Lomborg & Peterson: COP27 Proposing Insane Emissions Policies

Bjorn Lomborg and Jordan Peterson wrote in The Telegraph Pushing the same old climate policies at COP27 is simply insane.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds and added images.

After decades of failure to curb emissions, let’s accept that capitalist investment is not the problem: it’s the solution

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” This famous quote – often misattributed to Albert Einstein – might very well become the unofficial motto of the UN Climate Change Conference in Egypt, the 27th session of the Conference of the Parties (Cop27).

Global CO₂ emissions have kept increasing since the world’s nations first committed to rein in climate change at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 – despite dozens of climate summits and the global climate agreements struck in Kyoto and Paris. This is the case, once again, in 2022, when we will collectively set a new emissions record. While rich countries increasingly promise draconian cuts (and then generally backtrack, as they import huge amounts of oil, gas and coal to save their citizens from energy poverty, as they have done most recently to address the current energy crisis), most of the future emissions will come from the currently poorer countries in Asia and Africa, as they power their climb out of abject poverty.

In the previous ten years, the world has focused more on remediating climate change than ever before. Despite this, we are not achieving anything, although no shortage of money has been wasted. In a surprisingly honest review of climate policies, the UN revealed a “lost decade”: The report found that it couldn’t tell the difference between what has happened and a world that adopted no new climate policies since 2005.

Consider that: all those climate summits and grandiose promises – all that expense and trouble – and no measurable difference whatsoever.

This state of affairs is unsurprising, unfortunately, because today’s renewable energy sources have two big problems. First, they occupy a vast amount of space, often displacing nature: replacing a square yard of a gas-fired power plant requires 73 square yards of solar panels, 239 square yards of on-shore wind turbines, or an astonishing 6,000 square yards of biomass. One study found that the United States would have to devote a land area four times the size of the United Kingdom to “clean power” to fulfill President Biden’s promise of a carbon-free economy by 2050.

Land in grey required for wind farms to power London UK, solar panels covering the yellow space.

Second – and of even greater importance – the two renewable energy technologies favoured by the vast majority of environmental activists are intermittent or unreliable. Solar energy simply isn’t produced when it is overcast or at nighttime. Wind energy requires a breeze. We are often told by green energy boosters that wind and solar energy are cheaper than fossil fuels. At best, that is only true when the wind is blowing, or the sun is shining. On a windless, dark night, the cost of wind and solar power rises to the infinite.

It is for such reasons that it is deeply misleading (although highly convenient) to compare the energy costs of wind or solar to fossil fuels only when it is windy and sunny. It is also important to note that since all solar energy is sold at essentially the same time (when the sun is up and shining), its value drops dramatically. When solar reaches 30% market share in California, as one study revealed, it loses two-thirds of its value.

Furthermore: because modern societies require 24 hours of non-stop power, backup is not optional – and that means reliance on fossil fuels, when there’s no sun or wind. As more solar and wind is introduced, moreover, fossil fuel backups become ever more expensive as they offer their services for fewer hours, to produce the necessary return on capital. And what of batteries? Globally, we have battery storage with the current capacity to store one minute and 15 seconds of the world’s electricity consumption. And that problem will not be ameliorated soon – even by 2030, global batteries will only cover less than 11 minutes of the global electricity consumption.

The scale of the challenge

All of this shows just the problems with moving electricity away from fossil fuel. When Biden promises ambitiously that all of America’s electricity will come from renewable sources by 2035, he is addressing the comparatively simple part of the climate challenge. Electricity constitutes just 19% of total energy use. We’re far further behind in developing solutions for agriculture, manufacturing, construction, and transportation. Of these, the latter is most often discussed by environmentalists and virtue-signaling politicians, who insist that a solution is already at hand: electric vehicles. Despite massive subsidies, however, just 1.4% of cars globally are electric, and that number is not going up quickly. The Biden Administration itself estimates that battery-electric cars will make up less than 10 percent of total US automobile stock – by 2050.

The scenario for the entire world is that less than one-fifth of all global cars will be battery-electric by 2050. We should remember, as well, that we do not yet have electric tractors, or heavy trucks, or airplanes, or ships – and that means that all the fossil fuel infrastructure that allows such machinery to operate will have to stay intact for our supply chains to continue their necessary operations.

And our current turbo-charge on electric cars will have very little impact on climate. The International Energy Agency estimates that the world would produce 231 million fewer tons of C02 if we achieve all our ambitious stated transport electrification targets in this decade. This reduction will lower global temperatures by one-ten thousandth of a degree Celsius (0.0001°C) by the end of the century, according to the UN’s own Climate Panel’s model.

Tackling climate change with current technology is essentially impossible.

This means that climate policy-makers tinker at the margins, offering deceptive solutions, and morally grandstanding. This pattern has repeated for three decades. Most of the promises made in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 and in Kyoto in 1997 were disregarded. A 2018 study found that only 17 of the 157 countries that pledged emissions cuts in Paris passed laws mandating the required action. Which nations? Algeria, Canada, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Indonesia, Japan, North Macedonia, Malaysia, Mexico, Montenegro, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Samoa, Singapore, and Tonga. These are not the nations that will change global emissions. Even if every country did everything promised in the original Paris agreement, the emission cuts by 2030 would constitute just 1% of what is necessary to keep temperature rising under the 2°C target.

Failure, however, has not made politicians or the people they serve more careful and or more adamant about searching for better solutions. Instead, they (we) have doubled down, making ever-more ludicrous but emotionally attractive pledges, despite zero chance of either their implementation or their success if implemented. Attempting to implement the much-heralded and oft-trumpeted vision of a zero C02-emission world – whether by 2035 or 2050 – would be so ruinously expensive that extensive gilets-jaunes-style riots are certain long before the “goal” is reached.

