U.S. Rep. Dan Crenshaw on Thursday criticized the emphasis on developing wind and solar energy to combat climate change, saying the people advocating it are being disingenuous and not really looking to reduce emissions.
The Houston Republican said instead of promoting ideas to really reduce emissions, advocates are more for a “religious adherence to solar and wind.”
“Nuclear would be a far better energy resource than solar and wind if they cared about zero emissions,” Crenshaw said at a virtual energy summit organized by Texas Oil & Gas Association. “So these people are disingenuous to begin with, so it’s hard to argue with people who aren’t really looking for the solutions.”
Crenshaw has been one of the Republicans most vocal in calling on the GOP to take climate change more seriously. Earlier this year Crenshaw told a Republican group that without being alarmist, the party can acknowledge that man-made emissions do have an impact on climate.
On Thursday, however, Crenshaw was particularly critical of solar and wind power advocacy. He said Germany spent over $500 billion trying to convert to solar and wind, but it led to more emissions and more reliance on them bringing in natural gas from Russia.
“So these things don’t work,” Crenshaw said. “These are silly solutions. They’re no solutions at all.”
Crenshaw said solar and wind require plowing down acres and acres of land and a ton of mining for rare minerals for solar panels “just so you can have unreliable energy.”
Instead, Crenshaw told the Texas Oil & Gas Association that he’s advocated for expanding things that have proven successful, such as carbon capture technologies.
Crenshaw has pushed legislation in Congress to push more federal research and development funding to carbon capture innovation. He said to him that seems like such a “smarter option than this rather silly notion” of keeping fossil fuels in the ground.
Crenshaw said advocates of the oil and gas industry have to fight back against popular assumptions about the industry that he says are not true.
“The first assumption that has to be debunked is this notion that fossil fuels can never be a part of a clean energy future,” Crenshaw said. “That’s of course not true. We can always point out the reason that we are at about 1990 levels of carbon emissions is because of the natural gas revolution and the fracking industry.”
Crenshaw also said nuclear power is better in many ways than solar and wind. He said nuclear plants take up far less space, and if they are closer to where the energy needs to go, it reduces the lost energy in getting the power onto the grid.
Crenshaw’s comments came shortly after Todd Staples, president of the Texas Oil & Gas Association, made his own case for how the oil and gas industry is helping the environment.
“Oil and natural gas companies are simultaneously investing heavily in environmentally sound technologies that are resulting in significant environmental progress,” Staples said. “Pioneering technologies, innovations and advancements allow the industry to develop and deploy cleaner energy technologies and world-class emissions control systems.”
Staples pleaded with attendees of the virtual summit to make sure they are registered to vote and ready to stand up against politicians who want to steer away from the fossil fuel industry. He warned that the promise of going to wind and solar cannot produce the high wage jobs that have fueled the Texas economy for decades.
Transitioning away from fossil fuel “means a lower standard of living for hundreds of thousands of families when you consider the higher pay scale in oil and natural gas,” he said.
Crenshaw is running for re-election in Houston’s 2nd Congressional District, which runs from Humble to Spring and swirls over to West Houston and picks of portions of the Energy Corridor.
In her campaign against Crenshaw, Democrat Sima Ladjevardian has said that “the oil and gas industries are integral to Houston’s history and economy, and will be an important part of any path forward to a clean energy future.”
While she has said she supports natural gas, Ladjevardian has called for measures to ensure fracking doesn’t damage water supplies.
“I support strong regulations on fracking to prevent methane leaks and leaching of dangerous chemicals into our public water supplies,” Ladjevardian says on her website.
But Ladjevardian also advocates for more renewable energy, like wind power.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding