The debate around SB 181 highlights something my generation, millennials, and take great interest in: causes. There’s a new one to get behind every day, like environmentalism.
But isn’t everyone an environmentalist? I consider myself one. I live in a small condo, recycle everything I can and use heating and air sparingly. I prefer to walk, take scooters or carpool. I love the outdoors.
Still, this doesn’t mean I don’t understand how fossil fuels power everything from my Instagram feed to my smartphone, which is made of plastic, aluminum and processor chips from rare earth minerals. I support wind and solar. That doesn’t mean I resent fossil fuels.
I’m acutely aware of the ways I use cleaner-burning fossil fuels, like when I travel to Africa, Southeast Asia and South America. While my home life leaves a small carbon footprint, flying takes a lot of energy. Fossil fuels make this and countless other necessities possible and affordable. As a young professional, far from the top on the salary payroll, working to stretch every dollar, I need that.
Today’s fossil fuel industry isn’t that of our grandparents’ era; it’s efficient and environmentally conscious. And because all energy resources serve an important purpose, they shouldn’t be pitted against each other. The real conversation should be on how we conserve and use energy more efficiently, not outright bans and elimination.
Senior Director, Consumer Energy Alliance