A different approach

If we do care about fixing this challenge, we need to change course. Pretending that the proper technological answer currently exists, and is not being implemented because we lack conviction and willpower is reckless and misleading. Worse, it stops us from pursuing real solutions to the many problems that confront us – only one of which is climate change.

Dozens of the world’s top climate economists and three Nobel Laureates in Economics evaluated a whole gamut of climate solutions for the think tank Copenhagen Consensus. If we continued to do what the EU has been doing – cutting carbon with a mix of market and planning diktats – means spending one pound to avoid a mere three pence of long-term climate damage. That’s partly because cutting CO₂ output in the rich and already efficiently-producing EU is impractically expensive, and partly because EU climate policies are much more inefficient than necessary (the EU prefers using wind and solar, for example, to cut a ton of CO₂, over the more efficient option of switching from coal to natural gas).

The Nobel laureates and climate economists instead determined that investment in green innovation comprised the best long-term investment. Why? Consider how the world worried over starvation in the 1960-70s. If we had approached that problem like we are approaching climate remediation, we would have required the rich to eat less, while serving their leftovers to the poor. That would have failed – as our current approaches will fail – disastrously. What worked instead? The Green Revolution: the innovative development of higher-yielding crops. We thereby increased world grain production by 250% between 1950 and 1984, raising the calorie intake of the world’s poorest people and reducing the incidence of serious famines.

Innovative thinkers tackled the problem head-on, instead of tinkering around the edges. Innovation meant producing more with less, instead of requiring people to make do, with less. Would-be and even genuinely looming catastrophes have been continually pushed aside throughout human history because of innovation and technological development. Innovation gave us security and prosperity, and continues to drive the growth and the increased efficiency of the world’s largest economies.

In general, unfortunately, investment in long-term innovation is underfunded because it is hard for private investors to capture benefits. In areas where long-term innovation on the private front can be underfunded (because of difficulties of monetising benefits in a sufficiently short time frame), public investment and support is often warranted. A recent example – and a stellar success on the climate innovation front? The ten-year $10 billion US public investment in shale gas, which originated under President George W. Bush. Remarkably, this was not planned as part of the policy of climate change remediation. Nonetheless, it led the way for a production surge (with all the attendant economic benefits, particularly for the poor) that allowed natural gas to become cheaper than the dirtier coal it partially replaced. Energy derived from natural gas produces approximately half the CO₂ of coal. The consequence? The US has the best record of C02 emission reduction of any country in the past decade – and simultaneously reduced its reliance on foreign suppliers of uncertain reliability and cost.
Investing in innovation

Everyone, in principle, agrees that we should be spending much more on R&D. However, the fraction of rich countries’ GDP actually invested into R&D has halved since the 1980s. Why? Putting up inefficient solar panels and wind turbines offers the opportunity for good photo ops, and allows those who lead to convince us of their dedication to action, while funding researchers requires a more subtle and mature understanding and approach. We might remember, however, when considering such things, that our economic stability and opportunity is now at serious risk, and we are simultaneously not currently doing the planet any favors.

According to the Copenhagen Consensus Nobel Laureates, we should increase our current spending five-fold, to $100 billion per year. This doesn’t mean that in total we should spend more. We already devote $600 billion per year to financing ineffective climate remediation strategies. We could instead take a mere sixth of that poorly spent money and direct it toward the most effective means of addressing our problems.

A genuine innovation-led response would require the consideration of multiple solutions. We should improve today’s technologies rather than erecting currently inefficient turbines and solar panels. We should devote more attention to nuclear fission (perhaps in the form of modular reactors), and continue to explore fusion, hydrogen generation from water, and more. The geneticist who spearheaded development of the first draft sequence of the human genome – a technological tour-de-force, completed far earlier and at less cost than originally estimated – makes the case for research into algae that produces oil, grown on the ocean surface. Because such algae simply converts sunlight and CO₂ to oil, when producing it, burning it would be CO₂-free. Oil algae are far from cost-effective now, but researching this and many other solutions is not only inexpensive but offers our best opportunity to find real breakthrough technologies.

If we innovate the price of green energy down below fossil fuels, everyone will switch. This would be a far better solution, particularly for the poor, than increasing the cost of fossil fuel to the point of general penury to disincentivise use. The Copenhagen Consensus experts calculated returns from green energy R&D at eleven pounds for every pound invested – hundreds of times more effective than current climate policies.

Finding the breakthroughs that will power the rest of the 21st century could require a decade, or it could take four. But no other genuine solutions beckon, and we have already had three decades of spectacular failure pursuing the policies that are currently in place. We know that the world leaders gathered at COP27 won’t solve the problems that beset us with the same empty promises offered twenty-six times previously. Are we doing the same thing yet again? Remember the definition of insanity…

But innovation beckons, as it has so reliably in the past. We have better options, and ignore them at the cost of our economy, our opportunity, and the environment.

Dr. Bjorn Lomborg is President of the Copenhagen Consensus and Visiting Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. His latest book is “False Alarm: How Climate Change Panic Costs Us Trillions, Hurts the Poor, and Fails to Fix the Planet.” A collection of his writings for the Telegraph can be found here.
Dr. Jordan B. Peterson is Professor Emeritus at the University of Toronto, and the author of three books: “Maps of Meaning: the Architecture of Belief”, “12 Rules for Life: an Antidote to Chaos” and “Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life”. A collection of his writings for the Telegraph can be found here.

Advancing National Takeover of Energy Industry

Tom Luongo writes at his blog The Oil Nationalization Two-Step.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds and added images.

You’ve all heard me rant about the “Straussian Two-Step,” which is nothing more than a retread of the Hegelian Dialectic.   Here’s the formal definition:

An interpretive method, originally used to relate specific entities or events to the absolute idea, in which some assertible proposition (thesis ) is necessarily opposed by an equally assertible and apparently contradictory proposition (antithesis ), the mutual contradiction being reconciled on a higher level of truth by a third proposition (synthesis ).

