Rick Perry, one of the proponents of the shale revolution that has led the US to become the world's leading oil and gas producer, is ready to hold discussions with congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a young star of the Democratic party who launched the ‘Green New Deal’, so vehemently opposed by his Republican colleagues. “I believe that a discussion on the Green New Deal is a positive thing. We won't agree on everything, but I think it's wise to talk and it could be fruitful,” said the US Secretary of Energy when questioned during CERAWeek, the giant annual energy conference in Houston, on the eve of the global student climate march on Friday, March 15, inspired by 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg. The former governor of Texas indicated that there have already been contacts between his staff and Ocasio-Cortez.
Among the aims of the Green New Deal is to generate 100 percent of electricity in the US using renewables within the next 10 years. US President Donald Trump has defined Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal a threat to American industry and US liberty. Perry, while underlining the importance of renewables, claimed that under his leadership Texas had become a leader in green energy production, as a result of which, he said, “it has now overtaken the whole of Europe”. But generation from renewable sources is intermittent. “Imagine what would happen if a polar vortex caused a blackout for days in New York. It would be disastrous. There would be billions of dollars of damages.” The key, according to Perry, is diversification. “And people who care about the climate - he pointed out - cannot be opposed, for example, to nuclear energy, which has zero emissions.” Perry therefore indicated he would like to talk to Ocasio-Cortez about LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas), because it can contribute to reducing emissions both in the United States and in countries like China and India, which Washington wants to conquer with LNG exports. “I believe that both she (Ocasio-Cortez) and I agree that these are good objectives.”
Kinder to the planet: BP CEO speaks
A discussion with supporters of the “Green New Deal”, the proposal by US Democrats to drastically reduce dependence on fossil fuels, is essential to avoid losing the trust of society. BP’s CEO Bob Dudley is convinced of this. “We have to demonstrate that we share the objective of a low emission future and that we're working in this direction,” said Dudley.
“Our focus has to be to develop an energy system that is cleaner, better and kinder to the planet,” warned the oil giant’s CEO. “But we can only fully play our part if we have the trust of society and the confidence of our shareholders. That means engaging more with the young people who will take to the streets on Friday,” he said, referring to the demonstrations by students in more than 70 countries. “It means improving the dialog we have with policymakers around the world, including those behind the Green New Deal,” even if, he concluded, the demand for oil and gas “remains strong for decades” with the growth in demand, particularly in China and India.