Yes, we’re going to make energy more expensive.
That’s Joe Biden’s closing message for 2022. “We’re going to be shutting these [coal] plants down all across America and having wind and solar,” Biden told a crowd in deep blue California on Friday, arguing that it was “cheaper” to generate electricity from wind and solar.
Is it? In California, which not only leads the nation in “clean energy” production but is leading the rest of us into rolling blackouts, residents pay 24.62 cents per kilowatt-hour for energy, around double the national average. There are only three other states where residents fork 20 or more cents over, the isolated Hawaii and Alaska and the frack-banning New York. The price of a gallon of gas in California is around two dollars over the national average, at $5.458. In Texas, it’s $3.173.
The president also forgot to mention that affordable natural gas, propelled by technological efficiencies like fracking, is as much a reason for the struggles of coal.
After West Virginia’s Joe Manchin groused about Biden’s denigration of his state’s top industry, the White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, “walked back” the comments, contending that the president’s “remarks yesterday have been twisted to suggest a meaning that was not intended; he regrets it if anyone hearing these remarks took offense.”
How they were distorted, she did not say. The statement stresses that the president understands that “the men and women of coal country built this nation” but that, yes, we must shut down the coal industry — as well as the oil and gas production. Biden is sorry that you’re offended. “Our goal as a nation is to combat climate change and increase our energy security by producing clean and efficient American energy,” the statement falsely goes on to say. Wind and solar, both victims to vagaries of the weather, aren’t, by any definition, “efficient.”
The kerfuffle, as with most debates over gas and oil, is confusing. The administration’s stated goal — one of the major policy planks of the Democratic Party — is to deliberately, through mandates or bans or taxes or contrived “markets,” make fossil fuels prohibitively expensive to force a “transition.” Biden’s Plan for a Clean Energy Revolution and Environmental Justice promises that a 100 percent clean energy economy and net-zero emissions will exist no later than 2050. California has banned new gas-powered cars by 2035. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal, supported by virtually every Democratic Party presidential candidate last time around, is far more extreme.
In case there was any confusion, however, Biden reiterated his position at a rally for New York Gov. Kathy Hochul later this past weekend. Responding to a climate activist heckler, Biden shouted: “No more drilling. There is no more drilling! I haven’t formed any new drilling.” It’s one of the few true things the president has said in a while. The Biden administration, even during historic spikes in gas prices, effectively shut down any new federal leases. Sure, the administration pressured OPEC+ to temporarily offer a reprieve before the election, but it has barely budged on domestic production. This is what Democrats have wanted for decades.
None of these climate plans can be implemented without the effective nationalization of the energy sector and the banning of fossil fuels. Solar, after decades of mandates and subsidies and cronyism, accounts for around 3 percent of the national portfolio. Both wind and solar need to be propped up by fossil fuel generation. In anything resembling a functioning market, “clean energy” loses, not only to oil, gas, and coal, but also to nuclear power.
This week, Biden will join his special presidential envoy for climate, John Kerry, in Egypt for the biggest climate change event of the year. In Sharm el-Sheikh, thousands of climate alarmists and technocrats will get together and brainstorm new ways to stop agricultural advances that have saved millions from hunger, or the proles from using their air conditioners. It is a movement that is working to gut modernity. It is also an unprecedented sabotage of the American economy. There is no historical parallel in which a government has intended to deindustrialize and make its citizens poorer. In good times, we can afford to humor the Malthusians, augmenting our energy portfolio with expensive, technologically inferior solar panels and antiquated windmills (rather than more gas and nuclear). That is no longer the case. And the attack on energy should be one of the biggest issues in every election moving forward.
Reporting from The Federalist.