Black gold versus green tech in the presidential race
The final US presidential debate produced opposing energy agendas as President Trump took up the case for fossil fuels and former Vice President Joe Biden looked to the renewables sector.
Trump memorably withdrew from the Paris accord on limiting global warming early in his first term as the US became the largest producer of oil and gas in the world.
By contrast, Biden is a big backer of the Paris agreement and a huge supporter of hyrdogen, wind and solar power – hence the jump in solar stocks on Friday.
Beyond the point scoring in the widely-watched debate, the US remains heavily dependent on fossil fuels.
The US energy information administration (EIA) reported in 2019 that coal represented about 11 percent of total US energy consumption. Then of course, there is oil. In 2019, consumption of finished motor gasoline was equal to about 45 percent of total US petroleum consumption.
During the final US presidential debate, Joe Biden's statements reveal his potentially disastrous impact on the future of the oil industry in general and on the US shale oil industry in particular.
Despite his support, market forces still apply and renewable energy investments still struggle when oil is so cheap as it is now.
Biden is a big backer of the Paris agreement and a huge supporter of hyrdogen, wind and solar power – hence the jump in solar stocks on Friday.
Oil prices were at historical highs during most of the two recent Democratic administrations when Joe Biden was vice president. The situation is different today.
Fossil fuels remain essential in supporting jobs and industry in the US which is why the struggle between the green and black energy agendas is so intriguing.
- Faisal Faeq is an energy and oil marketing adviser. He was formerly with OPEC and Saudi Aramco. Twitter:@faisalfaeq