Sunday, March 20, 2022

International Energy Agency goes full Fascist

Intl Energy Agency report urges energy lockdowns due to Russian war:

Restricting private cars’ use of roads in large cities to those with even number-plates some weekdays and to those with odd-numbered plates on other weekdays

Car-free Sundays in cities: Banning the use of private cars on Sundays

'Tax' SUVs: "Sales of SUVs also keep increasing...policies to address the rise in sales of such vehicles – such as specific registration and road taxes – are key." ...Ban installation of new oil boilers


Experts lay out a strategy for U.S. energy independence amid Ukraine war

Russia's invasion of Ukraine has demonstrated that energy independence is vital for national security, experts say, as European nations rely on Russian oil, a dependency that undermines the impact of the sanctions against the aggressor nation.

Although the U.S. relied much less on Russian oil (before President Biden nixed imports), America seems unable to replace Russia's role in Europe, which weakens its ability to help allies squeeze Russia. Energy experts emphasized the importance of U.S. energy independence and laid out a strategy to achieve it in comments to Fox News Digital.

"America’s economic sanctions are limited by those of its allies (Europe, India and others) who are hooked on Russian gas," Steve Milloy, a former Trump-Pence EPA transition member and founder of, told Fox News Digital. "This dependence is unnecessary as Europe, for example, has plenty of coal and natural gas – Europe has the same fracking potential as the US – as well as nuclear power."

Milloy warned that "the green agenda – anti-fossil fuels and anti-nuclear – made Europe dependent on Putin. Worse, it empowered him and financed the Ukraine invasion."

"America itself has essentially an unlimited supply of energy – a basic requirement for a robust economy and national security – and so could and should be insulated from those who would use energy as geopolitical weapon," he argued.

Joel Griffith, a financial regulations research fellow at the Heritage Foundation, noted that in 2021, the U.S. became a net exporter of petroleum products for the first time since 1949, a result of "pro-energy policies implemented despite opposition from the political Left."

"Thanks to this newfound independence, our nation’s energy exports are helping to mitigate the danger posed by the dependency of European allies on Russian energy supplies," Griffith noted.

Yet Europe's dependence on Russia may be a cautionary tale for the U.S., he warned.

"European dependency on energy from Russia is self-imposed, as leaders across the European Union shutter nuclear power plants, impose renewable energy mandates, and attempt to effectively ban some forms of fossil fuel production," Griffith noted.

He attributed surging oil and gas prices to the reverberations of the COVID-19 shutdowns, but also to President Biden's policies. "The Biden Administration has proposed or finalized regulations that restrict nearly every aspect of conventional energy: financing and private-sector investment, exploration and production, pipeline construction and operation, and consumer use."

"The administration is committing the US to energy policies like Europe did years ago and which have left them paying even higher prices and with few alternatives to Russian oil, putting him in direct conflict with the well-being of Americans," Griffith warned. "President Biden needs to embrace energy freedom and unleash the American energy sector—for the benefit of America and of the world."

How should America pursue energy independence? Greg Wrightstone, executive director of The CO2 Coalition, laid out a six-step plan.

"With respect to domestic energy development, the best thing government could do is get out of the way and allow American energy to blossom," Wrightstone told Fox News Digital. "The renewal of American energy independence is achievable by freeing up the American energy sector to do what they do best: produce."

He recommended six concrete steps:

* Greenlight the completion of pipelines including the Keystone XL pipeline that would bring more than 800,000 barrels per day into the United States.

* Rein in the EPA’s overregulation of the fossil fuel industry.

* Repeal the ban on leasing of federal lands, including the Gulf of Mexico that provides 10% of American oil production.

* Approve development of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

* Approve development of the National Petroleum Reserve.

* Employ the Defense Production Act to complete stalled pipelines, including the Mountain Valley Pipeline in West Virginia and Virginia.

Milloy also emphasized unleashing American energy from burdensome regulations.

"US energy resources are essentially infinite – from coal to oil/gas to nuclear to hydro to wind/solar, etc. ('all of the above')," he argued. "But activists use every tool in the book to stop every sort of energy related development – through junk science, fearmongering, overregulation, lawsuits, protests and more."

He noted that green technologies require rare earth minerals (minerals that are abundant on Earth's crust but require extensive extraction), a market China dominates. The U.S. was "self-sufficient" in rare earths, and even produced over half the global supply of them until the 1980s, but between 2014 and 2017, the U.S. imported 80 percent of its supply from China.

"No one knows what the actual US potential is because it is difficult to mine them here because of regulation and opposition," Milloy noted.

Milloy also argued that America's extensive permitting process" and "enforced environmental regulation" would make U.S. mining for rare earth minerals "much cleaner than China" – and the process would not involve any "child slave labor" as mines in Congo allegedly use.


Kimberley A. Strassel: Biden is in climate denial

Even the European left understands what the Ukraine invasion means for fossil fuels

Republicans know it. The European left knows it. Joe Manchin knows it. Even some of the Beltway press knows it. Now let’s see how long it takes Joe Biden to recognize that the Ukraine war has reset energy politics and that his climate agenda risks dooming his party this fall.

