Energy industry expert Jack Kerfoot once worked with titans in the oil industry, but today promotes the implementation of renewable energy sources, including solar, wind, and geothermal, as critically important step to combat climate change.
Now a board member of the environmental nonprofit, Engineers for a Sustainable Future (ESF), Kerfoot is an outspoken advocate for renewable energy and author of the book, Fueling America, an Insider's Journey. He's the principal of JL Kerfoot Energy Services and blogs on his website, Our Energy Conundrum, at www.jackkerfoot.com.
In an interview with the NFN Radio News podcast, now streaming, Kerfoot cautions that gasoline prices at the pump are expected to continue increasing, but says two factors bode well for the future: the growth of renewable energy, particularly wind and solar, and development of battery technology that will make all-electric vehicles increasingly affordable and practical.
Moreover, Kerfoot says all of these developments will be a boon to the economy and provide as many as 2 million new, good paying jobs.
“The potential to cut our emissions in the United States over the next five to 10 years is clearly there,” President Biden, he says, is taking steps “to put us on the right path to be a leader in the world in reducing emissions, and also it will allow for us to create more jobs.”
Kerfoot blasted the Trump administration’s gutting of the Environmental Protection Agency, which he said has a “critical role” with respect to clean water and clean air. “We’ve got to recognize technology changes, our understanding of science changes and we have to keep up with the times. From my standpoint, it was not one of our finest hours with President Trump.”
But, even though Trump kept “waving coal, coal, coal, the reality is that it had no impact whatsoever,” Kerfoot contends, because the economics involved prompted the energy industry to continue focusing on renewable sources of energy.
“Although he (Trump) did absolutely nothing for renewable energy…I think industry in the United States continued to march along and look at the economics and look at the science and to say ‘we have a president who doesn’t support renewables now, but for the good of the country and for the next generation, we need to do the right thin,’” he explains.
The coal industry’s argument that coal job must be protected is false, said Kerfoot, because when a mine is mined-out, those jobs go away. “But when you have a wind farm or solar farm, those jobs don’t go away. As long as the wind blows and the sun shines, those jobs are there.”
Former New Jersey Gov. Jim Florio, co-hosting the podcast, points out that wind turbines will be built in the US, not shipped across the ocean from Europe, a development that also will generate thousands of new, good paying jobs. In fact, adds Kerfoot, “we expect that there will be more than a million jobs added by 2030 in wind and solar; probably, I think that number will be close to 2 million jobs.”
“You’re talking a tremendous booming economy,” he predicts.
Listen to the complete interview here: