Friday, October 30, 2020

Don’t Believe the Lies. Joe Biden Plans to Destroy Every Fracking, Oil, and Coal Job in America

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has spent the better part of the past month Skyping across America—because, you know, it’s much too dangerous for Joe to actually leave his basement—telling everyone who will listen that he pinky swears that a Biden-Harris administration would not “ban” fracking.

It’s all a “lie,” Biden says, cooked up by President Trump and his allies to ruin Biden’s chances in key swing states where fracking plays an important role in the economy, especially Pennsylvania.

Even Biden’s running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA)—a notorious hater of fracking—has attempted to come to Joe’s defense. During the vice presidential debate earlier in October, telling Americans, “Joe Biden will not ban fracking. That is a fact.”

Actually, Harris, it is absolutely not a “fact.” It’s a political promise, and an incredibly misleading one at that.

Follow the Evidence

Despite his constant pleas to the contrary, the available evidence strongly suggests Joe Biden would put policies into place that would result in the complete destruction of virtually all jobs related to fossil-fuel production in the United States, including the fracking jobs 32,000 Pennsylvania families are currently depending on to pay their bills, and the thousands of other jobs in the state associated with the natural gas and oil industries.

What’s the proof? Well, for starters, Biden has on numerous occasions promised voters on the campaign trail he will put America on the road to the elimination of fossil fuels. (If fossil fuel use is banned, then fracking would be totally unnecessary.)

For example, at a September 2019 campaign event in New Hampshire, he told one young girl, “I want you to look at my eyes. I guarantee you, I guarantee you we’re going to end fossil fuel …”

During the presidential debate on Thursday, Biden admitted he would impose a “transition from the oil industry.”

“Would he close down the oil industry?” Trump asked. “Would you close down the oil industry?”

“I would transition from the oil industry, yes,” Biden said. (“Transition” is political speak for “end,” “dismantle,” and “decimate.”)

Further, Biden’s own campaign website claims, “As president, Biden will lead the world to address the climate emergency and lead through the power of example, by ensuring the U.S. achieves a 100% clean energy economy and net-zero emissions no later than 2050.”

100 Percent Non-Fossil Fuel Economy

Biden’s website further promises, “On day one, Biden will sign a series of new executive orders with unprecedented reach that go well beyond the Obama-Biden Administration platform and put us on the right track. And, he will demand that Congress enacts legislation in the first year of his presidency that: 1) establishes an enforcement mechanism that includes milestone targets no later than the end of his first term in 2025 …”

Imposing an “enforcement mechanism that includes milestone targets” to push the entire country toward a “100% clean-energy economy” would require the end of nearly all fossil fuel use—and, again, that includes the natural gas and oil that comes from fracking.

Anti-Frackers Write Biden’s Energy Plan

Biden has also surrounded himself with environmental radicals who have for years called for truly radical alterations to the U.S. energy industry and American society.

Kamala Harris, for instance, co-sponsored—not merely supported—Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-NY) Green New Deal, and not some watered-down version of it, either. I’m talking about the cow-killing, end-of-air-travel, socialist version of the Green New Deal.

Biden also allowed Ocasio-Cortez, John Kerry, and the leadership of the eco-socialist Sunrise Movement to shape his policy platforms as members of the Biden-Bernie Sanders “Unity Task Forces.”

AOC, Kerry, and the Sunrise Movement, along with other Unity Task Force members, have demanded the end of fossil fuel use around the world—not just the United States—because they believe the carbon dioxide emissions produced by the burning of fossil fuels are creating an “existential threat” to the entire human race.

If Joe Biden is such a big supporter of fracking, why would he permit so many people who loathe fracking and all fossil fuel production to help write his climate and energy platforms? And how, exactly, does Biden plan to keep the fracking industry alive while simultaneously putting policies in place meant to end the use of oil and natural gas?

Costly Carbon-Capture

The only answer that makes even a shred of sense came from Biden at the presidential debate on Thursday, when Biden said he would “make sure that we can capture the emissions from the fracking, capture the emissions from gas.”

Or, put another way, Biden is saying some fracking might be allowed to continue, so long as carbon-capture technology is used to suck up all of the carbon dioxide emissions.

There’s only one problem with this part of Biden’s plan—and it’s a doozy—the cost of carbon-capture technology is so high, and has been for its entire existence, that it would make all fossil fuel use completely unmarketable compared to other kinds of energy production.

So, is Biden planning to “ban” fossil fuels? In some cases, yes, and in other cases, he’s just planning on making them so expensive to use that no one ever will. At the end of the day, the result is just the same as a ban. In Joe Biden’s America, every oil, natural gas, fracking, and coal job will, sooner or later, be eliminated—directly or indirectly—by the federal government.

