The Irrationality of Biden’s Energy Policy

Member Group : Let Freedom Ring, USA

One unfortunate sign of our polarized society is the debate over energy policy. On the left pole is the Biden Administration, in near-perfect harmony with the most extreme climate alarmists. Gasoline prices have climbed to nearly $8 a gallon in parts of Los Angeles — due mainly to the rise in oil prices. Harold Hamm, founder of Continental Resources, said that the Biden administration was more focused on “putting us out of business” than in bringing down high gas prices.

Forbes Magazine opined “There’s little room for nuance when it comes to President Biden’s energy policy. The Biden administration appears to be working from one of two realities. The more charitable interpretation suggests administration officials are so overtaken with green ideology that they’ve lost the ability to recognize the economic, social and environmental damage their “Green New Deal”-like plans are causing. A less charitable take would suggest they are comfortable relying on foreign competitors … for energy that should be produced domestically.

“From its first days, the Biden administration has attacked and stifled America’s energy production… Immediately after he was elected, Biden paused all oil and gas leasing on federal lands. He then killed the Keystone XL pipeline and the many thousands of jobs it supported…

“While the president’s anti-energy policies stifled domestic production and raised prices on consumers, Biden again snubbed American energy producers by going on bended knee to OPEC and pleading for the oil cartel to boost production. It’s possible that he is reliving the past, doesn’t remember the fracking revolution has already happened and honestly believes America is still beholden to Middle Eastern oil.”

On the right pole are the climate-change deniers like the Global Climate Intelligence Group that in August issued a report called “World Climate Declaration: There Is No Climate Emergency.” or Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe, who for years has called global warming or climate change “the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people.” The Heartland Institute just this week said “Eradicating the world of crude oil usage without first having a replacement in mind would be immoral and evil, as extreme shortages of the products now manufactured from fossil fuels will result in billions of fatalities from diseases, malnutrition, and weather-related deaths and could be a greater threat than climate change.”

This polarization tends to reduce a very important scientific debate to the binary world of politics: You’re either on one side or the other.

Very little attention is directed at analyzing the different levels of carbon emission by fuel type. Biden memorably made a campaign pledge to, quote, “end fossil fuel.” But he has no authority outside the United States to do so, rendering that absurd goal unattainable. What he really meant, but didn’t have the integrity to say, was that he wants to end fossil fuel production in the United States. That policy is irrational because it’s inherently counter-productive of his own policy goals. It reduces American energy independence, ships vast sums of American money to nations that are either unreliable allies or outright adversaries, and increases European dependence on Russian fossil fuels.

It is not necessary to subscribe to Biden’s climate alarmism to see the benefits of reducing carbon emissions. The single fastest and most effective means of achieving that goal is to encourage a massive transition to natural gas. Power plants, which are the largest source of carbon dioxide emissions in the United States, making up roughly one-third of all domestic greenhouse gas emissions, can move from coal or petroleum to natural gas relatively easily. Natural gas is 45% lower in carbon emissions than coal, and 37% lower than petroleum. Natural gas is abundant in the US. Liquified natural gas can be exported to European gas users, most of whom are allies who would rather be dependent on us for its supply than on Russia. Next, some home heating and transportation users of petroleum could be transitioned to natural gas, further reducing emissions, while improving rather than eroding our economy.

The Biden energy policy is simply absurd from any perspective. Republican candidates for President should target it relentlessly and promote natural gas with unbridled pride and patriotism as an environmentally, economically and diplomatically friendly solution.