In modern politics it’s used to create a false reality by asserting something that is
partially true (at best) or a truth that you yourself created as a person in power.

In today’s case it’s a manufactured energy crisis across the West.

In order to see the Straussian Two-Step however you have to work backwards. This process is not an a priori deduction or an exhaustive fit of investigative journalism.

Rather it is an inductive conclusion based on awareness of the motivations of those in power and seeing how they lead a mass of people to a pre-ordained conclusion. In other words, schizo-posting.

Carbon fighters attacking the Exxon Mobil bastion, here seen without their shareholders disguises.

Thesis

So, say your goal is to legitimize the state takeover, or advance another step forward the state takeover, of an industry. Let’s use oil and gas for today’s lesson.

The first thing you do is manufacture a crisis that will disrupt the supply of the product you want to takeover. In this case, it started with COVID-19, which disrupted far more than just the energy sector.

More than 2 million barrels per day of refining capacity was lost world wide thanks to COVID-19. Given the current hostility to new refineries (more on this later), those barrels are not coming back.

Don’t forget, that for a “Straussian Two-Step” this big you will have to brainwash and/or gaslight two entire generations into hating themselves for being rich, wasteful, spoiled, alive or worse, just plain white.

So, they are already primed to hate all the things at play here — capitalism, Big Oil, Banks, Old White Guys (rich or poor) — and enrage your useful idiots by pushing their already tenuous hold on reality to the literal breaking point.   “I can’t even….” isn’t the most common phrase uttered on Tik-Tok for nothing.

That’s the Thesis part.

So, when the crisis hits thanks to natural gas disruption you forbid buying of from a particular country… you demonize not only Vlad but the industry itself for price gouging and preying on the widdle guy during a war.   There’s a word for this… chutzpah.

Antithesis

Predictably, you then allow your fake political opponents …[enter Cocaine Mitch from Stage Right]… to produce the opposite argument. In this case, the counter is obviously we need free markets to produce oil and gas. The refiners are just responding to the market.

That fake opposition, of course, also blames Vlad for this crisis to ensure the market’s champion looks not only patriotic but also suitably bought and paid for by Big Oil, Old White Guys, etc.

Both sides of this argument have now been framed 90 degrees away from the real source of the problem–government intrusion into the flow of oil and gas to your homes.

This is a crisis that if left solved to human ingenuity and, yes, the studious application of greed, would be over in a matter of weeks as refineries shut down during COVID would come back online, supply chains reorganized etc.

While the crisis phase would be over quickly, the long term investment cycle set off in refining would take longer to structurally immunize the industry against future supply shocks to accomplish.

Prices may not return to normal for years but the market, without intervention by rapacious morons both in government and running them from behind the curtain, would eventually grind the arbitrage out of the fuel industry nearly entirely.

Synthesis

Remember the goal. Destroy free markets, nationalize oil and gas.

This means also preparing the next move to get rid of another aspect of the free market while zeroing in on the current crisis. In this theoretical case, we’re looking at the massive diesel crack spreads of refineries, fueling the perpetual motion machine of Marxism’s inherent envy.

Moreover, this situation exploded on the eve of a crucial election to put into the mouths of the crisis actors we call colloquially, “Members of Congress.”

Their solution? Put windfall profit taxes on refiners who are taking advantage of the vulnerable and needy common man. They are evil ‘price gougers’ by accepting the bids from the market for the fruits of their labors which occurred precisely because of artificially inducing a shock to the system.

In the case of diesel fuel in the US this is clearly a manufactured crisis.

COVID took a lot of refineries in the Northeast (PADD-1) offline. And given the hostility of the Biden administration and environmentalists to the oil industry as a whole, as I alluded to earlier, those refineries are not coming back online anytime soon.

Don’t take my word for it, take it from the ones who own the refineries.

“Building a refinery is a multi-billion dollar investment. It may take a decade. We haven’t had a refinery built in the United States since the 1970s. My personal view is that there will never be another refinery built in the United States.”

According to Wirth, oil and gas companies would have to weigh the benefits of committing capital ten years out that will need decades to offer a return to shareholders “in a policy environment where governments around the world are saying ‘we don’t want these products to be used in the future’”.

Why would they? If it were your money would you begin the insane process to build an oil refinery in the US today even with crack spreads at $70+ per barrel? Of course not. By the time you filed the first Environmental Impact Assessment application form the spreads could be back to $20 because it’s politically advantageous for the “Straussian Two-Steppers” to take the pressure off for a few months.

Government is keeping the market in a supply/demand mismatch on purpose. That’s the only conclusion you can draw. Because if “Biden” wanted to solve this problem he wouldn’t be draining the SPR, he’d be rolling back regulations on refining oil or offering some of that ‘infrastructure money’ to help the industry rebuild post-COVID.

High Bid Wins the Prize

Diesel fuel demand is mostly inelastic, since it’s simply necessary for our daily life. Any supply disruption will cause massive price spikes because people will fall all over themselves bidding up the price of available supply to get what they can.

This is the one thing morons leftists can’t wrap their head around. Producers aren’t withholding supply and ‘raising prices’ in an open market economy. That’s propaganda. The reality is that consumers bid up the price for everything in demand or withhold those bids when the cost/benefit isn’t in their favor.

This is the dynamic at play when I use the term cost-push inflation. A supply shortage pushes the bids for basic goods up out of necessity and pouring money into the system through government handouts only accelerates this effect.

Low cost or free dollars flow to the things people need the most and that is the main source of our inflation today.

So, when you see the headlines full of scaremongering like the US only has 20 days of diesel fuel left, this undergirds the bids for limited supply. The futures markets are stripped of their power to coordinate supply over time and producers are stuck being demonized by low quality agitprop from the likes of AOC and Lizzie Slapaho.