Jobs Destroyed

If Biden has it his way, millions—not hundreds or thousands—of jobs will be destroyed.

It’s true that some of these jobs will be replaced by gigantic new government programs and subsidies meant to encourage the expansion of the wind and solar industries, but there is absolutely no way Biden can ensure that everyone in industries related to existing conventional energy sources will find work in a wind or solar facility.

The truth is, countless Americans won’t. Many people’s lives will be ruined.

Perhaps even more importantly, because scaled-up wind and solar costs much more and is much less reliable than existing conventional energy, hundreds of thousands—maybe even millions—of additional jobs will be destroyed, never allowed to come to fruition, or shipped overseas to places with lower energy costs.

According to the Center of the American Experiment, if 80 percent of the electric grid were reliant on wind, solar, or battery storage, it would force Americans to spend more than $1.4 trillion in additional electricity costs every single year.

With these costs in mind, it is clear many U.S. businesses, especially energy-intensive ones like those in the manufacturing sector, simply would not survive under Biden’s model.

Joe Biden’s climate and energy plans would devastate America and put the country on the road to economic catastrophe. Hopefully, more Americans will wake up to this reality before it’s too late.

Trump lifts protections for Tongass National Forest, allowing logging, road development

President Donald Trump will strip Alaska's Tongass National Forest from protections put in place nearly two decades ago, opening up millions of acres of pristine wilderness to road development and logging, according to a notice from the U.S. Department of Agriculture posted on Wednesday (Oct. 28).

The Tongass, which covers most of southeast Alaska, is one of the world’s largest remaining temperate rainforests and serves as a major carbon sink, absorbing at least 9% of all the carbon stored in all of the continental U.S. forests combined, according to The Washington Post.

“While tropical rainforests are the lungs of the planet, the Tongass is the lungs of North America,” Dominick DellaSala, chief scientist with the Earth Island Institute’s Wild Heritage project told The Post. “It’s America’s last climate sanctuary.” It's also home to many ancient trees and magnificent wildlife, from brown bears to wild salmon.

Much of the Tongass was protected from logging and road construction by the 2001 Roadless Rule, which was put in place by former President Bill Clinton. But starting tomorrow (Oct. 29), the Tongass National Forest will be exempt from this rule, meaning that logging companies can legally build roads and cut timber throughout the forest.

This exemption is one of the biggest public land rollbacks Trump has enacted, according to The Post. Throughout Trump's presidency, the administration has expanded logging in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest, according to The Post. But several of the administration's plans, such as one that would involve the sale of 1.8 million acres (728,000 hectares) of timber on the Tongass's Prince of Wales Island, were thrown out in federal court.

Still, the Trump Administration has reversed, revoked or rolled back more than 70 environmental rules, including climate policies and rules around clean air, water, wildlife and toxic chemicals, according to The New York Times. The administration is currently in the process of revoking a couple dozen more.

The Great Energy Non-Transition

One of the troubling characteristics of today’s civic discourse is the tendency to confuse predictions with reality. Nowhere is this problem more severe than in the debate over supposed anthropogenic climate change and its associated issues.

The last hundred years have seen increasing emissions of carbon dioxide, a natural and benign gas. The slight increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations from 0.03 percent in the nineteenth century to 0.04 percent today has brought only beneficial effects so far, including increased crop yields and greater drought resistance.

Nonetheless, climate alarmists argue that rising temperatures caused by carbon dioxide emissions are bringing catastrophic storms, disease, extinction, flooding, and general misery.

Unlike the benefits of CO2, which are clear and measurable, climate catastrophe remains nothing more than a prediction generated by computer models that have yet to produce accurate forecasts of climate impacts.

Energy Transition, Not!

A frequent corollary of climate alarmism is that the world has undertaken a radical transformation of the global energy system, replacing fossil fuels with zero-carbon, renewable energy.

A Google search of the term “energy transition” yields over 5 million hits, many accompanied by terms such as “unstoppable” and “irreversible.” But is this transition actually taking place? Three arguments are generally offered in favor of the claim this transition taking place—none of them are valid.

First, “energy transition” supporters point to the high growth rates for renewable energy sources, with wind increasing at over 20 percent annually since 2000 and solar at over 40 percent per year, compared to less than 2 percent for fossil fuels. Sounds significant, but the absolute numbers tell a different story.

In 2019, despite forty years and trillions of dollars of subsidies, wind energy contributed about 2 percent of total global energy use and solar just over 1 percent. Fossil fuels accounted for 84 percent, down just two percentage points over the last 20 years.

Second, even highly respected publications, such as the Financial Times, run articles questioning whether oil companies can survive the tidal wave of renewables.

