Last-ditch assaults on affordable energy

“Obama and allies double down on biofuels and climate, and against carbon-based fuels” – Paul Driessen

“Fracking has unleashed a gusher of oil and natural gas … sent oil, gas and gasoline prices downward … improved US manufacturing competiveness … saved many family budgets – and infuriated “peak oil” and “dangerous manmade climate change” proponents. For his part, President Obama has chosen to ignore the enormous benefits of carbon-based fuels, and instead is doubling down on his climate change and renewable energy agendas,” writes Paul Driessen.

“Renewable energy mandates have a lot going for them,” says Driessen.

  • They reward political cronies.
  • They put unelected, unaccountable activists and bureaucrats in charge of our energy decisions and living standards.
  • They redistribute wealth: from taxpayers to politicians, bureaucrats, lobbyists, wealthy investors, and workers and senior management in lucky greenback green industries and corporations.

Last-ditch assaults on affordable energy

Obama and allies double down on biofuels and climate, and against carbon-based fuels

By Paul Driessen

Separating reality from ideology and political agendas is difficult, but essential, if we are to revitalize our economy and help the world’s poorest families take their rightful places among Earth’s prosperous people. Energy reality is certainly in our favor. But ideological forces are powerful and persistent.

Right now, 82% of all US energy and 87% of world energy comes from oil, natural gas and coal. Less than 3% is non-hydroelectric renewable energy – and globally half of that is traditional biomass: wood, grass and animal dung that cause millions of respiratory infections and deaths every year. Thankfully, the transition to fossil fuels and electricity continues apace, replacing biomass and lifting billions out of abject poverty, with wind and solar meeting basic needs in remote areas until electricity grids arrive.

In the USA, hydraulic fracturing has taken petroleum production to its highest level since 1972, and oil imports to their lowest level since 1995. America now exports crude oil, natural gas and refined products.

The fracking genie cannot be put back in the bottle. In fact, it is being adopted all over the world, opening new shale oil and gas fields, prolonging the life of conventional fields, leaving less energy in the ground, and giving the world another century or more of abundant, reliable, affordable petroleum. That’s plenty of time to develop new energy technologies that actually work without mandates and enormous subsidies.

So much for the “peak oil” scare. Indeed, in some ways, the world’s current problem is too much oil.

In the face of this global abundance and tepid American, European, Chinese and world economies, Saudi Arabia has increased its oil production, to maintain market share and try to drive more US oil companies out of business. Oil prices have plummeted from $136 per barrel in 2008 to less than $35 or even $30 today. Natural gas has gone from $13.50 per million Btu in 2009 to $3 or less today.

Those low prices are saving families billions of dollars a year, and spurring investments in new US petrochemical and other manufacturing facilities. However, they have also cost thousands of oil patch jobs, left many energy companies near bankruptcy, and sent shockwaves through states and countries that depend on energy production and revenues for their tax base, government programs and public assistance. Prices will eventually rise again, but nowhere close to those record highs.

Amid this turmoil, as if to ensure more petroleum industry bankruptcies, President Obama wants to slap a $10.25 tax on every barrel of produced oil, and use the revenues to bolster his climate change and renewable energy agenda. Under her presidency, says Hillary Clinton, a ban on oil, gas and coal production from federal lands would be a “done deal” and the United States would have “at least 50% clean or carbon-free energy by 2050.”

Such policies would kill millions of jobs, torpedo the manufacturing renaissance, eliminate the assumed revenues by strangling the oil production that generates them, impact croplands and wildlife habitats, and prolong America’s economic doldrums. They would hammer poor, minority and blue-collar families, which spend much higher portions of their budgets on energy than do wealthy households.

Renewable energy schemes defy the laws of nature and economics. Government commands cannot make apples fall upward from Newton’s tree – or turn economic losers into success stories.

As a new Massachusetts Institute of Technology study explains, without government mandates and massive taxpayer subsidies, “green” energy simply cannot compete with conventional fuels and power plants. Wind, solar and biofuel “alternatives” work only when traditional energy prices are extremely high – which in the absence of a major Middle East or global war is not likely to happen for some time.

