time, that recognizes the real complexity of what we’re dealing with.”

The “Keep it in the Ground” movement has sought to block all production of fossil fuels in the U.S. The fact is, as Secretary Jewell pointed out, the transition to renewable sources of energy is not one that will happen overnight. America has already made great advances to limit greenhouse gas emissions, including the growing shift to clean-burning natural gas for power generation. Power plants across our region and the nation are increasingly turning to this abundant domestic resource, which compared to alternatives, generates nearly half the amount of carbon dioxide.

The key to furthering the success of natural gas will be providing the necessary infrastructure to transport this resource. Current pipeline networks—many of which were built to accommodate foreign crude oil imports—lack the capacity needed to deliver natural gas to market.

Natural gas is already playing a critical role in reducing America’s carbon footprint and will continue to do so for generations to come.