Nationalization: The Next Two-Step

Windfall profit taxes are already on the way in Germany, 90% of all profits taxed away to the state. Energy production, when that bill passes, will be nationalized in Germany. The end of rational energy pricing will be gone.

Germany will become another energy subsidizing hellscape like we see all over the world.

The choice in front of German energy companies now is Uniper’s fate, nationalization through bailout, or remain ‘private’ but on a government-mandated cost-plus business model the profits from which will never outcompete the depreciation curve.

Today here in the US the Democrats are pushing for outright nationalization of all oil and gas production. That was the goal all along, the thesis. The fake antithesis is the “Drill baby, Drill,” crowd on Capitol Hill, crying crocodile tears over the loss of the Keystone XL pipeline for more than a decade.

The synthesis this time around will be finally getting through their long-sought after billionaire’s tax in the form of a windfall tax starting with evil Big Oil. Even if they don’t get it, it’s not like they don’t have other things on their to-do lists to get it done.

They are starting here again because they know no one will seriously consider outright nationalization (the next synthesis) unless there’s a war with Russia…

NY and PA: Midterm Election Energy Lesson

The Marcellus formation lies under more than 60 percent of the state of Pennsylvania alone. Some geologists and petroleum engineers believe that the massive shale formation may hold as much as 500 to 700 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. This amount of natural gas in the Marcellus Shale could supply the entire east coast for the next 50 years according to some geologists.

Larry Behrens writes at Real Clear Energy Fetterman and Cuomo: A Midterm Election Energy Lesson.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds and added images.

With energy dominating the national discussion, look no further than Pennsylvania and New York as examples of failure and fortune. The Empire State might be looking to make a U-turn after a years-long trip into failed energy policy, while the Keystone State must decide if they will adopt the “America Last” energy policy currently favored in Washington, D.C.

The two states share a border of 225 miles, but when it comes to energy,
they might as well be on different planets.

It’s clear energy is on the ballot this midterm season. That’s bad news for fracking foes like Pennsylvania Senate Candidate John Fetterman. While he may be struggling to articulate his position du jour on fracking, it’s clear he’s borrowing from the Joe Biden play book: play a moderate in the campaign, return to radical roots once elected.

In 2014, then-Governor Andrew Cuomo imposed an outright ban on fracking in his state. The decision cost a loss of 400 jobs per year in some of the state’s counties and resulted in a “statically significant increase in unemployment.” By declaring a war on pipelines, some utilities in New York stopped “new residential, and commercial and industrial customer gas service connections.” New Yorkers are paying the 10th highest electric rates in the nation, and nearly 30 percent higher than their neighbors in Pennsylvania.

With no fracking ban in their state, Pennsylvanians are much better off. Today, the Commonwealth is second only to Texas when it comes to production of shale gas and in 2021 the state received over $235 million in impact fees from drillers. One university study found communities in Pennsylvania suffering from long-term economic stagnation are the beneficiaries of American energy development in their area.

Two different states, two very different outcomes. Enter the 2022 midterm election.

Rank FF Consumption  Trillion BTU
1 Texas 11767
2 California 4845
3 Louisiana 3698
4 Florida 3110
5 Pennsylvania 3110
6 Ohio 2774
7 Illinois 2590
8 New York 2370

Source of Primary Energy Consumption Data:  EIA   Notice that California and New York are top consumers of FF energy, principally oil and natural gas, but neither is a top producer, despite accessible resources.  Florida, Ohio and Illinois also share that predicament.

New York’s race for Governor is turning into a nail-biter, as residents of the state consider hiring the first Republican for the job in 16 years. Appointed Governor Kathy Hochul would continue Cuomo’s failed anti-fracking policy while Republican Lee Zeldin supports energy development in New York. The result? A Republican is surging in a massively blue state where people say their top issue is the economy. New Yorkers are suffering under the consequences of failed-fracking policy. Meanwhile in Pennsylvania, they have a radical in moderate’s clothing that thinks the New York failure is just fine.

The stakes are as high as they are clear: John Fetterman wants to end fracking and if elected, he’ll do all he can to do it. Sure, we all witnessed his bumbling response where he pinky-swears he now likes fracking, but he can’t bumble over the truth. He once referred to the industry as a “stain” on the state he is seeking to represent. Don’t forget that Joe Biden also did the fracking flip-flop as a candidate, only to take office and impose an “America Last” energy policy that’s delivered record gas prices, massive inflation and a weaker country on the world stage. Apparently, John Fetterman and Joe Biden view the disaster in New York as a winning game plan.

It failed for Andrew Cuomo, it’s failing for Joe Biden and if he’s elected, it will fail for John Fetterman, too. You might say that just like Communism, banning fracking has failed everywhere it’s been tried.

Vote accordingly.

See also New England Energy Inflation Self-Imposed

Project abandoned in 2017 after New York blocked planning and permit processes.

Climate Dreams, Meet Brick Wall

Fred Laza writes at Financial Post Climate fantasies hit brick wall of U.S. politics.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds and added images.

The reality of the energy transition could be ugly for politicians

The Biden administration’s attempt to lower gasoline prices before the November mid-terms has been both amusing and disappointing. First the president attributed the run-up in oil and gas prices to Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. Then his government drained about a million barrels a day from the strategic oil reserve. After six months of that and with gasoline prices creeping up again, Mr. Biden went to Saudi Arabia to ask Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for his help in keeping oil prices from rising at least through to the mid-term elections.

The prince said no, which was totally predictable. It appears none of the foreign policy experts advising the president understands basic human relations, let alone Arab culture. You can’t call someone a murderer and then expect him to turn the other cheek and meekly accede to your request for a big personal favour.

