Curtis Jundt: Fossil-fuel firms will rise, 'Revenant'-like, again
BISMARCK -- The movie "The Revenant" already has won a boatload of awards. Its leading actor, Leonardo DiCaprio, was stellar in his bloodied role. His return from near death to be Revenant -- "a visible ghost ... that is believed to have returned...
BISMARCK - The movie "The Revenant" already has won a boatload of awards. Its leading actor, Leonardo DiCaprio, was stellar in his bloodied role. His return from near death to be Revenant - "a visible ghost ... that is believed to have returned from the grave," as Wikipedia describes - truly exemplifies the strength of man's will to survive.
The fossil fuel industry - coal, oil and natural gas - itself has been beaten and "bloodied" extensively in recent years. Coal, for example, has been pounded heavily since the vice presidency of Al Gore.
And just when that industry had spent billions of dollars reducing emissions, Gore found a way to assault ALL fossil fuels - namely, through attacking carbon dioxide emissions.
Fossil fuel energy providers have endured years of increasingly aggressive and harsh EPA regulations on top of low natural gas prices, now-collapsed oil prices and hostility toward the coal industry. The very energy industry that helped America become a leading industrialized nation and superpower is under an unprecedented assault by a movement of irrational activism that seemingly wants the industry gone.
Yes, fossil fuels are a finite resource. And yes, we owe it to future generations to find economical alternative forms of energy for an exploding global population.
But the untimely deployment of uneconomic alternative energy sources is economic suicide for this country. And being economically weak now will not make for a strong future.
Back to actor DiCaprio: Recently, he joined the Sioux Nation to stand against the newly permitted oil pipeline that will transport North Dakota crude oil to Gulf Coast refineries. Pipelines are the most economical and environmentally safe method of moving petroleum to market.
Then a few days ago, DiCaprio took an 8,000-mile jet trip to accept an environmental award in New York, where he stated: "Climate change is real. It is happening right now. It is the most urgent threat facing our entire species. We need to work together to stop procrastinating. ... Let us not take this planet for granted."
It's just another "do as I say, not as I do" display, the No. 1 beneficiaries of which always are the speakers themselves. The most "urgent threat facing our entire species"? Ask the millions of people around the world who are jobless, poor, homeless, starving, sick, persecuted and so on whether climate change is the most urgent threat.
Then follow the money trail of the climate activists, and you'll see who the activists truly care about. Former Vice President Gore got very rich at our expense.
He, like DiCaprio, consumes gross quantities of fossil fuels as he lives a posh life of conspicuous consumption.
It is an irreverent way to behave toward America's fossil fuel energy providers, who are working every day to bring safe and affordable energy to fuel America's economy. This on top of a federal deficit approaching $20 trillion that cannot keep blowing billions on boondoggle Solyndra Solar-type renewable-energy projects.
And consider this: the amount of fossil fuels used in the making of DiCaprio's "The Revenant" had to be mind-boggling, including massive volumes of fuel, quantities of items made from fossil fuels and so on. Blatant irreverence. Blatant hypocrisy.
So, as we emerge from last week's 2016 Williston Basin Petroleum Conference, we must remember that America cannot survive without fossil fuels. The industry is and will be the leader in transitioning America's complex energy production mix to include other forms of energy production that make economic sense rather than just feel good.
America has a wealth of inventors, innovators and engineers. We will continue to pioneer new forms of energy to fuel our nation as well as the global population that is on its way to eight billion souls.
And we will do it with reverence as we emerge from this difficult time, thus showing that we, too, can be a "Revenant."
Jundt is president and CEO of Envision Natural Resources Group, a natural gas entity.