Similarly, a brand-new University of Chicago study found that oil prices would have to top $350 a barrel before Tesla and other electric cars become cheaper to operate than gasoline-powered vehicles! That’s because battery and charging costs are $325 per kilowatt-hour for plug-in models. No wonder Americans bought only 116,099 electric cars in 2015 – out of a record 17,500,000 cars and light trucks sold – despite huge rebates, free charging stations and single-occupant access to express lanes for electric cars.

Nevertheless, renewable energy mandates have a lot going for them. They reward political cronies. They put unelected, unaccountable activists and bureaucrats in charge of our energy decisions and living standards. They redistribute wealth: from taxpayers to politicians, bureaucrats, lobbyists, wealthy investors, and workers and senior management in lucky greenback green industries and corporations.

By virtue of their wealth, political power, or employment by government agencies that operate under different rules than those they enforce on citizens and businesses, these chosen few are also shielded from the consequences of policies and decisions they impose on the rest of us.

Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Al Gore, Tom Steyer, Bill Gates, Leonardo DiCaprio, Elon Musk, EPA and DOE officials, and climate researchers who receive millions in taxpayer funding insist that manmade global warming threatens the world, and renewable energy is the solution. But for them to lecture us and dictate our livelihoods and living standards – while enjoying their mansions, yachts, limousines and jet-setter lifestyles – strikes many as hypocritical and intolerable.

Moreover, less developed countries signed the Paris treaty to get trillions of dollars in climate change “adaptation” and “compensation” funds; they have no intention of curbing their economic growth, fossil fuel use or CO2 emissions anytime soon. Non-elite Americans’ energy and economic sacrifices will thus bring no global benefits. It is also true that a then healthier oil industry generated the only economic and employment bright spots that (in conjunction with lies about Benghazi) got President Obama reelected.

But none of this is preventing the president from launching a final regulatory assault, to carve his policy agenda in stone, reward his allies, and pummel states and companies on his “enemies of nature” list. Nor does it prevent him from telling Africans to develop only to the extent enabled by “sustainable” wind, solar and biofuel energy because, if each of you “has got a car and a big house, the planet will boil over.”

While bridges and defense languish, he dedicates billions of dollars in his last budget for “clean” energy research, such as E. coli bacteria for next-generation biofuels; billions for climate cataclysm studies; and $2 billion for “vulnerable” Alaskan and Lower 48 communities “threatened” by oceans that are rising at barely seven inches per century. (He ignores the fact that Arctic warming and cooling cycles go back centuries, and scientists still cannot differentiate between natural and human factors in climate change.)

Mr. Obama wants his BLM, EPA, USFS, USFWS, BOEM, OSHA and other alphabet-soup agencies to implement dozens of costly but environmentally meaningless rules on energy production from federal lands. That will further cripple western state economies, just as his administration did to West Virginia.

Meanwhile, in another rubberstamp of heavy-handed government actions, the post-Scalia Supreme Court just ruled that EPA may continue forcing states and utility companies to spend billions of dollars trying to comply with coal-fired power plant rules, while lower courts spend years reviewing challenges to them.

And still erudite “experts” ponder why the US economy is stagnant. Here’s part of the answer: Crushing tax rates and an impenetrable Tax Code. Regulations that cost companies and families nearly $2 trillion a year. Bureaucrats who impose costly agendas with no accountability for blatant incompetence, outright fraud or intentional harm. Too many programs that reward people for not working, not looking for work, not finishing school, and having children they can’t care for with guys who can’t bother to be fathers.

The 2016 election year stakes are huge. Candidates need to end the insults, and start focusing on issues that matter, amid Mr. Obama’s ongoing efforts to “fundamentally transform” the United States. Voters need to ask tough questions – and demand to know exactly how candidates intend to “make America great again,” control the federal behemoth and pay for all these “essential” government programs.

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org) and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power – Black death.