The substantial long-term damage to the important relationship between Arab countries and the U.S. has been driven entirely by short-term political expediency. This greenest administration in history at first seemed very committed to dealing with climate change and accelerating the timeline to achieve net-zero carbon emissions for the U.S. as a whole. A key driver for this goal is higher oil and gas prices. Economics 101 teaches that sharply higher prices for carbon fuels will reduce demand for them and promote the shift to alternative sources of energy, primarily renewables.

Well, Putin’s war on Ukraine and Biden’s war on fossil fuels have been very effective in delivering skyrocketing oil and gas prices. But now it seems another key driver of climate policy has been discovered: that a Democratic administration remain in office, a necessity that has run into the reality that people do not seem willing to pay the price, at least not right now, for the transition from carbon to non-carbon sources of energy.

Ardent supporters of the energy transition keep suggesting it will lead to the creation of millions of new jobs. (“There is no trade-off between the economy and the environment.”) There are at least two problems with this argument. First, it ignores the euphemistically named “adjustment process.” As the economy moves away from fossil fuels, many millions of people will lose their jobs and not “transition” easily and smoothly to the new jobs that might eventually be created. As with all dramatic policy changes, there will be winners and losers, and the losers likely won’t be fully compensated by the winners — or happy about that. That reality could be ugly for politicians.

As for the claim that the transition will eventually produce millions of net new jobs,
there is good reason for doubt.

Consumer-oriented industries, with the possible exceptions of food and shelter, will have to make drastic changes in their business models. The carbon footprints resulting from the continual introduction of marginally better products are substantial, which means the regular introduction of new products or of varieties of existing products will have to end. Think of the effects in automobiles, iPhones, clothing, furniture, cosmetics, detergents and so on. Further, until most electricity worldwide is derived from renewables or nuclear, the growth of the Internet will have to be curtailed. The millions of servers that are its backbone require large amounts of electricity for cooling and power. Will users willingly limit their reliance on social media and streaming services? Imagine the implications for business and commerce if they are required to.

If our production of carbon is to be reduced as much as the most insistent environmentalists want, market economies will have to move to much lower levels of production and employment. The yellow brick road to Green Oz does not run smooth. It might never actually reach Green Oz, and even if it does, there is no assurance that either the trip or the destination will be pleasant for everyone.

Until very recently, this political reality seems to have been forgotten. Politicians need to be careful in what they ask for and much more honest with the people whose votes they seek.

Fred Lazar is an associate professor of economics in the Schulich School of Business at York University.

Footnote Q & A:

Q:  What is the difference between Golf and Government?

A:  In Government you can always improve your lie.

–Anonymous Source

 

 

Nations the Gods Destroy They First Make Green

LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) filling station for trucks in Dortmund, western Germany. PHOTO BY INA FASSBENDER /AFP via Getty Images

Rex Murphy explains how the demise of nations works in his piercing National Post editorial Even green zealots fear the cold more than the evils of natural gas.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds and added images.

The Germans, among others, aren’t smirking now

Forgive the phrase, but it is appropriate — Vladimir Putin has the European Union — Germany in particular — over a barrel. . . Over several barrels come to think of it.

The virtue states went green, but contented themselves with getting the slack, the dirty oil and gas stuff they so deplored, from reliable Russia.

And when a certain American President — the sagacious readers of the Post will divine whom I mean, and it is merely to forestall trauma in readers of other journals that I withhold his name (hint: there was a hotel in Toronto that featured his name as a brand and rhymed with “plump”). When that President warned German authorities that it was a risk and a very bad move to set up a dependency on Vladimir Putin for an essential resource, in public — the scene is available on YouTube — half of them smirked and the other half laughed.

There is a small moral here. Advice worth following does not need to come from lips you approve of. The quality and worth of advice may, on occasion, be independent of the character (or what you presume to be the character) of the person offering it.

They are not smirking now. Germany, in the warm haze and fuzzy thinking of “progressive” thought, broke the bank on their master green plan, the great Energiewende, to “get off” planet-destroying fuels (and nuclear)which proved to be a massive multi-billion dollar mess and a failure.

This even before Mr. Putin unleashed his legions on Ukraine. Putin’s current leverage was founded on their previous policies.

Contrary to the sooth-sayers of the IPCC and the Eco-Nostradami, great economies can’t be flipped on a Davos dream, and the German winter of 2023 will be unmoved by replays of An Inconvenient Truth. Or shoreline rants from a most intemperate David Suzuki. Anger does not become an elder about to board a sea plane.

As a footnote to the Energiewende opera, be it noted at the end of September the German government announced is spending US$195 billion, to cap natural gas prices for households and businesses.  That’s a bigger price tag than the US$172 billion the UK government was expected to spend to finance its own price cap. Germany went green with a vengeance and now has to mail out checks to its citizens to compensate for the folly.

And before turning to the distressed UK, one line from Forbes, quoting Foreign Policy, has quite a punch: “Electricity prices, in fact, have tended to be highest in places with the greatest share of renewable energy.” Dear Lord, who could have guessed? It’s a good thing they didn’t impose … an escalating carbon tax.

Great Britain has dropped its second prime minister in mere weeks. As in Germany, it’s all about energy, all about the mindless embrace over the last years of green ideologies, until fear of a cold winter causes an impressively swift rearrangement of concerns about energy.

It has just reversed its stand on fracking. During its green-virtue phase, fracking — the most efficient technological advance in the search for the most basic energy resource — was termed a pure evil.

It was banned by law. It was a blasphemy against Mother Earth and Bill Nye. Now that winter closes in, and energy prices that were once mere Honda Civic (used) are now going all Rolls Royce (customized), fracking is a good thing, a necessary thing. It has received an official vote of approval from the House of Commons, UK.

