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Tag Archives: Energy


Misguided Policy Proposals Won’t Solve America’s Energy Crisis

By George LandrithTownhall

Source: AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

Americans are experiencing an energy crisis with gasoline and diesel fuel at historically high prices. President Biden has been releasing a million barrels a day from the nation’s strategic oil reserve and it is now at its lowest level in decades. Likewise, it is unsettling to watch the President travel abroad begging for oil rich nations to produce more oil. Another typically hot summer is driving up energy demands for electricity and adding to the feeling that this energy crisis is real and isn’t merely a function of high gas prices. 

All of this is happening while the Administration is arguing that we should be driving electric vehicles. But as even Elon Musk, the number one producer of electric vehicles in the U.S. has pointed out, there simply isn’t enough electricity nor can our electrical grid handle the demand of millions of electric vehicles plugged in every night to recharge. 

One of the problems with complex issues is that policymakers often suggest absurdly harmful solutions that won’t work in real life. America’s current energy woes cannot actually be solved by a sudden switch to electric vehicles. Nor can the problem be solved by depleting the strategic oil reserve. But oddly enough these are not the most absurd policy suggestions. Some of the proposed solutions are even more misguided. 

For example, some have suggested that we repeal the Jones Act, which requires ships operating within the United States between two or more U.S. ports to be American ships with American crews. They seem to think that allowing foreign ships with unvetted and unknown foreign crews to sail up and down America’s 25,000 miles of inland water ways will somehow solve our energy problems, a policy prescription that borders on the insane or at least the inane. 

When pressed, they use the energy crisis and argue that liquefied natural gas (LNG) could be shipped more cheaply in the United States via foreign vessels as the American fleet isn’t currently prepared to ship massive quantities of LNG (which requires a specialized fleet). But here’s the problem with this policy prescription — pipelines are by far the cheapest and safest way to transport natural gas and petroleum products across the United States. So, if you’re worried about the expense of transporting LNG, you should support the construction of more pipelines, not the repeal of the Jones Act. 

If you repeal the Jones Act, all you would gain a relatively expensive way to transport LNG that would also pose more risks and dangers. In exchange, you would also lose all the benefits of the Jones Act. 

The Jones Act is a critical part of our military readiness and ability to supply our military. Former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Paul Selva said, “I am an ardent supporter of the Jones Act. [The Act] supports a viable ship building industry, cuts cost and produces 2,500 qualified mariners. Why would we tamper with that?” Admiral Paul Zunkunft also said, “You take Jones Act away, the first thing to go is these shipyards and then the mariners…. If we don’t have a U.S. fleet or U.S. shipyard to constitute that fleet how do we prevail?” 

But the Jones Act isn’t just important to our military strength, it actually helps border security and homeland security as well. The law allows the primary focus of our security efforts to be on the outer perimeter of our country and the American ships and American crews who are both vetted and trained become the eyes and ears on America’s inland water ways. The taxpayer doesn’t have to pay them or pay for their boat to do that. They do all of that while they’re doing their normal job. 

As Michael Herbert, former Chief of the Customs & Border Protection’s Jones Act Division of Enforcement said, “We use the Jones Act as a virtual wall. Without the Jones Act in place, our inland waterways would be inundated with foreign flagged vessels.” 

The truth is — if we were to repeal the Jones Act, any foreign ship, with an unknown and unvetted crew, carrying unknown cargo, equipment, and even weapons, could sail up the Mississippi and along America’s vast inland water ways, gaining access to America’s heartland.

Once you know the facts, it is clear that those suggesting we repeal the Jones Act — whether they realize it or not — are really suggesting that we allow Chinese, Russian, North Korean, and Iranian ships and crews, which would likely be carrying spies and covert operatives, to deploy inside America’s heartland with high-tech listening devices and tools of sabotage. They are also suggesting that America’s military capacity be significantly weakened and undermined. 

Given that pipelines are both cheaper and safer, and don’t undermine our national security, or bring foreign powers into our heartland, they would be a far better solution to transporting LNG and petroleum products. It is time to put an end to the senseless talk of repealing the Jones Act. 


HIGHER U.S. ENERGY PRICES ARE BIDEN’S FAULT

By Peter RoffStories In The News

For at least a decade, American progressives have been waging war on the nation’s energy sector. They’re all in on wind and solar and are using scare tactics, tax breaks, and government preferences to push a Green Agenda that leaves zero room for oil, coal, or natural gas.

That’s the real Biden policy, fulfilling a vow he made in September 2019: “I guarantee you, we are going to end fossil fuel.” And for the past 15 months, the president has done his best to keep that commitment.

Such grandiose plans come at a price. Biden’s anti-fossil energy positions are causing tremendous political harm to himself and his party. Prices are up. His approval is down. His solution? Pass the buck, as the White House did recently when it called the spike in energy costs “Putin’s Price Hike.”

The people aren’t buying. Only 27 percent of voters in a recent Winston Group survey agreed America must “reduce reliance on oil and gas even if it means higher costs because that is the only way to ensure a transition to alternative energy.” By more than two to one they believe, the nation should continue to rely on oil and gas to meet current energy demands while “transitioning over to alternative energy” sources.

America’s current energy needs conflict with the Biden Administration’s climate policy priorities, but that doesn’t stop progressives from arguing the need for more green energy and less traditional fuels. Even when the average national price at the pump is well over $4 a gallon.

