It’s time for The Forum business section to stop regularly cheering the natural gas and oil industries of North Dakota. The worldwide, peer-reviewed science is now irrefutable: To avoid the worst of the climate devastation for our kids, we need to transition to carbon free energy ASAP. These gas and oil reports need to reflect the reality that producing and burning fossil fuels is a short-term necessary evil that needs to be quickly reduced.


We should end the massive subsidies we’ve given the fossil fuel industry since the 1940s. Last year the giveaways totaled over $20 billion. Many are special entitlements like first year deductibility of intangible costs, percentage depletion allowance, master limited partnerships, deductibility of royalty payments versus dividends, sales of royalties as capital gains, and royalty income not subject to unrelated business income tax. These are far in excess of the soon-to-expire clean energy subsidies. They use their subsidized profits to tilt the playing field in their favor. With billions at stake, they’re waging an all-out battle on a better future. They fight with misinformation to stall clean energy.

To readers who cheer on increases of fossil fuel production: How are you going to meet the eyes of your children when they ask, “Why did you roll over for dirty, outdated oil, gas and coal?” To writers at The Forum: When will you write regularly about the responsibility we have to protect a safe and healthy place for our kids to live?