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In a rather surprising comment during the State of the Union Speech Tuesday night, U.S. President Joe Biden admitted that the world would still need oil and gas “for at least another decade,” adding “and beyond that.”
The acknowledgment surprised some followers and even elicited boos and hearty laughs from some in the crowd, although most in the oil and gas industry have long maintained that they will be needed for many years to come.
Others in the oil and gas industry could consider his acknowledgment as going not far enough, considering the President’s chastisement of said industry for not ramping up investments as the world rebounded from Covid. Instead, the oil industry has been hard at work spending billions in share buybacks and paying out dividends, and President Biden has not wasted the opportunity to point out the industry’s war profiteering. In his speech last night, President Biden called for a quadrupling of taxes on corporate stock buybacks, which the President says will encourage more industry investments in the long term.
But “long term” to the industry likely goes significantly beyond the decade to which Biden is referring, especially considering he is asking the industry to sink billions and billions of dollars into future development—many of which take years to come to fruition. Promising that the industry will have life for at least a decade is insufficient for the industry who is likely looking ahead much further down the road.
The comments, while drawing criticism from the climate-conscious left who would love to see nothing more than a speedy renewable shift, drew criticism from the oil industry as well, for asking for billions while calling the effective end to the industry in a mere decade.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for Oilprice.com, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.