Energy costs are the main driver of inflation. In 2021, they were up 29 percent over the previous year. The price of gasoline surged, fuel oil costs jumped 41 percent, and overall yearly inflation hit an alarming 7 percent. The Biden people haven’t got a clue. In early March White House Press Secretary Jenn Psaki incorrectly claimed the administration’s energy policy was not to blame for increased prices. When pressed, she argued “The Keystone Pipeline was not processing oil through the system. That does not solve any problems. That’s a misdiagnosis or maybe a misdiagnosis of what needs to happen.”

It’s Psaki who made the “misdiagnosis.” An operational Keystone XL would have augmented the capacity of an existing pipeline running from Alberta, Canada to Superior, Wisconsin, delivering 830,000 additional barrels of oil a day.

Biden’s vilification of the oil and natural gas industry at a time when it’s needed to keep the economy and the country going is not new. Since its earliest days, his administration has pushed the cost of conventional fuels up through the Keystone XL Pipeline cancellation and the moratorium on new oil and gas leases on federal lands. Republican Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana recently released a study identifying more than 80 specific actions the Biden Administration has taken on energy-related matters that have helped boost the price at the pump. In Banks’ words, “President Biden has waged an unprecedented, government-wide assault on our nation’s ability to produce cheap, reliable energy.”

That’s why Americans have seen a steady increase in energy prices, not the invasion of Ukraine. Biden’s moratorium on federal leases is another problem. Many current leases are tied up in litigation. New leases on federal land were brought to a halt. The administration’s refusal to renew the Interior Department’s five-year offshore leasing plan, set to expire at the end of June has imposed a further strain on production. If the plan is not renewed, expect overall fuel production to drop by the tune of 500,000 fewer barrels of oil and gas produced per day from 2022 to 2040.

The United States Energy Information Administration’s Annual Energy Outlook 2022 predicts petroleum and natural gas will be the most used fuels in the U.S. through the year 2050. That’s reality – unless the government intervenes by imposing mandates that restrict or ration the production and use of fossil fuels.

That’s a problem domestically and internationally. Having the ability to turn the spigot on here at home, means there’s no need to reach out to hostile countries with offers to alleviate economic sanctions placed on them over their disregard for human rights and the threats they pose to the United States in exchange for access to their oil reserves. That’s a fool’s bargain – but one America’s current leadership is telegraphing it is ready to make.

Even without the war in Ukraine, people have realized we need abundant, reliable oil and gas “made in America.” Going to other countries is not the answer, nor is making an expensive, lengthy, transition to renewable sources that compromises our economic strength and national security.

We must increase oil and gas production in the U.S. now. We have the resources – we need the administration to get out of the way of developing them.


Don’t Blame Jones Act for High Energy Prices

By George LandrithNewsmax

illustration of an oil pipeline
Oil pipelines are the real answer to easing high energy prices. (Dreamstime)

Increased energy prices in the wake of Russia’s war on Ukraine have caused critics of the Jones Act to claim the law is contributing to more expensive domestic petroleum products.

The law merely limits waterway shipping within the U.S. to American-built and -owned ships crewed by Americans, but its detractors falsely claim that repealing it would help lower costs.

The fact is the cheapest and safest way to move petroleum and natural gas products across a nation — and even a continent — is through pipelines.

The real culprit behind the high cost of transporting energy are extremists who oppose pipelines and prevent them from being built. Without such needed pipelines we will continue to pay too much to transport petroleum.

The Jones Act has nothing to do with these costs and in fact has many benefits. It is time for its opponents to stop playing politics.

As Americans have vividly seen in the last few years, building a pipeline is a political football. It takes years, even decades, to obtain the required political approvals.

And even once obtained, such permits can be reversed by know-nothing political activists. So this political circus arranged by these pipeline circus clowns means we overpay to transport oil.

The U.S. has more than 3 million miles of pipelines linking natural gas production and storage facilities with millions of American consumers — including homes. Those who argue that pipelines are inherently dangerous are simply wrong.

We have decades of data with millions of miles of pipelines — even going through neighborhoods. Pipelines are reliable, economical and safe.

Likewise, gasoline isn’t typically shipped in tanker trucks from refineries to local gas stations. There are pipelines that bring the gasoline to regional terminals. Then trucks take the gasoline from those terminals to local gas stations — thus limiting the miles that gasoline is transported via highway.

When extremists make it unnecessarily difficult to build this needed energy infrastructure, we can’t pretend the Jones Act is why we are overpaying to transport energy.

On the other hand, the Jones Act has a number of important benefits that its detractors would like to ignore.

The Jones Act simply requires that waterway shipping within the U.S. is done by American-built, -owned and -crewed ships. It doesn’t prevent foreign shippers from coming to our shores. But they can’t sail up our rivers and make multiple stops.

The Jones Act was intended to ensure that we have a viable shipbuilding and repairing capability to support our military. In a world where many foreign nations heavily subsidize their shipping industries, we must not allow ourselves to become dependent upon other nations to maintain our naval capability.

Former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Paul Selva said, “I am an ardent Supporter of the Jones Act. [The Act] supports a viable shipbuilding industry, cuts cost and produces 2,500 qualified mariners.”

Likewise, Former Coast Guard Commandant, Admiral Paul Zunkunft said, “You take the Jones Act away, the first thing to go is these shipyards and then the mariners. … If we don’t have a U.S. fleet or U.S. shipyard to constitute that fleet how do we prevail?”

The military understands that the Jones Act is critically important to our national security.

