Speaking Friday at a summit hosted by the White House, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres compared the oil and gas industry to Big Tobacco and said fossil fuel producers and financiers "have humanity by the throat."
President Joe Biden – who has himself accused the oil and gas industry of price gouging and threatened them with emergency powers if they do not increase production – spoke about trying to ease the pain of high gas prices while pushing more long-term green policies.
Guterres dismissed the idea of boosting gasoline production and bluntly vilified the fossil fuel industry at a virtual session that included oil-rich Saudi Arabia, China, Europe, and Egypt.
"It was the first time Guterres compared the energy industry to tobacco interests," the Associated Press notes.
Katie Tubb of The Heritage Foundation points out that much of the nation runs on fossil fuels.
"Currently, 80% of America's energy needs are met my coal, oil, [and] natural gas," she relays. "90% of our transportation fuel is met by oil, so apparently these resources do make sense because there's a market for them. I think what the secretary-general is referring to is he doesn't want these to be viable."
Tubb says Guterres and Biden are narrowing the set of politically acceptable choices to technologies like wind and solar.
"The reality is there is a far larger set of energy technologies and resources out there that Americans should be able to continue choosing," adds Tubb. "So, a comment like that is true in the very narrow, heavily circumscribed world of the United Nations and the policies pathway that they prefer, but it's not in accord with reality."