‘A Fool’s Errand’: That’s What Rick Perry Thinks Of Bans On Fossil Fuels

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Michael Bastasch Contributor
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Energy Secretary Rick Perry believes it’s “a fool’s errand” to ban fossil fuels in the coming decades, according to his remarks at an oil and gas industry conference.

“I think it’s a fool’s errand to stand up and say by 2030 we’re going to be done with fossil fuels … and what? Go back to living like we were living in the mid-1800s?” Perry said in response to a question from New York Times reporter Lisa Friedman at the CERAWeek conference in Houston.

Friedman asked Perry about “many countries’ plans to phase out coal.” A group of 19 countries pledged to phase out coal-fired power in the name of fighting man-made global warming in late November.

Two U.S. states, Oregon and Washington, and five Canadian provinces also pledged to phase out coal.

However, the anti-coal coalition of countries don’t actually use much coal. None of the coalition’s members are in the top 10 coal-reliant countries (or states). Only one member, Canada, broke the top 20 rankings for coal consumption.


Two high-profile members, the U.K. and France, both recently pledged to phase out coal power in the coming years. The U.K. already cut coal consumption to just 9 percent of its electricity in 2016, but the country plans a total phase out by 2025.

France gets most of its electricity from nuclear power plants, but President Emmanuel Macron pledged to phase out coal power by 2021. France also proposed banning all oil and gas exploration by 2040.

The Trump administration, however, has taken a different route, instead promoting energy development and exports. Perry has been a champion of oil and natural gas markets as a way to achieve geo-political stability.

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