Our adversaries would like a weaker America, not a stronger one. And the Jones Act helps keep us strong. If we haven’t learned in the past few years that being dependent upon hostile powers is both risky and costly, we haven’t been paying attention.

The Jones Act also has a significant impact on homeland security.

Dr. Joan Mileski, head of the Maritime Administration Department at Texas A&M, said, “If we totally lifted the Jones Act, any foreign-flagged ship could go anywhere on our waterways, including up the Mississippi River.” This would make our defenses incredibly porous as we have more than 25,000 miles of navigable inland waterways.https://e04e5a828992561bbe9773e12b110d72.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

Michael Herbert, Chief of the Customs & Border Protection’s Jones Act Division of Enforcement said: “We use the Jones Act as a virtual wall. Without the Jones Act in place, our inland waterways would be inundated with foreign-flagged vessels.”

Without the Jones Act, Chinese Communist Party leader Xi Jinping or Russian President Vladimir Putin could gain access to America’s heartland, sending ships to operate up and down the Mississippi River. They could spy and even unleash weapons from container ships.

The Jones Act protects America. Blaming the Jones Act for the fact that extremists have hamstrung our nation’s energy infrastructure and driven prices up is a profoundly stupid argument.

The world is a dangerous place, filled with adversaries that will be all too happy if the Jones Act is weakened.


Biden Runs Out of Gas

The president has an unerring instinct to make problems worse

By Matthew ContinettiThe Washington Free Beacon

“This is a wartime bridge to increase oil supply into production,” President Biden said during his announcement Thursday that he would release more barrels of oil from the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve than at any point in American history. His decision was also a concession. None of the policies Biden has enacted throughout his short presidency have alleviated the problems they were meant to solve. Quite the opposite: In practically every case, Biden has made things worse.

Energy? Killing the Keystone pipeline was one of the first things Biden did when he took office. In February, Biden delayed approval of new oil and gas leases. He continues to blame the increase in gas prices on Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, even though prices began to rise early in Biden’s term. Biden scapegoats oil companies for sitting on profits, while he could be doing everything in his power to ramp up domestic production of available fuel sources—including nuclear.

The fallout from Putin’s war was bound to make energy scarce and thus more valuable. Biden could have lessened the pain on the American consumer by pursuing an all-of-the-above energy dominance policy from the start, and by reducing the size of the American Rescue Plan so that it didn’t contribute to inflation. He chose to ignore the warnings of economists such as former Treasury secretary Lawrence Summers and followed his advisers who incorrectly predicted that inflation would be temporary. By turning to the Strategic Reserve, Biden is promoting a temporary fix while the long-term solutions are plain to see. He’s relied on similar gimmicks before. They haven’t worked.

Consider Biden’s immigration policy. He spent his early days as president tearing up President Trump’s agreements with Mexico and several Central American countries that forced asylum-seekers to stay in third-party nations while U.S. judges decided on their claims. The rush for the border was swift and ongoing. This week, Biden is expected to reverse a rule Trump enforced during the coronavirus pandemic that allowed border agents to repatriate illegal immigrants swiftly because of the public health emergency. Homeland Security officials tell the New York Times that because of Biden’s decision they are planning on unauthorized crossings to double from an already high level. Republicans must be giddy with anticipation at the coming headlines.

Immigration and the border were the first places where you saw erosion in Biden’s job approval numbers last spring. Now he’s about to do something that will undermine border security and his political standing, and for no discernible reason. The pandemic is not over. Border crossings aren’t falling. We know that Biden’s decision will attract additional illegal immigrants. Nothing about this policy makes sense.

Biden doesn’t make sense. His Europe trip was a substantive success but a stylistic failure. The Western alliance is holding. But the president gaffed his way across Eastern Europe—saying the West would respond “in kind” to a Russian chemical attack, denying the deterrent value of sanctions when his subordinates have said precisely the opposite, telling U.S. troops that they would see the horrors of war in Ukraine firsthand, then raising the possibility that America’s strategic goal is regime change in Russia. Then, when Fox’s Peter Doocy soberly asked him about these inadvisable statements, Biden denied that he had said anything problematic.

I happen to believe that the world would be a safer place if Vladimir Putin were out of power—that indeed one possible consequence of a Russian defeat in Ukraine is Putin’s demise. I also believe that presidents shouldn’t sound like me. They need to watch their public statements because, as we were reminded throughout the Trump administration, words matter. Biden’s sentiment in Warsaw was correct. His sense of timing was wrong. After all, you never get in trouble for what you don’t say. Biden’s problem is that he rarely lets his actions speak louder than his words. And the words are garbled.

People notice. They don’t like what they hear, they can’t stand what they see. The public verdict on Biden is grim. He has not benefited from a rally-around-the-flag effect. His approval rating continues to fall. He’s at 41 percent approval in the FiveThirtyEight average of polls. He fell under 40 percent approval in this week’s Marist poll. Republicans continue to lead the congressional generic ballot. Democrats recognize that the electoral battlefield has widened. Biden is running out of time to improve his standing. And he hasn’t demonstrated an ability to bounce back as president.

Biden entered office at a time of national emergency. He benefited from the public’s desire to see Donald Trump off the airwaves for the first time in years. He oversaw the successful implementation of the vaccination program Trump had started. The resilience of the American economy helped him too.

Then the situation went sideways. Biden’s problems started on the southern border, ramped up with the Delta variant of coronavirus, accelerated with inflation, spread with the debacle in Afghanistan, and haven’t abated since. His rallying of the West in support of Ukraine is laudable, but he still hasn’t done enough to help the Ukrainians and he keeps stumbling on his own message. His commitments to the left wing of his party keep him from embracing the center. And damaging leaks about the federal investigation into his son’s finances only will mount if Republicans take Congress in November.

