Oil Companies Are Getting Desperate

Written by SK Ashby

Global warming and climate change are existential threats to civilization but confronting them is an existential threat to the oil industry.

With a new administration in Washington, the oil industry can clearly see the writing on the wall and they're evidently feeling desperate and audacious. Reuters exclusively reported this morning that representatives from the oil industry are trying to form an alliance with the agricultural industry to oppose the Biden administration's plans for promoting the sale of electric vehicles.

The American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), an oil refining trade group, confirmed it has been contacting state and national representatives of the corn and biofuel industries in recent weeks to seek support for a policy that would reduce the carbon intensity of transport fuels and block efforts to provide federal subsidies for electric vehicles.

That proposal would be an alternative to Biden’s goal of electrifying the nation’s vehicle fleet and would ensure a market for liquid fuels like gasoline and corn-based ethanol.

Reuters reports that farm groups aren't necessarily keen to team up with the oil industry and that's why I'd called this 'audacious.'

As you may know, the oil industry is legally required by federal law to blend a certain amount of ethanol into their gasoline each year. The biofuel and greater agricultural industry has fought a four-year-long battle with the oil industry throughout Trump's time in office because the latter aggressively pursued waivers that allowed them to bypass requirements for blending ethanol. The shoe was on the other foot -- the oil industry's foot -- for most of the last presidential term.

You know, if it were up to me, both of these industries would crash and burn tomorrow, but in this one case I have to say the ethanol industry has more firm moral footing.

With that said, corn growers may eventually decide to team up with oil drillers, but I don't think it will matter. They can form an alliance to fight the Biden administration's plans, but they can't stop automakers from phasing out gasoline-powered cars from their portfolios. They can't stop General Motors. They can't stop California from mandating electrification.

Fossil fuel companies that eventually go bankrupt will have only themselves to blame because it's not as if they haven't had literally decades of warning and opportunity to convert their businesses into a more sustainable business. There's nothing stopping an oil giant from deciding they're going to become a solar giant except their own hubris.

All of this is happening because Democrats turned out to vote and kicked Donald Trump out of office.