On our side of the world under the increasingly — let’s choose a kind word — drifting leadership of Joe Biden, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve — intended as a backup for the most drastic emergencies, has been raided once again. OPEC turned him down on his request to increase oil flow. Let us recall that the Biden presidency began with shutting down a great Canadian source of oil, the Keystone XL.

It is a wonderful consideration that when Reality (capital R) speaks, all poses and postures, all voice-hushed bleating of virtue-speak platitudes take a stay. I wonder if our deputy-prime minister is still pulsating the message that all this reminds us of “how important climate action is.” And how carbon taxes are so very necessary in the present moment.

How did we get here?

It is the speeches and the campaigns against oil and gas, the sermons from the jet-set di Caprio’s, the dim-witted tirades of such as Neil Young against Fort McMurray, much and more than Putin, have brought this crisis on. People who have never seen a COP meeting, never could have dreamt of going to Davos, never mind been able to afford such a folly, that will bear, and perhaps not be able to bear, the cost of the winter to come.

Thank heaven, reality and its sister common sense is having a minute
at the microphone of the world’s attention.

As an ending point, would it not have been a great thing, if a moderate country, of magnificent and vast geography, had taken advantage of its so-plentiful natural resources, encouraged and supported its energy industry, built pipelines, guaranteed supply, could now — at this crisis moment — offer so many of its allies, real support and immediate remedy?

We would be in a place to issue this pronouncement: “Canada says, to hell with Putin, we have what you need, and we can send it now.”

But no. Under the current net-zero fascinated government, energy was deemed an enemy, due for shut down as soon as possible, and what we now offer a tormented world is a windmill-driven, not yet started, dubious in the extreme, futuristic hydrogen plant in Stephenville, Newfoundland. If you have tears, weep them now.

The countries whom the gods would destroy they first make green.

See also Net Zero = Pro China + Pro Russia

Green Energy Profiteering Scam

J.B. Shurk writes at Gatestone Institute The Green Energy Profiteering Scam.  H/T Tyler Durden.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds and added images.

“Green” Profits Can Only Rise if Citizens’ Freedoms Fall

In free markets, commodities bought and sold possess perceived value. When a buyer and seller reach an agreed upon price for any product, there is a “meeting of the minds.” The value of any natural raw material is proportional to its scarcity. The more of it there is, and the more easily it can be obtained, the less value it holds. A vendor who sells ordinary rocks cannot make a living when his product is found freely all over the ground. If he transacts in gold or silver, diamonds or rubies, however, his hard-to-find “rocks” are worth a small fortune.

If only there were a way to turn ordinary rocks into valuable commodities!

There are, in fact, two well-known ways to do so. An unscrupulous vendor could simply paint ordinary rocks gold and pretend that common minerals are rare, and an unsuspecting customer might never be the wiser. Through fraud, the seller can hijack the perceived value of his goods and undermine the agreed “meeting of the minds” between himself and any deceived customer. His “precious” rocks actually hold no value but provide him with ill-gotten gains. Over time, however, this type of fraud does not last. More discerning customers eventually catch on to the ruse, and that information is shared among prospective buyers. And unless he is quick to move on to a new town with new buyers yet to be deceived, old swindled customers are likely to end his livelihood or much worse. Engaging in fraud comes with serious personal risks.

There is another, safer way, however, to turn ordinary rocks into valuable commodities. The vendor could petition the king of the realm for the exclusive right to gather and sell ordinary rocks. If granted such an extraordinary license — whereby ordinary rocks may only be possessed if first stamped with the vendor’s mark — then an abundantly available natural resource becomes scarce overnight. What was once free now costs whatever the vendor and the king’s tax-collecting chancery decide to charge for the use of regulated rocks. Perhaps citizens with special status or recognized allegiance to the king will still get their rocks for next to nothing. Yet the classical mechanics of supply and demand still come into play for everyone else. Even if the price charged for an officially sanctioned rock is kept low, its value on secondary markets is determined entirely by the scarcity of available vendor-stamped rocks.

How much are licensed rocks worth if they are the only ones that may be legally owned? When a king and vendor conspire to make only a small fraction of available rocks “legal,” then their manufactured “unavailability” makes them extremely valuable. Legally imposed scarcity comes with much fewer personal risks. Licensed monopoly on high-demand commodities is a license to print money.

From this lens, it is easy to see why so many investors love
government intervention in energy markets.

  • When governments limit drilling and mining for hydrocarbons in the ground, they manufacture scarcity.
  • When only certain wealthy individuals and companies can afford artificially expensive hydrocarbon energies as regular business costs, then budding entrepreneurs and small firms can no longer compete. Those at the peak of society’s wealth pyramid have a much easier time staying on top when the same natural sources of hydrocarbon energy once used to amass fortunes are now denied to those who would do the same.
  • A war on “fossil fuels” is a superb tactic for protecting private market share. It is a profitable ideological cause for fattening government revenues. And it is a constant source of income for environmental “nonprofits” and other special interests….
  • Can plastics, heating oil, and most synthetic materials found around a home be magically manufactured without petroleum?

  • Can the global population stave off famine and starvation if farmers are forced to overhaul agricultural and livestock production methods in order to abide by “green” laws limiting the use or release of carbon dioxide, methane, nitrogen, and phosphate — molecules and compounds essential to basic farming and high crop yield fertilizers?
  • Ideology hijacks the market’s natural direction toward an objective and transparent “meeting of the minds.” There is an unspoken but unmistakable fraud. Until governments, including hostile adversaries such as Russia and the United States, conspired to limit the use of hydrocarbon energy and “go green,” the idea that anybody could turn a profit from the wind or sun would have seemed as absurd as a vendor selling rocks freely available all around us.

  • Are electric vehicles as powerful as their internal combustion engine counterparts? Can wind and solar energies really provide nations with reliable power grids robust enough to avoid rolling blackouts? Can plastics, heating oil, and most synthetic materials found around a home be magically manufactured without petroleum?