Biden’s reliance on the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is telling. This is a presidency that is running out of gas.


Yes, Biden Will Absolutely Blame Putin For Every Domestic Crisis Until The Midterms

Instead of taking responsibility for his self-inflicted problems and laying out solutions to fix them, Biden has repeatedly deflected blame.

By Jordan BoydThe Federalist

President Joe Biden delivers remarks about overnight tornadoes and extreme weather that caused widespread devastation in Kentucky and other states, Saturday, December 10, 2021, at the Chase Convention Center in Wilmington, Delaware. (Official White House Photo by Erin Scott)
WHITEHOUSEFLICKR/PHOTO

he White House repeatedly uses the Russia-Ukraine conflict to blame Russian President Vladimir Putin for the crises President Joe Biden created. Even when Americans point out the administration’s hypocrisy, the White House refuses to take responsibility for the domestic problems that it knows could result in the downfall of Democrats in the upcoming midterm election.

“Inflation goes up today, the president’s statement blames the ‘Putin Price Hike.’ Are you guys just going to start blaming Putin for everything until the midterms?” Fox News’s Peter Doocy asked during the White House press briefing on Thursday.

Psaki, of course, refused to give Doocy a straight answer and instead told reporters that “we’ve seen the price of gas go up at least 75 cents since President Putin lined up troops on the border of Ukraine.”

Doocy countered by asking why the White House’s statement on January’s high inflation didn’t indict the Russian president then, especially if he was so guilty for causing the problems afflicting Americans since January of 2021, but Psaki didn’t bite.

Biden and his team at the White House will absolutely keep blaming Putin for all the domestic crises weighing on Americans because they have nothing to lose by refusing responsibility and everything to gain in the 2022 midterms.

Things in the U.S. are not going well for the Biden administration. The president’s approval rating may have slightly climbed after he made dozens of empty promises and lies at his State of the Union address but his first year in office was a complete disaster.

Under Biden’s watch, the U.S. Southern border was overwhelmed with illegal migration and increased drug trafficking, gasoline prices climbed astronomically, and the supply chain crisis hurt Americans already struggling under the weight of steadily increasing inflation.

Instead of taking responsibility for these problems and laying out solutions to fix them, the Biden administration has repeatedly deflected blame onto the pandemic and even corporate greed. One year into steadily rising and record-high energy costs, Psaki still had the guts this week to claim that high gas prices and expensive goods that have been plaguing Americans for months are Putin’s fault.

She also said they are “temporary and not long-lasting” even though the White House and the president himself previously insisted that price hikes were“expected” and would be “temporary.” Eight months after their predictions, inflation is at a 40 year high and is expected to climb higher in the coming months.

As a result, Americans do not view the administration or Democrats favorably. Just recently, Biden and his leftist allies have tried to ditch their own detrimental Covid agenda in an attempt to win over frustrated voters. So far, their plan to satiate Americans, 40 percent of whom recently testified that they were “nervous” under the Biden presidency, is not working.

Americans largely vote with their pocketbooks. When gas costs $7 a gallon in parts of the country because Biden wants to broker deals with foreign enemies instead of reinstating American energy independence, voters who agree that economic conditions are their top priority are not happy. Recent polling suggests that more Americans, 51.6 percent, disapprove of the president and vice president than approve.

Biden and his team have epically failed in multiple ways. Despite the administration’s efforts to call U.S. attention to a foreign conflict, Americans affected by Biden’s incompetence won’t forget all of the domestic crises he’s created and then tried to ignore.

The White House has nothing to lose by blaming Putin and everything to gain by ignoring the crises Biden created. The more the administration spins the narrative, with the help of corrupt corporate media, to absolve themselves of blame, the better Democrats believe they will do in this year’s key election.


Powering up America by giving consumers choice

By Peter RoffHavasuNews

America’s high national living standards lead us to consider things like abundant access to clean water, comprehensive cellular service, and a reliable electric grid commonplace. Much of the rest of the world regards them as luxuries unavailable to many people.

Consequently, we tend to think about these things only when they don’t work. Cloudy water creates a crisis. A cell phone outage leaves us stranded. Failures in the power market leave us, literally and figuratively, in the dark about what to do.

The critics of how the market allocates the distribution of electric power allege competition would lead to more brown- and blackouts. Despite abundant evidence they are wrong, they don’t trust the competitive market system to keep the lights on. Even now they’re waging a campaign to upend the market structure in places like my home state of Virginia, where competition has overall helped maintain reliable and affordable electricity.

Electricity generators in the United States operate under different structures, dictated by state and the federal governments. Historically, utilities have been integrated vertically, creating geographic monopolies on the production and sale of electric power. Unified ownership of the different parts of the supply chain – generation, transmission, and distribution of power – by a single producer/distributor creates exclusive service territories with captive customers.

Economics teaches that monopolies are bad, even at the state level. Dependence on a single source for anything leaves customers without the freedom to decide what’s best. Competition is the consumer’s friend. Just look at the explosion in services offered by the telephone companies thanks to the competition created by the breakup of Ma Bell.

The explosion in content creation driven by the internet is analogous to what might happen to power generation if competitive pressures were introduced to the generation of electricity in states currently lacking choice. There are nuances of course but, in general, the restructuring of power markets would end the distribution monopolies. Existing utilities would maintain control on distribution networks, but in most cases will be separated from the generation of power.

