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CERA Week Shines Unflattering Light on Trump’s Backward Energy Policy

March 5, 2018

CERA Week Shines Unflattering Light on Trump’s Backward Energy Policy

Statement of Adrian Shelley, Director, Public Citizen’s Texas Office of Public Citizen

Note: The Cambridge Energy Research Associates meeting (CERA Week) is March 5-9 in Houston, Texas. Public Citizen takes this opportunity to reflect on President Donald Trump’s energy policies and Houston’s place in today’s climate discussions.

The world’s largest corporate and national oil producers are gathering in Houston to echo Trump’s misguided energy dominance mantra promoting the extraction of fossil fuels. These visitors to Houston might try to ignore their host city’s scars from Hurricane Harvey, just as their industry has ignored its responsibility for catastrophic climate change.

Texas leads North America in wind production – setting records and saving consumers millions – but CERA ignores the clean energy revolution and the disruptive impact renewables are having on the fossil fuel industry. Worse still, not a single public interest representative is speaking, and not one voice will bear witness to the ravages of environmental racism and other ills of oil extraction, refining and consumption.

Renewables already are delivering record-low energy prices, as nations understand that 21st century energy dominance will be measured not by the success of the extractive industry, but by investment and deployment of clean tech. And the CERA/Trump fallacy of fossil-fuel-exports-as-an-economic-policy will leave the United States at the mercy of volatile energy markets and foreign interests, as well as leaving legacy pollution and hazardous waste in its wake.

CERA’s wishful “Commodity Diplomacy” mistakes fossil fuel exports with political and economic leadership. The opposite is true. The world needs leaders to work together to address climate change. Those nations that prioritize innovation, research and deployment of renewable energy will lead, leaving the raw material extractive industries behind. Some in Houston know this, but you won’t hear from them at CERA Week. The $8,000-plus price tag excludes their voices from the conversation.

Public Citizen is a national, nonprofit consumer advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C., with an office in Austin, Texas.