Pictured: An electric car at a charging station in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Carsten Koall/Getty Images)

Will not these “green” initiatives wind up looking remarkably similar to the example of the unscrupulous vendor above who learned how to swindle his customers by treating common minerals as rare and painting ordinary rocks gold — or perhaps now, a resplendent green?

Is that not what the imposition of Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) standards upon markets accomplishes? Is ESG not a concerted effort to warp trading markets with acutely political aims that seek to reward companies and capital investments for their pledged commitment to ideological beliefs rather than their likelihood for generating future profits?

When boardrooms and investors distort free markets by treating stocks and other assets as more valuable than they really are, simply because they are painted a shiny “green,” then ESG overvaluation turns misguided yet “politically correct” fantasies into gold.  Government-enforced environmentalism has created its own class of “green” billionaires. Whenever and wherever governments have mandated that citizens purchase certain goods or suffer legal consequences, the producers of those goods have made financial killings.

Anyone once blissfully unaware of that kind of crummy crony capitalism surely learned a thing or two watching global vaccine mandates drive up pharmaceutical industry profits, while government-granted indemnification clauses rendered vaccine makers free from financial liability for any resulting injuries.

When governments subsidize entire industries, force citizens to purchase those industries’ products, and protect those industries from the legal consequences of their products’ harm, then money flows into the pockets of those with ownership stakes.

Does that sound remarkably similar to another political philosophy that is predicated on the abolition of all private property? What is that old saying somewhat apocryphally credited to Vladimir Lenin? “The capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them.” Or perhaps today it is the “green” capitalists who make money by rendering food and fuel scarce, virtue-signaling “green” advocates who cheer the one-sided transaction, and the increasingly impoverished Western citizens who end up worse off than ever.

This much is certain: irrespective of prevailing politically correct Western “wisdom” and the current environmental “madness of crowds,” should the hydrocarbon bedrock of the global economy be traded for worthless “green” rocks, neither wealthy capitalists nor poor citizens will long survive.

Expensive Energy is not a Bug, but Biden Agenda’s Core Feature

Marlo Thomas explains in his Real Clear Energy article Expensive Energy Is a Core Feature, Not a Bug, of Biden’s Climate Agenda.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds and added images.

The great Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises was being generous by describing interventionism’s nasty side-effects as “unintended.” Some younger interventionists are naïve, and know not what they do, but the older, street-smart captains of progressive politics understand the harms their policies entail. For them, the adverse consequences are features, not bugs.

The only downside is the risk of political retribution at the polls.

That’s the predicament in which the Biden administration now finds itself. It is also the theme of “Energy Inflation Was by Design,” a new report by supply-chain consultant Joseph Toomey.
[Synopsis is in previous post Energy Inflation Playbook]

President Biden and congressional Democrats want to replace fossil fuels with a “zero-carbon” energy system. Their biggest win to date is the comically mistitled Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). A Penn-Wharton analysis estimated that the IRA would increase federal climate and energy spending by $369 billion over ten years. A recent article in The Atlantic touts a Credit Suisse estimate that actual climate-related federal support could reach $800 billion. That’s because the incentives for electric vehicles and renewable energy are “uncapped tax credits.” Moreover, since federal spending leverages private-sector investment, total economy-wide green-tech spending could increase by as much as $1.7 trillion.

Nor is that all. The Department of Energy (DOE) estimates that the IRA has increased its loan program authorities by up to $350 billion.

No wonder Democrats celebrated the IRA’s enactment. No bigger program to rig energy markets against fossil fuels was ever enacted.

The IRA aims to enrich thousands of enterprises, tens of thousands of employees, and millions of shareholders—all dependent on Democrats to keep the gravy train flowing. Hardly an “unintended” consequence.

But voters see and feel the downsides of Biden’s war on fossil fuels: the high costs of gasoline, electricity, and other utilities, which in turn increase the costs of food, rent, and consumer goods. Those effects, moreover, coincide with high general inflation, a cratering stock market, and negative GDP growth in two consecutive quarters. Biden tries to blame Vladimir Putin and Big Oil for America’s energy woes. That is nonsense, and the public isn’t buying it.

Toomey marshals overwhelming evidence that “energy inflation” is a core feature of the president’s climate agenda. And how could it be otherwise? A core progressive article of faith is that fossil fuels are too cheap because market prices do not reflect the “social costs” of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases (GHGs). Accordingly, no matter how expensive or scarce fossil energy may become for other reasons, taxing or capping fossil-fuel consumption to make it even more costly is hailed as a “climate solution.” Of course, handicapping fossil fuels is also touted as a way to make renewables more “competitive.” As President Obama enthused, cap-and-trade will “finally make renewable energy the profitable kind of energy in America.”

The public, however, has repeatedly spurned proposals to tax or cap the carbon content of fuels or emissions. So, U.S. progressives now concentrate on rigging energy markets via targeted regulations, state-level renewable-energy quotas, and subsidies. As noted, the IRA sets a new standard for anti-fossil-fuel subsidies.

President Biden seeks to cut U.S. carbon emissions by 50-52 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 and achieve a zero-emission electricity sector by 2035. That means that about half of all U.S. fossil-fuel consumption must end in eight years. Few investors want to park their capital in rapidly contracting industries. So, thanks to Biden, the market forecasts that supplies of oil, gas, and coal will decline relative to demand—and prices will rise. The expectation of shrinking supplies and higher future prices puts upward pressure on energy prices today.

An irony noted by Toomey is that by endangering fossil-fuel energy supply, Biden has not only increased fossil-fuel energy prices but also boosted oil and gas company profits and stock values. The short-term enrichment of oil companies may well be an unintended consequence of a long-term agenda to put them out of business. On the other hand, Biden’s boost to oil industry profits is also the setup for further interventions popular with progressive activists and politicians—windfall profits taxes, export bans, and Federal Trade Commission investigations of “anti-consumer behavior.”

