Media outlets have been celebrating ExxonMobil’s renewable energy commitments, which now include a 12-year agreement with Denmark’s Ørsted A/S to buy 500 megawatts of wind and solar power. ExxonMobil’s renewable energy power contract in the Permian Basin is the first signed by an oil company.
Hallelujah! But, wait. Should we cheer?
Does bringing in renewable energy in the Permian Basin — the fastest growing US oil field — even start to make amends for ExxonMobil’s incredible, lasting, and shattering impacts on the planet of fossil fuel drilling and burning? Fossil fuels are the largest source of anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the world. Don’t we need to get fossil fuels out of our buildings in order to slash US fossil fuel use by 80% by 2050? And what about switching from internal combustion engines to electric vehicles? How does ExxonMobil’s expansive drilling in the Permian Basin achieve those goals, even with a nod to wind and solar?
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