By Tom Harris for Real Clear Energy
Finally, the Biden administration is acknowledging what experts have always known: reckless energy policies have disastrous consequences. Meanwhile, the Department of Energy quietly released a report highlighting the positive economic benefits of developing the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada, which canceled the energy plan hours after President Biden’s inauguration.
But the DOE’s report is a day late and the proverbial dollar is low. The cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline has already cost the United States thousands of jobs and billions in economic growth, and families are suffering the brunt of record high energy prices. It’s time for lawmakers to make America’s energy independence a top priority.
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The DOE’s report, released without a formal announcement, indicates the pipeline would create between 16,149 and 59,000 jobs and have an economic benefit of between $3.4 and $9.6 billion. That is no small consequence.
Yet with a stroke of his pen, Biden scrapped the plan and instead focused his efforts on costly “green energy” goals. As a result of his executive action, 11,000 pipeline workers were immediately fired and told to “go to work making solar panels” instead.
But Biden’s green energy efforts will backfire sooner rather than later. Because today, more than 70 percent of the energy produced and consumed in America comes from oil, gas and coal. This is unlikely to change significantly anytime soon. In fact, the International Energy Agency projects that oil’s share of energy production in the United States will decline by just 8 percent over the next two decades, from 31 to 23 percent.
And that assumes continued commitment to green energy policies. The forecast spells bad news for the Biden White House. At his political peril, Biden ignores the lessons of Presidents Jimmy Carter and George HW Bush, both of whom lost elections due to falling oil prices and the recession.
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Two years into sowing its Green New Deal policies, the administration is reaping a bitter harvest. Because of Biden’s stupidity, oil, natural gas and electricity prices have doubled in just one year. Meanwhile, more than 28 percent of Americans will refrain from buying food or medicine to pay their energy bills in 2021. And now the misnamed Inflation Reduction Act includes wind and solar spending that will cost Americans $369 billion.
If the president and his Democratic allies in Congress refuse to heed the lessons of the past, they have a rare opportunity to witness an even more desperate future of what will surely come by staying the same irresponsible course.
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Conditions in Europe serve as a timely warning of that future. European leaders are years ahead of the United States in their quest to achieve a green utopia, but they have seen little success. In Germany, the situation is so desperate that candle sales are skyrocketing as households anticipate power cuts in the dead of winter. Some German villages are being plowed up to dig up brown coal, which is necessitated by Germany’s misguided over-commitment to wind and solar power. These desperate measures may help but are not enough to protect the vulnerable.
Europe’s obsession with green energy and overreliance on Russian gas have driven up energy costs so sharply that 147,000 more people are expected to die from cold-related illnesses this winter, as electricity prices remain at the 2015-2019 average.
Despite this, in Finland, electric car owners are told not to warm up their vehicles on cold mornings to avoid putting undue stress on the country’s failing electricity grid.
The United Kingdom takes the prize for dystopian power-saving measures, where households are being bribed to sit in the dark in exchange for electricity bill savings and other rewards. If the United States were to follow in Europe’s green footsteps, it would risk a similarly dark, cold, and depressing existence.
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American families deserve better. The problem is that the Biden administration is waging a relentless war on energy producers and undermining American energy production in pursuit of a green energy pipeline.
Our nation has the resources and technology to generate energy for all our needs. Lawmakers must recommit themselves to the goal of an abundant energy future that brings prosperity to America’s communities and fuels dreams.
Tom Harris is the Executive Director of the International Climate Science Consortium based in Ottawa, Canada.
The views expressed by contributors and/or content partners are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of political insiders.