Currently, there are seven Regional Transmission Organizations (or RTOs) and Independent System Operators (or ISOs) in the United States that run competitive wholesale power markets. They facilitate open access to power transmission and operate the transmission system independently of, and foster competition for, electricity generation among wholesale market participants.

In short, they replace the cost-based regulatory model with a market-based competitive model, functioning as “power pools” from which multiple independent utilities can draw and share reserves to make power cheaper for you and me. Over time, they have evolved to optimize generator output over wide geographic regions – again, generally reducing consumer costs.

According to U.S Energy Information Administration data, between 1997 and 2017, increases in retail electricity prices in states with competitive electric markets and monopoly states were about the same, while customers in monopoly states saw a slightly higher percentage increase in rates. A Retail Energy Supply Association found that customers in states that still have monopoly utilities saw their average energy prices increase nearly 19 percent from 2008 to 2017, while prices fell 7 percent in competitive markets over the same period.

In competitive markets, electricity is purchased at market-determined wholesale prices. Customers, you and me, can choose a provider rather than be required to purchase our electricity from our local utility. The monopoly system, equally or more expensive from a price perspective, is often tainted by political corruption and scandal. In the last year or so, scandals involving utilities seeking to influence legislation or secure taxpayer bailouts led to the toppling of the top lawmaker in both the Ohio and Illinois House of Representatives.

“Pick a year, and you will find some scandal among monopoly utilities. The corruption shows no sign of slowing down. Instead, the breadth, depth, and cost of such scandals only seem to multiply,” the Conservative Energy Network notes.

It’s time to pull the plug on the old system. Competition in the electricity market produces cost savings for customers, improves service and reliability, and encourages innovations leading to environmental benefits. The drive to gain new customers that comes once a restructured, competitive wholesale market for electricity is introduced – and which several states are in the process of creating – empowers customers, reduces costs, and keeps the lights on.


A Carbon Tax Would Harm Working-Class Americans

By George LandrithInside Sources

A Carbon Tax Would Harm Working-Class Americans

U.S. Representatives Steve Scalise (R-La.) and David B. McKinley, P.E. (R-W.Va.) introduced a resolution that, if passed, would express the sense of Congress that a carbon tax would be detrimental to the United States economy and harm working-class Americans the most.

This is self-evidently true. In fact, it is so obviously true, a reasonable person might ask why such a resolution is even necessary. Do we really need a resolution that is as obvious as the sun rises in the east?

Sadly, even though the resolution’s point — that carbon taxes are harmful — is painfully obvious, the resolution is necessary. There are many voices on the national stage that support virtually any new tax and particularly any energy tax. The Biden administration has made it clear it considers the energy sector the enemy — killing pipelines, proposing new taxes, and advocating for new burdensome regulatory regimes and mandates. But this is counterproductive!

A carbon tax — no matter who they tell you will pay it — will hit the economy hard and will hit lower-income Americans the hardest. A carbon tax would increase the cost of everything Americans buy — from groceries, to electricity and gasoline, to home heating in the winter, to everyday household products. Moreover, having a reliable source of affordable energy is foundational to a strong job market and strong economic growth. The rich don’t need a strong job market or strong economic growth to build a better future for themselves and their families. They’ve already got that. But the working middle class and the working poor need a robust jobs market and economic growth to push wages higher.

The additional costs imposed on the working class by a carbon tax are difficult to bear. Their budgets are already tight. Are they going to go to work less often or heat their home less in the winter? They are kind of stuck. If you increase their energy costs, they have to give up other necessities. And if you damage the economy, their hope for better times and brighter days ahead evaporates. That’s way too high a price to pay for whatever false promises the elites are offering.

America achieved energy independence when only a few short years ago, it was widely perceived that we would always be forced to import energy and rely upon energy from hostile nations. Energy independence had obvious economic benefits, but it also had national security benefits. For much of the last two generations, American foreign policy had to worry about keeping the oil flowing from the Middle East. Given the volatility of the region, that often forced some unpleasant foreign policy considerations on American policymakers. But with energy independence, hostile powers could no longer hold us hostage or use energy as a leverage point. Thus, we were more secure. A carbon tax would put all of this at risk.

Some privileged elites see their support for a carbon tax as some sort of virtue. And they think it makes them look good. But what is there to feel so superior about in forcing working-class Americans to pay higher energy bills, transportation costs, and higher costs for food and household items — all while also being forced to suffer lower or suppressed wages?

This resolution tells Congress and the Biden administration that Americans expect accountability in their government. The Biden Administration is attacking energy through its attempts to force us into expensive electric vehicles and to use legitimate infrastructure needs as cover for redistributing taxpayer money to favored technologies like windmills and solar panels. This is all reminiscent of Solyndra, which gave away hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to well-heeled political donors in the guise of energy policy but was ultimately a boondoggle and nothing more.

Rather than trying to use energy policy as a way to push Americans into the buying preferences of a few political elites, let’s unleash the power of the free market and human creativity!  We can have reliable, affordable energy and a clean environment.  But only if we allow and encourage innovation, rather than imposing government mandates and taxes.


New Mexico, Other Western States, Native American Tribes All Up In Arms Over Biden Energy Decisions

By Nick AramaRed State

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

We touched on the concerns of folks in New Mexico over Joe Biden’s 60-day moratorium on new oil and natural gas leases and drilling permits. 

