Why Put All Our Energy Eggs Into One Fragile Basket?

Posted: June 18, 2021

Dear Friends,

I’m sure all of you followed the debacle of power outages in Texas and elsewhere in the wake of the deep freeze that hit in February. More than anything, it exposed how fragile the nation’s electric grid is.

No one has to tell people in our area about that. It seems as if three or four times per year, some storm knocks out our power, leaving tens of thousands of families without energy for days or weeks.

I bring this up in the context of efforts to rush full steam ahead on an “electrify everything” path in order to reduce carbon emissions. Please don’t get me wrong. I believe that we must take aggressive steps to address climate change. Our company has invested significantly to do exactly that. We’ve converted our fuel from traditional heating oil to Bioheat® fuel, with a 20% renewable component. It dramatically decreases emissions, without massive cost to taxpayers or homeowners. In fact, our cleaner-burning B20 Bioheat Plus® fuel generates fewer greenhouse gas emissions than natural gas!

The problem is that however well intended the “all electric” movement is, it is relying on breakthroughs that do not yet exist — to an electric grid that is already unreliable. Just look at the rolling blackouts in California last summer. Now consider what happens when the electric grid is taxed by huge new demand owing to conversions of cars, buildings, homes, etc.

Alternatively, we, and others in the liquid fuels industry, continue to offer solutions that immediately reduce every customer’s carbon footprint dramatically without regressive taxes, additional equipment cost to consumers or overloading the electric grid. We need thoughtful policy that balances the need to address our climate without putting all our eggs into one fragile basket.

David O’Connell