Former Shell Oil President John Hofmeister argued on Monday that President Biden’s “Keystone cancelation makes no sense for the future good of the American people,” warning that “we will pay a price for that.”
“We’re in for a number of years of struggle while we also work on the next set of alternatives,” he continued.
Biden signed a total of 17 executive orders within minutes of entering the Oval Office for the first time on Wednesday. The orders reversed a number of Trump administration policies and covered areas Biden identified as his priorities on the campaign trail, including climate change.
In addition to halting the Keystone XL oil pipeline project, Biden renewed the U.S. commitment to the Paris climate agreement, just three years after President Trump withdrew support.
Biden’s administration also temporarily suspended oil and gas permitting on federal lands and waters in the series of orders aimed at tamping down the U.S. fossil fuel industry and combating climate change, Reuters reported.
“It creates a great deal of uncertainty, which is very difficult to manage in a business that requires billions of dollars and years of planning,” Hofmeister said.
He added that “nobody should be surprised” by the president’s actions given the “Biden campaign telegraphed what they were going to do and the American people voted for Biden.”
Hofmeister noted that “the oil and gas industry has a lot of resilience built into it."
“We’re not going to get rid of fossil fuels in a four-year term or an eight-year term of an administration. It’s just not going to happen,” Hofmeister stressed. “What will happen is that the price of oil will go up and the production of U.S. oil will go down.”
“So we help Russia, we help the Middle East, OPEC countries, but the American people cannot shift quickly enough to electric vehicles, there aren’t enough of them,” he continued. “We don’t have the supply chain built yet for lithium, for example, for batteries so this is a long, long process.”
Hofmeister went on to note that Americans need petroleum products for many other applications, including agriculture, clothing plastics and pharmaceuticals.
“So I don’t see the industry disappearing,” he said. “I do see it adjusting and adapting.”
He explained that that includes fewer good-paying jobs.
Hofmeister went on to point out that he believes “the industry will still survive.”
“The higher price of oil will enable it to do better, which may mean we have more capital for the energy transition coming from the oil and gas companies, which means more attention to carbon capture, more attention to cleaner energy so it’s in the all bad,” he explained.
Fox News’ Thomas Barrabi and Fox Business’ Catie Perry contributed to this article.