But it’s a huge problem now and would devastate the state if that were made permanent, according to leaders in New Mexico. Not to mention if Biden then forbids fracking on public lands. 

Half of New Mexico’s production is on federal lands. It provides over 100,000 related jobs and it’s what provides money for education and other government programs. It will crush the state’s economy which is already struggling, according to Carlsbad Mayor Dale Janway. 

From AP: 

“During his inauguration, President Biden spoke about bringing our nation together. Eliminating drilling on public lands will cost thousands of New Mexicans their jobs and destroy what’s left of our state’s economy,” Carlsbad Mayor Dale Janway told The Associated Press on Friday. “How does that bring us together? Environmental efforts should be fair and well-researched, not knee-jerk mandates that just hurt an already impoverished state.”

Plus the order is halting all regulatory activity, even that which does what Democrats claim they want, requests for rights of way for new pipelines to reduce venting and flaring which Democrats claim exacerbates climate change. 

One could say all this was out there to know, but New Mexico was called for Biden. So what were the people who actually voted for Biden there thinking? They were seduced by media about President Donald Trump’s ‘mean tweets.’ Meanwhile now they’re going to get hit hard. 

It’s not just New Mexico that’s going to suffer, it’s other Western states as well, including the states who didn’t vote for Biden. 

Utah said that such a widespread suspension is unprecedented and incredibly harmful and they asked Biden to reconsider his “arbitrary decision.” 

But it’s not just states that Biden is attacking with this, as a Native American tribe points out. Luke Duncan, the chairman of the Ute Indian Tribe Business Committee, minced not words when he called Biden’s decision a “direct attack on our economy, sovereignty, and our right to self-determination.”

Here’s what their letter said.

From Daily Wire: 

The Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation respectfully requests that you immediately amend Order No. 3395 to provide an exception for energy permits and approvals on Indian lands. The Ute Indian Tribe and other energy producing tribes rely on energy development to fund our governments and provide services to our members.

Your order is a direct attack on our economy, sovereignty, and our right to self-determination. Indian lands are not federal public lands. Any action on our lands and interests can only be taken after effective tribal consultation.

Order No. 3395 violates the United States treaty and trust responsibilities to the Ute Indian Tribe and violates important principles of tribal sovereignty and self-determination. Your order was also issued in violation (of) our government-to-government relationship. Executive Order No. 13175 on Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments, and Interior’s own Policy on Consultation with Tribal Governments.

The order must be withdrawn or amended to comply with Federal law and policies. Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter. We look forward from hearing from you.

While we might say if any of these folks voted for Biden, they should have known better, unfortunately this is not going to just hurt all these people, but it’s going to hurt all of us, translating in more expensive energy prices and losing that energy independence that President Donald Trump worked so hard to get for us.

It’s only Day 4 into this calamitous mess. How’s it going so far?


Increasingly Cheap Nat Gas Will Help Fuel Econ. Recovery

By George LandrithReal Clear Markets

After months of sheltering in place, Americans are finally returning to their favorite restaurants, stores, and barbershops. As of June 1, all 50 states have started to reopen.

We may not know what life after the coronavirus looks like, but one thing is certain. As life returns to normal, millions of Americans will rely on natural gas to refuel their cars and reopen their businesses.

Fortunately, America’s energy sector was well prepared to survive the coronavirus outbreak. Having weathered the storm, natural gas producers will help get the economy humming in a way that benefits American consumers and the environment alike.

COVID-19 certainly caused problems for America’s energy sector. But even despite these recent setbacks, natural gas has proven quite resilient. U.S. natural gas prices have remained relatively steady over the past few months. And the U.S. Energy Information Administration expects average natural gas consumption to fall by less than 4 percent this year.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise. America’s shale energy boom helped make natural gas the leading source of electricity nationwide. More than 38 percent of the nation’s power came from natural gas in 2019. With demand expected to rebound as early as next year, it seems like natural gas will remain the nation’s go-to energy source for the foreseeable future.

That’s great news for Americans. Ever since the United States became the world’s leading producer of natural gas, households across the country have seen their energy costs plummet. Americans will continue to benefit as the country grows more reliant on natural gas. Low gas prices will add $2,700 to the average household’s disposable income this year, according to an analysis from the research firm IHS. That number is expected to rise to $3,500 per household by 2025.

By moving the country away from coal, the natural gas boom also helps the environment. Last year, America once again led the world in reducing energy-related CO2 emissions. Between 2000 and 2019, the United States achieved a whopping 1 gigaton emissions reduction — more than any other country during that period.

These environmental gains will continue as gas-fired plants displace more of their coal-fired counterparts. The EIA projects that domestic energy-related CO2 emissions will keep falling well into the next decade.

America’s energy renaissance has even helped Europe reduce its emissions. Thanks to record-high natural gas imports, Europe saw a 15 percent increase in power generation from natural gas in 2019 — and a 20 percent decrease in the use of coal. Unsurprisingly, the European Union and the United Kingdom saw a 12 percent decrease in power sector CO2 emissions last year. Globally, CO2 emissions flattened in 2019.

Such a sustained drop in global carbon pollution would have been unthinkable just two decades ago. But thanks to the natural gas renaissance made possible by hydraulic fracturing, reductions like these have become the new normal.

It will take a lot to recover from the economic disruption of COVID-19. But come what may, the country can rely on natural gas to power the economy and clean up the environment.