He certainly hasn’t sussed it out yet. The Joe Biden who showed up Monday at his first in-person fundraiser as president sounded like a man in a time warp. “Let me begin by saying: [Climate change] is the existential threat to humanity,” he opened, proceeding to recite an environmental agenda identical to the one he campaigned on. Ukraine got one mention, and only then as further reason why Americans (among other things) need to “weatherize homes and businesses.”

His administration is similarly proceeding as if Vladimir Putin weren’t exploiting his energy dominance to kill Ukrainians. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission recently announced a new pipeline review policy that will stop most projects. The White House continues its near-moratorium on new leases to drill on federal land and its block of Alaskan drilling. The president announced he’ll attempt to impose his Green New Deal via executive order. The House Progressive Caucus this week offered ideas, calling on him to “declare a national climate emergency,” and use it to ban “fossil fuel leases,” and force companies to build renewables under the Defense Production Act.

Across the pond, things look exactly opposite. The Europeans have embraced the climate religion with a fervor to rival Bernie Sanders. Yet Mr. Putin’s shocking violence in Ukraine—his willingness to wield energy as a weapon—sobered the Continent overnight. No one is giving up on renewables, but nobody is any longer pretending they are the basis of energy reliability or security. Fossil fuels will remain for decades a currency of global power, and Russia’s invasion highlights the stupidity of being broke.

Germany’s government is stockpiling coal and expediting terminals for liquefied natural gas. Europe is working to get more gas through pipelines from Norway and Azerbaijan. Poland plans new nuclear plants. The U.K. may restart onshore fracking and ramp up North Sea drilling. Norway plans to expand Arctic exploration.

Sen. Manchin gets the shift, and this week he deep-sixed Mr. Biden’s nominee to the Federal Reserve, the anti-fossil-fuel Sarah Bloom Raskin, saying that at this “historic moment” the U.S. needs policy leaders focused on the most pressing issues—“specifically rising inflation and energy costs.” Republicans are flooding the zone with ideas to accelerate fossil-fuel production, and even the pro-Biden media is beginning to fret about the president’s failure to see what’s happening.

While European leaders and Republicans are moving to address substantive geopolitical shifts, they also understand the politics. Gasoline and heating prices have been fleecing consumer wallets since Mr. Biden took office. He can try to lay off the more recent rise on “Putin’s price hike,” but polls consistently show voters blame high energy prices and inflation on the administration.

The inconvenient truth is that Mr. Biden’s climate agenda—no matter how much the liberal press wants to differ—has never been popular. It’s a concoction of the party’s progressive left and radical activist groups. A recent survey from Democratic pollster Impact Research of likely voters in North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Arizona (three states with Senate races this year) found that 78% had a favorable view of natural gas, and only 22% want an energy policy that looks like the Green New Deal.

And voters aren’t buying Mr. Biden’s argument that the response to Russia should be to double down on his climate visions. In a HarrisX poll this week, nearly 70% of voters said “yes” to the question of whether, in light of Russia’s attack, the administration should “ease its focus on climate change and allow more oil and natural gas exploration.” They want energy and economic security, not electric-car charging stations.

The other risk to Democrats sticking their heads in the non-tar sands is that they make the situation worse substantively as well as politically. Desperate to remain on climate autopilot, Mr. Biden and other Democrats are now trying to blame higher prices on Big Oil and Big Gas and debating a windfall profits tax—a move that would depress production and further raise prices. Democratic governors are clamoring for a federal gasoline-tax holiday, but it’s a gimmick that would only temporarily mask true prices, and may not count for much in any event.

Which gets to the heart of the problem. Democrats want to make the problem go away without addressing its roots. Russia’s invasion has forced energy security to the center of the political debate, where it is likely to stay through the midterms. Voters will cast ballots for candidates who prove they understand the problem and have a plan for fixing it. Democrats who continue to wallow in platitudes about an “existential” climate crisis may find themselves out of jobs.


While Boris bans fracking, one in four British households will fail to pay energy bills

More than 14 million households will be plunged into arrears this autumn if gas and electricity bills rise as predicted, experts have warned.

One in four adults will be unable to afford their bills if prices rise by £145 a month in October as expected, according to charity Citizens Advice.

This is significantly higher than the five million households that already will be unable to afford April’s price increase of £60 a month, polling by the charity found.

The findings come ahead of next week’s Spring Statement where the Chancellor Rishi Sunak has been urged to announce further support for families struggling to pay their bills.

The Government has previously said it will offer a £200 energy rebate, to be deducted from customers' bills in October and paid back over the next five years.

However, experts said this would no longer be enough to help struggling households after Russia's invasion of Ukraine caused wholesale energy prices to spike further.

Citizens Advice's Dame Clare Moriarty said: “These staggering findings must be a wake-up call to the Government. With one in four unable to afford their bills come October, measures announced so far simply don’t meet the scale of the challenge.

"Parents shouldn’t have to decide between giving their kids a hot bath or saving the money to buy them new school shoes. The Chancellor has a crucial opportunity to bring forward more support for those most in need."

Industry regulator Ofgem's energy price cap, which limits what suppliers can charge on default tariffs, will rise to £1,971 from next month – a rise of £693 on current levels. Experts predict the price limit will rise again in October, to between £2,900 and £3,200.




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