The oil industry is indeed in serious financial trouble as a result of the pandemic-driven collapse of oil demand and the oversupply brought about by technological production advances such as fracking. However, oil is a transportation fuel with very few points of competition with renewables, which are primarily used to generate electricity.

To the extent renewables may be profitable today, it is only because of the huge support they receive from governments in the form of captive markets created by renewable energy mandates and massive subsidies. By comparison, oil companies live or die by the market.

It remains to be seen what will happen with oil company profits when the pandemic ends, but the issue deciding the fate of the industry will be supply and demand, not competition from renewables.

No Significant Electric Car Transition

Finally, the advent of electric cars is increasingly touted as the death of oil.

The US private vehicle fleet is currently on the order of 250 million vehicles, of which approximately 1 million, or 0.4 percent, are battery electric vehicles.

Electric cars are about twice as expensive to produce as comparable gasoline models and, like renewable power generation, depend on massive subsidies for their viability.

Take Tesla, the current darling of the auto industry, for example. In addition to direct subsidies for manufacturing facilities and purchase credits ranging from $2,500 to $7,500 per vehicle, Tesla sells emissions credits to other car companies to meet California regulatory requirements. The sale of these credits totaled more than $1 billion over the past year, accounting for Tesla’s entire free cash flow over the period. Tesla loses money on each car it manufactures.

Via an executive order, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) has banned the sale of new gasoline cars beginning in 2035. As with many such political promises, this “ban” is simply a goal, not a policy. Newsom is 53 years old and will be long gone from office by 2035, and the media will lose interest in whether his objective was met or not. For the moment, however, Newsom can bask in the glory of his signaled virtue.

The world may someday transition away from fossil fuels, but it is not happening yet. All we have so far are predictions, wishful thinking, and large amounts of money wasted just to make a small impact on a non-problem.

Australia defies international pressure to set emissions targets

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says he will not be dictated to by other governments' climate change goals, declaring he is not worried about the future of Australia's exports despite four of the country's top trading partners adopting net-zero emissions targets.

China, Japan, Britain and South Korea, which account for more than $310 billion in Australian annual trade between them, have all now adopted the emissions target by 2050 or 2060, ramping up pressure on Australia's fossil fuel industry. Coal and natural gas alone are worth more than 25 per cent of Australia's exports, or $110 billion each year.

"I am not concerned about our future exports," Mr Morrison said on Wednesday. "Australia will set our policies here. Our policies won't be set in the United Kingdom, they won't be set in Brussels, they won't be set in any part of the world other than here."

As the Prime Minister spoke in Canberra, the South Korean President Moon Jae-in was addressing his own parliament in Seoul announcing his country would also pursue a net-zero target by 2050.

"Transitioning from coal to renewable energy, the government will create new markets, industries and jobs," Mr Moon told the National Assembly on Wednesday.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a phone call on Tuesday encouraged Mr Morrison to take "bold action" on climate change and "emphasise the importance of setting ambitious targets to cut emissions and reach net zero".

Responding to the UK government's version of the phone call, Mr Morrison said Mr Johnson understood that Australia would make "sovereign decisions" on the targets it set.

"It shouldn't come at the cost of higher prices for the daily things that our citizens depend on," he said.

"One thing the British Prime Minister and I agree on is that achieving emissions reductions shouldn't come at the cost of jobs in Australia or the UK."

Major Australian export companies such as Rio Tinto, BHP, major agriculture groups and multinational food companies are pursuing carbon neutrality, which experts say is a move to avoid being stung with trade tariffs or charges by countries that have set net-zero targets.

The Morrison government has argued it will comply with the terms of the Paris climate agreement by reaching net zero by sometime in the second half of the century but has not set a firm target.

Mr Morrison claimed on Wednesday that Australia's emissions had fallen by 14 per cent since 2005, compared to 1 per cent for New Zealand and 0 per cent for Canada. The comparison of emissions reduction between different countries has been disputed with differences over methods and the use of carryover credits. Mr Morrison said the world would "not really make a lot of progress" without widespread renewable technology to ensure developing economies like India and Vietnam could also reduce emissions.

"Our record on this speaks for itself. When we make commitments in Australia's interests then we will meet those commitments as well," Mr Morrison said.

But top scientists contend that for Australia to honour the Paris agreement - which requires countries to follow the best available scientific advice on how to limit global warming to less than two degrees — the country must reach net-zero emissions before 2050.

The federal government’s opposition to commit to reaching the target by 2050 also puts it out of step with all states and territories, which are pursuing carbon-neutral goals.




1 comment:

Anonymous said...

RE - "The Great Energy Non-Transition"

"There Has Never Been An Energy Transition"

...and, as the graph posted there clearly shows, there never will be.