Mariner East charges point to public office activism

By George LandrithDaily Local News

In his final attempt to torpedo Pennsylvania’s Mariner East II Pipeline, now-former Chester County District Attorney Thomas Hogan filed criminal charges last month against security contractors hired to secure pipeline construction sites. Sadly, the accusations are merely another publicity stunt in the DA’s crusade to upend the permitted project rather than an honest effort to serve the public. Pennsylvanians deserve better than this kind of gamesmanship that puts political agendas ahead of residents’ welfare.

The charges accuse several security personnel employed by Mariner East of paying state constables to provide security for the pipeline during construction. The constables’ authority, Mr. Hogan alleges, was used as a “weapon” to “intimidate citizens.” But the facts of the situation tell a different story—one that when coupled with the DA’s record of claims against the Mariner East point a finger back at Mr. Hogan for politicizing his public office.

It’s not uncommon for businesses of all industries to employ private security. That’s especially true for energy developers and operators, who regularly hire personnel to not only protect their investments, but also to ensure individuals are not inadvertently injured by equipment or ongoing construction around infrastructure sites.

Long before the Mariner East developers contracted the security personnel now under scrutiny, they consulted local law enforcement about the possibility of using state constables. Those authorities raised no concerns. And it’s hard to imagine why they would.

Pipelines have become targets for environmental extremists, and reports of sabotage and other criminal activities against energy infrastructure have grown in recent years. In fact, one disgruntled Central Pennsylvania landowner even lured bears to pipeline work sites, set fires near equipment, and harassed workers in an unlawful attempt to halt the pipeline. Another group admitted to sabotaging equipment in Southeast Pennsylvania. It’s a sad reality that pipeline operators often need extra security to prevent senseless attacks, and based on past criminal activity, it’s necessary for the Mariner East builders to take additional precautions.

It’s also important to understand the function of Pennsylvania’s constables. Like a sheriff, a constable is an elected or appointed position in the executive branch of government. Primarily, they serve at the direction of the courts to issue summons and warrants and the like, but they are fully empowered to enforce both criminal and civil laws.

Unlike most law enforcement officials, constables do not receive a set salary. They are compensated by assignment at rates established by state law. As public peace officers, constables are employed by a third party—never directly, as a security guard would be. In that way, Mariner East’s situation is not unusual: The developer hired a private contractor to secure the construction sites. The contractor then enlisted the support of state constables.

John-Walter Weiser and Philip Intrieri, the president and the solicitor of the Commonwealth Constable Association, respectively, recently called out the absurdity of the Chester County DA’s claims. “It is frankly offensive to accuse a constable of ‘selling his badge,’ when he is only operating under a fee-driven system he did not create, and which is intended to save our tax dollars,” Weiser and Intrieri wrote last month. “Filing felony charges of law when that law is unclear is a grievous abuse of power.”

It’s impossible to reconcile the precautions taken to add extra security around the Mariner East Pipeline with the charges now being leveled. Instead, the evidence points to a pattern of abuse of public office to wage an ideological campaign against midstream energy infrastructure. Mr. Hogan has criticized Mariner East of environmental crimes and has promised that other charges are “coming down the line.” In his statement announcing the most recent allegations, Mr. Hogan goes so far as to accuse Governor Wolf of being “asleep at the wheel.” All this was said and done as Mr. Hogan was leaving office.

The DA’s attacks against the Mariner East Pipeline seem to peel back the true motives behind these latest charges—which are to derail energy infrastructure deployment in Pennsylvania. But these accusations are too serious for residents to accept as politics as usual. As Hogan’s successor Deborah Ryan takes office, it is critical that Pennsylvanians are afforded an open debate about the Commonwealth’s energy security—not policy by litigation that, apparently, will readily sacrifice those who find themselves on the wrong side of the agenda of those in power.


Waiting to Exhale: Biden’s $1.7 Trillion Anti-CO2 Tax Hike

By DEROY MURDOCKNational Review

His ‘Clean Energy Revolution’  echoes Obama-Biden’s eco-failures.

Former vice president Joe Biden’s Clean Energy Revolution exploded on the launch pad Tuesday. Large, now-attributed passages of his manifesto against so-called global warming initially were lifted from other publications. Biden’s plagiarism recalled his flat-out theft of a speech by far-left British parliamentarian Neil Kinnock in 1987.

But Biden’s plan is far worse than just partially stolen. It confirms that the “centrist” Biden is just another big-government leftist, hooked on high taxes and reckless spending.

Biden’s Revolution is a $1.7 trillion tax hike. It enshrines his pitch to voters in South Carolina and elsewhere: “First thing I’d do is repeal those Trump tax cuts.” Biden pledges to rescind the tax relief that has resuscitated U.S. industry, revived 3.2 percent GDP growth, and reduced unemployment to 3.6 percent and historical or near-record lows for blacks, Hispanics, and women.

After siphoning $1.7 trillion from America’s productive sector, Biden would follow the liberal playbook: Assign Washington-based experts to redistribute this bounty more wisely and justly than the bedraggled American people ever could.

Biden, no surprise, recommends a Santa’s sleigh of “allocated tax credits and subsidies” for “sustainable” initiatives. The eco-crats will succeed next time. After all, Washington always learns from its mistakes. And mistakes multiplied as the Obama-Biden administration poured taxpayer cash into countless eco-brainstorms:

• $570 million dripped into solar-power company Solyndra. Then it went bankrupt. Obama-Biden financed 18 green companies that also died and were buried in the Heritage Foundation’s Green Energy Graveyard.

