The recent invasion of Ukraine by Russia is a stark reminder of what a cold, harsh place the world can be. I have no idea how bad this invasion will turn out to be. Most of us can only wait for news and pray for the safety of the Ukrainian people enduring this brutal attack.
As shock waves of this assault — launched during a time of relative peace — reverberate around the world, it demonstrates once again how important it is to nurture an “all of the above” energy strategy for our country. We cannot isolate ourselves from the effects of world events, but we must ensure an adequate supply of energy resources to meet our most basic security needs. All the world’s nations, and especially those in Europe, are being taught a lesson in vulnerability.
There are voices saying the lesson to be learned is to abandon fossil fuels in favor of green energy as a way to insulate us from the effects of an energy-supply crisis. Unfortunately, that is simply not realistic in the next 20 to 30 years. The non-fossil fuel technologies required to “firm up” the intermittent nature of wind and solar — nuclear power, battery storage, hydrogen — are all at least 20 years away from making a meaningful impact on our energy infrastructure. We will certainly make progress during that time, but we’ll still be dependent on diverse fossil fuel resources if we are to have an affordable, reliable, on-demand supply of energy that our current way of life requires.
In the meantime, your electric cooperatives will continue to promote policies that encourage the efficient and environmentally responsible development of energy resources of all types. The risks of favoring limited-supply sources, like only renewable energy, however, have been made all too clear.
Let’s pray for peace but be strong enough to endure the threats that exist.