7 thoughts on “Last-ditch assaults on affordable energy”

  1. The Elite tell Obama what to say and do, lets get that straight. The Elite know full well what’s coming and they are hell bent on saving as much fossil(?) fuel as possible. There are new recycling technologies for nuclear fuels and masses of fossil fuels left but we are not talking of a few hundred or a few thousand years here. Oh no! We are talking possibly 80,000 to 120,000 years of devastating cold and ice kilometres deep over vast areas of the northern hemisphere. This is perhaps the first time in human history, that we have the capability to ride out a whole ice age, and come out the other side not in loin cloths and hunting spears but with knowledge and plenty of technology still intact. 98% of the population will be sacrificed maybe as food stocks for the first few decades. This has probably happened before too with plenty of evidence of prolonged canibalism.
    Ho hum!!!

    1. And all our eggs remain in one basket, we have around 700 years to get off this rock and develop our major industry within the solar system, using the Moon as a stepping stone outwards.
      Mars is too far away, Venus is just as bad will need another 50,000 years to recover from the volcanic terror forming under way now following getting bashed by an Sun skimming large Aten, similar to the “missing” January comet and its trail of meteors

  2. Given that the Gullible Warmist Democrats will continue the American slide into a socialist command economy if they win in November, and increase the control of the Federal state over the rights of the States, AND more importantly, curtail the property rights of the individual via the EPA.
    The more control civil servants have over the leavers of power over the individual. The less wealth is created, and then kept the weath creator after reasonable taxes, the more they are taxed, to the point where the state takes all of the wealth you create and gives you a basic pocket money means tested benefit to live on.
    This isn’t capitalism; this is old fashioned UK labour taxing the rich till the pips squeak, only if your not on state benefit, your rich and can pay thought the nose. That’s why productivity is low in the UK, it doesn’t pay to work.
    If Clinton wins in November the Cold Climate over the next four years will do for her what Vietnam did for Johnson, a one term president.
    The other point is the majority of the Republican establishment is just as gullible over CO2 and Warming as the Democrats, I hope that a Non AGW politician wins in November, if they do, in the first 100 days they need to deal with the EPA and the lies coming out of NASA and NOAA first and then place the facts in front of the people.

  3. Morons its all carbon based as are they themselves, they need to go back to Junior high school.

    1. Speaking of morons, it’s always amazed me how the labor unions support the green anti energy, welfare smugs. Just heard a couple of weeks ago 3 coal fires here in NE IL will be converted to Nat gas and one new one to be built, and that’s good but the unions will lose a whole lot of upkeep work on those coal fires and they don’t have much work here anymore. Unions bought in with state gov. are now out of work here, and voting for em again. Morons.

  4. During the run-up to the election between Democratic and Republican, the latter candidate should focus during debates on the economics of the Dem. energy policy, and how it affects the voters’ pockets.
    Mr. Driessen, is the “metal oil”, that the Saudi’s, Bill Gates, etc. are reportedly investing billions of dollars on, salesman hype or the holy grail of energy?

  5. Biomass is carbon based energy and the clearing of native forests to grow whatever source of biomass together with the emissions associated with production of fuel oils and the emissions of burning this artificial fuel results in higher emissions than simply filling up with the usual fuel.

    Evangelism is a powerful narcotic but like all poisons leads to idiotic behaviours.

    How supposedly nature loving individuals can support increased deforestation, the erection of concrete towers in wilderness areas and the oceans and all of the other silly methods of generating electricity which requires huge areas of land is simply mind boggling in its stupidity?

    And that isn’t even considering the reduction in the food supply for the generation of biofuels. This leads to further habitat and wildlife destruction as humans with no food supply turn to wildlife poaching for an income and deforestation for cooking.

    I’m not too sure I agree with political expressions such as the desire of the Federal government attempting to try to subvert the “rights of the States”.

    “States” have no rights – only people should have rights and allowing our society to forget this central tenet is why lunatics win Nobel Peace Prizes for authorizing more Drone “kills” than any other President.

    The world is nuts.

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