• $3 billion flowed into Cash for Clunkers. Americans traded their old automobiles for $4,500 each in federal outlays. This was supposed to create jobs in Detroit, as drivers bought new, fuel-efficient U.S. vehicles. While 38.5 percent of this program’s car purchases were domestic, J.D. Power estimated, 61.5 percent were foreign. Cash for Clunkers primarily enriched Japanese and Korean autoworkers.

• $34.7 billion cascaded from Obama-Biden’s Department of Energy into clean-tech companies. They created “nearly 60,000” jobs. Cost per post: $578,333.

Biden also offers what statists truly crave: control. They never are happier than when they can boss Americans around, from dawn to dusk.

“I fought along with President Obama,” Biden said in a video that accompanied his proposal, “for a Clean Power Plan that limited carbon emissions from both existing and new power plants.”

CPP’s reels of red tape were designed to hamstring existing energy suppliers, at injurious economic cost. Using data from Obama-Biden’s Energy Information Agency, I calculated that — between 2015 and 2040 — CPP would have:

• Slashed real GDP by $993 billion, or an annual average of $39.7 billion.

• Sliced real disposable income by $382 billion, or $15.3 billion yearly.

• Chopped manufacturing shipments by $1.13 trillion, or $45.4 billion per annum.

• Whacked 1.7 million manufacturing jobs, or 68,000 pink slips yearly.

And for what benefit?

EPA assumed no Chinese, Indian, or other cheating and forecast that Obama-Biden’s scheme would have shaved expected global warming by 0.02 degrees Fahrenheit by 2050. That’s like cranking a thermostat from 72 degrees way, way down to 71.98 degrees.

As Americans for Tax Reform reports, Biden also wants an “end-to-end high-speed rail system that will connect the coasts.” Ideally, a Japanese-style U.S. bullet train would zoom at 200 mph. Thus, today’s 2,450-mile, 4.5-hour, nonstop jet ride from Los Angeles to New York would last at least 12.25 hours on Bidentrak. (A 24.5-hour round trip would devour more than one entire transit day.) Why would anyone travel nearly three times more slowly by rail than air — assuming neither stops nor glitches?

Beyond staying in Delaware, Joe Biden’s Earth-friendliest move would be to recycle his Revolution and, instead, promote natural-gas production. Carbophobes should cheer this news: Thanks largely to gas fracking, U.S. carbon-dioxide emissions keep falling — down 13.4 percent from 2005 to 2016 and, BP estimates, another 0.82 percent in 2017, under President Donald Trump. Meanwhile, CO2 output rose 1.8 percent in 2017 across the climate-obsessed European Union. Natural gas cuts CO2 by 42 to 53 percent versus other fossil fuels, generates jobs, and has made America the world’s largest energy producer.1

More, please!

Michael Malarkey contributed research to this opinion piece.


Energy Companies Sued for Being Energy Companies

By Jibran Khan • National Review

Numerous jurisdictions are suing energy companies. Not for fraud or white-collar crime, but for the effects of climate change.

Bill de Blasio, mayor of New York, recently added his city to the list — and also started to divest the city’s pension funds from fossil-fuel companies. But the phenomenon is primarily a California-centric one. In an address at SXSW earlier this month, even Arnold Schwarzenegger joined the fray.

Presumably, this will soon be a cause célèbre. But it is unlikely to succeed, and lawsuits are a poor way to address the environmental harms of energy production anyhow.

As David Bookbinder at the Niskanen Center notes, while all of the complaints are grounded in the energy companies’ alleged accountability for rising sea levels, they fall into two essential categories. Continue reading


Oppose H.R. 5365, the “Muhammad Ali Expansion Act”

MMA Coalition Letterhead

 

Dear Chairmen Kline and Upton:

We write in strong opposition to H.R.5365, the “Muhammad Ali Expansion Act,” legislation introduced by Rep. Markwayne Mullin to regulate mixed martial arts (MMA), which is one of the most popular sports in the U.S. and fastest growing throughout the world.  This misguided legislation is yet another unfortunate and unneeded regulatory power grab that will stifle the dynamic innovation and success of MMA. Continue reading


Obama-Backed Solar Plant Could Be Shut Down For Not Producing Enough Energy

by Michael Bastasch     •     The Daily Caller

California regulators may force a massive solar thermal power plant in the Mojave Desert to shut down after years of under-producing electricity — not to mention the plant was blinding pilots flying over the area and incinerating birds.

The Ivanpah solar plant could be shut down if state regulators don’t give it more time to meet electricity production promises it made as part of its power purchase agreements with utilities, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Ivanpah, which got a $1.6 billion loan guarantee from the Obama administration, only produced a fraction of the power state regulators expected it would. The plant only generated 45 percent of expected power in 2014 and only 68 percent in 2015, according to government data. Continue reading


Obama’s New Energy Plan Could Cost $2.5 Trillion in Lost Economic Growth

by Nicolas Loris     •     Daily Signal

The Obama administration unveiled its climate change regulations for new and existing power plants, calling the plan “the biggest, most important step we’ve ever taken to combat climate change.”

It may be the most “important” from a top-down, regulatory mandate for high energy prices, but it won’t accomplish much, if anything, in terms of combating climate change.

Even though electricity generation accounts for the single largest source of carbon dioxide emissions in the United States, the estimated reduction is minuscule compared to global greenhouse gas emissions.

Climatologists estimate that the administration’s climate regulations will avert less than two hundredths of a degree Celsius by 2100. Continue reading


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