Texas researchers say that renewable energy quotas in the United States will not affect oil use very much in the United States.
The Rice University studies were funded by major oil companies and polluters, including ConocoPhillips, Koch Supply and Trading, BP and ExxonMobil.
Here’s a key finding from the study:
Ironically, the study reveals that business-as-usual, market-related trends might propel the United States toward greater oil and natural gas self-sufficiency over the next 20 years, while scenarios specifically focused on strict carbon caps and pricing, or a high carbon tax of $60 a tonne or more, could lead to a significant increase in U.S. reliance on oil imports between now and 2025.
The studies also indicate that shale gas will be a growing sector of the energy economy, only if “U.S. policies promote and allow the benefits provided by natural gas to be realized.”
But the best way to reduce foreign oil dependency, say the authors, is to start an “aggressive campaign” to bring electric vehicles to market.
Indeed, the authors say it is “the single most effective way to reduce U.S. oil demand and foreign imports” between now and 2050.
Of course, someone is going to have to supply the energy required to generate the electricity for that electric car fleet of the future.
Shale gas anyone?
Check out this article form the Financial Times, which shows the billion-dollar shale gas investments of ConocoPhillips, BP, ExxonMobil and others.