Will oil companies save us from climate change?

Updated: Mar 14, 2021

oil rig at sea

The villains in the climate change drama are clearly the fossil fuel companies and their political minions. They are the Snidley Whiplash of the insane collapse of our environment. They have knowingly poured harmful billions of tons of carbon into the atmosphere which will most likely kill our children and certainly our grandchildren. They have sowed disinformation with their millions to slow the transition to renewable energy solutions in order to squeeze out every last dime of profit. They have learned well from their tobacco company brothers.

We fight them tooth and nail with wind turbines and flat plat collectors. We hammer them with one science study after another. In the same way they suck oil from the earth we are sucking investment dollars from their coffers by rattling the ESG saber. Perhaps one day they will be pummeled into oblivion and the world will be freed of their scourge.

However, we must be careful what we wish for. Along with them may well go the knowledge and the money that could help save us. That’s right, oil companies may be in the perfect position to eradicate the carbon plague they have caused. They could become the Grinch of climate change with their heart expanding exponentially at the last moment to save us from catastrophe.

How so?

They know how to drill better than anyone in the world.

Oil companies know how to take a massive bit and drill deep into the earth; straight down, sidesway, upside down and inside out. They can do it 24/7. They are the dentists of the earth’s crust. Their x-rays scan the rock beds plotting every nook and cranny. They know what’s down there and how to get at it. So, what is down there besides the black gooey stuff that’s killing us? Heat. That’s right thermal heat. The earth’s core is molten rock, and that heat extends to within a few miles of the earth’s surface.

What’s the big deal with that? From heat comes steam and from steam comes energy

It’s enough heat to provide 50,000 times the energy we require. The potential of geothermal energy dwarfs solar, wind and hydroelectric energy. This is no pipedream. It’s already being done. There are geothermal power plants in 26 countries and geothermal heating in 70 countries. Oil companies are especially suited to tackle the advanced geothermal systems that would indeed be the holy grail of renewable energy.

While some parts of the earth are better suited for geothermal energy the United States has vast tracts of land especially out west that are more than suitable. It might even be possible that some existing oil wells could be transformed into geothermal springs.