Quitting Oil, Natural Gas and Coal Won't Be Easy (Rep. Gene Green)

Renewables. Conservation. Efficiency. These are the buzzwords of the global warming conversation. But even taking into account expected improvements in those key areas, oil, natural gas and coal will continue to make up the large majority of our country's energy use even in 2030 and perhaps many years beyond. It will not be easy to wean our economy off the food that provides 86 percent of its energy.

The reality of global warming is not lost on the residents of energy-producing areas. Greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced. But if we take an unrealistic or knee-jerk approach, we could end up facing inadequate fuel supplies, price spikes and increased unemployment.

Also, greenhouse gas cap legislation must take into account the inevitable rise in demand for already-expensive natural gas when coal-fired power plants reach their emissions limits. Higher demand will naturally lead to higher prices unless we also increase the supply from our vast North American natural gas resources.

Energy-producing districts don't want to dominate the global warming agenda of the Democratic Party, but we want to be involved in the policy development process.