When it comes to the gas prices, President Joe Biden explained Monday, “we’re going through an incredible transition that is taking place that, God willing, when it’s over, we’ll be stronger and the world will be stronger and less reliant on fossil fuels when this is over.”
That’s, of course, if we survive the transition out of modernity.
Fox News characterized Biden’s remark as “odd,” but higher energy prices have been the central aim of “climate” policy for decades. Nearly every piece of climate legislation championed by Democrats, from cap-and-trade to Green New Deal, has been a deliberate effort to make energy less affordable, either by creating scarcity through fabricated markets and inhibiting fossil fuel production (banning fracking or stripping leases) or by trying to spike prices through gas taxes and mandating expensive alternative sources.
In 2020, Biden promised a “100% clean energy economy” with “net-zero emissions” in only a few decades. And like environmentalists have for decades, he ignored the huge destructive tradeoffs such a strategy would require. Among the very first things Biden did was rejoin the Paris agreement, revoke permits to build the Keystone XL — a pipeline that was marked to carry approximately 800,000 barrels of oil a day into the United States — and sign a slew of executive orders prioritizing climate change over energy production, halting new oil and natural gas leases on all public lands.
When a court blocked the Biden lease plan, the administration appealed the decision, even though there were indications that energy prices were already rising.
Policies that undermine future production are baked into today’s prices. The administration and media tell us that Keystone wouldn’t make any difference in the oil prices, but then turn around and argue that we should overhaul the world’s largest energy grid, create millions of solar panels, rid the nation of most existing cars, retrofit nearly every building in the country, and ask us not to treat them as if they’re not insane. Reminder: merely to keep pace with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s recommendations on carbon emissions, Americans would be compelled to implement pandemic level economic shutdowns every year for 30 years.
The great “transition” from modernity is happening, and yet, Democrats aren’t celebrating. Reporters aren’t asking liberals why they aren’t cheering on these high energy prices. When Biden’s old boss Barack Obama was asked whether high gas prices were beneficial for the American economy, he told us, “I think that I would have preferred a gradual adjustment.” That was 15 years ago. We’ve spent billions trying to make green energy a thing every year since then, and have been for decades, and yet we still derive only 12 percent of our energy from renewables – and within those renewables, only 11 percent from solar, the source most talked about by Malthusians. Around 63 percent of our renewable energy comes from useful geothermal, hydroelectric, and biomass sources.
You might also be old enough to remember Obama’s energy secretary saying the goal was “to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe.” Europe has instituted burdensome centralized regulatory schemes to intentionally inflate carbon energy prices to fight climate change. While the United States has some of the lowest energy costs in the industrial world, Denmark, Germany, Britain, and Belgium have the highest per household in the world — seven of the top 10 of the world’s priciest energy markets can be found in Europe. The difference between what Americans pay and what Europeans pay is stark. Democrats seem intent on rectifying the situation.
We are also likely looking at shortages of diesel, jet fuel, and gasoline on the horizon. While our ruling class obsesses over slight variations in the temperature — our globetrotting Climate Czar is in Davos as we speak — Americans will be paying exorbitant energy bills to keep their homes cool. We’ve been browbeaten and scaremongered into accepting a “clean energy” future that is tethered to inefficient, expensive sources that only exist because of state mandates and subsidies.
Most of the progress made on lowering carbon emissions has been due to natural gas and technological efficacies in existing technology. (Adaptability is a far cheaper, more useful, and more reasonable strategy. We’ve been doing it for 200,000 years, give or take. The Department of Energy recently released $3.5 billion to fund direct air capture technologies that remove carbon dioxide, which likely do more in the long run than all the choo-choo trains or windmills.)
In any event, the upside of fossil fuels – cheap, portable, abundant – far outweighs the negatives of climate change. Economies would collapse without them. And for emerging nations, affordable fossil fuel remains a prerequisite for lifting billions of people out of poverty. And yet here is the president of the United States celebrating the “transition” away from affordable energy in the middle of an economic shock.