By Brook A. Simmons
In a recent tirade against the oil and natural gas industry, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said the products Oklahoma’s defining industry produces are “incompatible with human survival.”
It’s not the first time the U.N. chief has taken aim at the oil and natural gas industry, and it’s safe to say it won’t be the last. The Portuguese socialist has anointed himself the global leader in climate change fearmongering and has put the oil and natural gas industry squarely in his crosshairs.
The problem is the Secretary-General is wrong.
It was the energy sources Mr. Guterres derides that ushered in a new era of human progress. We learned to fly, with the Wright brothers leading the way. We defeated the Nazis in machinery powered by crude oil produced by Oklahoma roughnecks. We cured diseases in hospitals and laboratories powered by electricity generated by natural gas using syringes, tools, and medicines made possible by petroleum.
Access to abundant, affordable energy provided by the oil and natural gas industry contributes to human flourishing more than any other industry. We have made the world better, but now people like the Secretary-General want to reverse course.
Political vilifying of the oil and natural gas industry has only made it more difficult to explore for and produce the energy our world needs. Ever-changing industry regulations, restrictions on access to capital, and limiting lands open for exploration by politicians of Guterres’ ilk slow our ability to produce more oil and natural gas — energy to benefit the people of Sierra Leone, Cambodia, Cameroon, and every other developing country the same way it has benefitted America for more than 100 years.
The oil and natural gas industry is not incompatible with human survival, it’s the reason humans have flourished.
— Brook A. Simmons is president of The Petroleum Alliance of Oklahoma.