Updated: Mar 6, 2022
Petroleum burns to produce carbon dioxide and water. Plants consume the same CO2 and H2O to make carbohydrates and oxygen. For every molecule of CO2, plants produce a molecule of O2.
Over millions of years, under pressure, the same hydrogen, oxygen, and carbon combine to become complex hydrocarbons, which we burn again to produce CO2 and H20. It is a completely natural cycle. We humans burn glucose to do work and produce CO2. The only difference is that fossil fuels have impurities (sulfur, nitrogen, etc) that yield harmful oxides when oxidized.
Fossil fuels are natural and not bad. Natural gas is almost angelic in this sense because it only releases CO2 and H20 during combustion. And yes, CO2 is not bad. So long people use fossil fuel in moderation, it is not a problem. I am not saying that gas is better than electricity but that gas is not bad.
My stance is that governments must stay out of it. Regions/markets that have cheap fossil fuel should use it. Those that have more lithium should go electric. Those that lack both should experiment with alternative fuels and battery designs. They shouldn't become dependent on global supply chains.
People need to stop debating which fuel source is superior and utilize whichever is cheaper and more available locally. This is the only way a nation can be strong from within. If a nation uses only electric vehicles, the entire economy would halt whenever battery supplies are short. A nation that uses fossil fuel alone is essentially a slave to a few who control the supplies. Fuel supply doesn't have to be centralized, but we know from experience that it's very likely to happen.
Free markets should develop whatever energy technology local markets need using abundantly available local resources. A country that has a well-diversified energy sector is safe from both foreign and domestic political forces. Nations shouldn't be concerned with regulating people's choices but with keeping economic gangsters away.