[Editor's note: A version of this story appears in the April 2021 issue of Oil and Gas Investor magazine.]
The hottest debate in the energy world is not about how hot the globe is becoming; it is about the future of energy itself. But of course, the two problems are tied together and will not be separated. Which energy sources will be plentiful, affordable and easily distributed? Can any of these be permitted, accessed, produced and then consumed without further warming the atmosphere we depend on?
This debate shows up so many ways. One example for which you’ve already read too many claims and counter claims: The Great February Texas Freeze. More than enough finger pointing occurred, but it all comes down to this: Would you spend billions of dollars now to be prepared for a weather event that may or may not happen once every 30, 40, 50 years? The answer appears to be a resounding no.
The cities of Galveston and Houston have long debated what to do about flooding during a hurricane, yet they can’t agree on a solution or who would foot the bill for it in the first place. The devastation of Hurricane Harvey in 2017 still lingers and is a horrible example. Austin and Houston authorities have been arguing over who will control the distribution of billions of dollars that were set aside by the federal and state governments for repairs, rebuilds and mitigation.