An inconvenient truth attached to the mission of achieving carbon neutrality, for the moment, at least, is it can’t be accomplished without petroleum.

“The versatility of petroleum is very often overlooked,” Todd Stevens, former president and CEO of the California Resources Corp. (CRC), said during the Reuters Future of Oil and Gas conference in December. “It’s obviously a preeminent fuel source, but it’s an essential building block in everyday household goods, construction materials, your cell phone, medical devices. Zero-emission and low-emission vehicles like Teslas and the like are heavily plastic because they have to be light enough to be able to have the battery life and range about it.”

Stevens left the company on Dec. 31.

CRC has adopted sustainability goals aligned with California’s standards for 2030. They include increasing the use of recycled water by 30% over volumes used in 2013, the year CRC was founded. They also include generating 10 megawatts of electricity from renewable sources to support oil and gas operations; and designing a carbon capture system at its flagship Elk Hills power plant, which would reduce the company’s CO2 emissions by 30% from the 2013 baseline.

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