Toomey demolishes the Biden administration’s allegation that oil companies are deliberately reducing refinery utilization to constrict supplies and raise prices. In fact, refineries are running at higher utilization rates than ever (about 94 percent).

As a presidential candidate, Joe Biden promised to “get rid of fossil fuels,” assuring one activist, “I guarantee you. We’re going to end fossil fuel.”

Toomey reviews several Biden initiatives that back up such threats. The major ones, besides the government-wide, IRA-funded effort to channel “the flow of capital toward climate-aligned investments and away from high-carbon investments,” include:

Cancelling the Keystone XL Pipeline on Inauguration Day;

Suspending new oil and gas leases on federal lands;

Reviving social-cost-of-carbon sophistry;

Halting petroleum-development activity in Alaska’s National Arctic Wildlife Refuge;

Rejoining the Paris Climate Accords without asking for the Senate’s advice and consent;

Considering a non-attainment designation for ozone pollution that could curb drilling in the Permian Basin, which accounts for 43 percent of U.S. oil production; and

Imposing stricter methane standards for oil and gas production.

To provide historical context for the fiscal side of Biden’s climate agenda, Toomey discusses the Obama DOE loan program established by the American Recovery and Reinvestment (“Stimulus”) Act. The best-known program beneficiary was solar-panel manufacturer Solyndra, which filed for bankruptcy protection in 2011 despite receiving $535 million in DOE loan guarantees. Some readers may also recall a list of seven such “Stimulosers.”

In short, nearly seven out of ten Obama DOE loan recipients in a $32 billion loan program went bankrupt. The total federal financial support provided by the IRA for “climate-aligned” investments is potentially 36 times larger. The stage is set for scores of Solyndras. Toomey’s labor as a chronicler of the war on fossil fuels is nowhere near done.

 

 

Net Zero = Pro China + Pro Russia

Rupert Darwall explains in an Epoch Times article Democratic Party Captured by Environmentalists, Aiding Russia and China.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds and added images.

Environmentalists have captured the Democratic party and, in their push towards Net Zero, are aiding Russia and China, a senior fellow at RealClearFoundation, Rupert Darwall, says.

Furthermore, the push towards Net Zero has monopolized “the money,” as the group includes many Silicon Valley billionaires, intellectuals, and the mainstream media, Darwall told The Epoch Times and NTD’s Paul Greaney in an interview.

In the interview, which aired on NTD’s Fresh Look America on Oct. 12, Darwall said a prime example of environmentalists taking over the Democratic party, and monopolizing the money, is California.

There, billionaire environmentalists have instituted “an aggressive green agenda” that doesn’t negatively impact them but directly opposes the average California voters’ interests, he said.

“Voters, and particularly in the Central Valley, who endure stifling temperatures in summer, had to pay ruthlessly high prices to condition their homes. They don’t have beachfront properties that are cooled from the Pacific.”

Darwall added that because California is “essentially a one-party state,” voters can’t correct the “extreme environmental policies.” Plus, environmentalists use a version of McCarthyism to stifle opposition.

In the 1950s, U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy accused thousands of innocent people and parties of disloyalty and allowing Communism to influence their lives and policies.

Darwall said environmentalists today use a similar tactic when they label anyone who disagrees with them as a “climate denier.”

“They know ‘denier’ is a very powerful term to be called. You may have seen a New York Times journalist interviewing the president of World Bank, and [the journalist asks] “are you a climate denier?’ It’s designed to chill debate. Not just chill it but prevent people questioning.”

[ Tip:  Q:  Aren’t you a climate denier?  A: I am a climate thinker. ]

Green Imperialism

If this progression towards Net Zero continues, Darwall said he knew who will win.

“China and Russia. I mean, basically, the opponents of the West, geopolitically from stepping back, but they’re the big winners from the West deciding to bring itself to its knees. I mean, no modern economy can function without cheap, abundant energy and fossil fuel derived energy.”

“We’re basically cutting off our legs. The pain will increase. People are blaming Putin for the terrible winter the Europeans are going to experience this this year. But the way I would put it is Net Zero is Vladimir Putin’s best ally.”

Darwall further added that not only is the West hurting itself and helping Putin, but it’s also engaging in a sort of “green imperialism.”

As mentioned above, the president of the World Bank had been attacked, specifically by Al Gore, Darwall said, because the World Bank was one of the “big providers of finance to Africa.”

“There are over a billion Africans, and they are energy starved. Africa is an energy-starved continent. And the effect of Western green policies is to freeze, as it were, African Development at a very low level.”

Darwall continued, “Grid-delivered electricity is the doorway to the modern world. If you compare the 19th century to the 20th century, the big change is electricity.

“For Africa to flourish and develop, it needs reliable, cheap, grid-delivered electricity. And that is what people like Al Gore and John Kerry are denying Africans.”

Darwall specified that people like Kerry and Gore are pursuing an agenda that geologically damages the West, its strategic interest, and the economic and social interests of less developed nations.

Political Reckoning

As a result, Darwall believed a political reckoning is coming to the West. He says that as gas prices and inflation continue to climb, voters will show their displeasure for extreme environmental policies and “vote for the other party.”

That benefits Republicans, as under Donald Trump, the United States was an energy superpower.

“In those four years he was president, America was an energy superpower. And now this energy superpower is going around to the Gulf, begging OPEC plus to increase oil production. It’s absolutely extraordinary.”

As for Europe, Darwall believes significant political changes will likely occur in Britain and other countries, but Germany is fully committed to Net Zero.

When asked what would happen if the West reversed its Net Zero policy and returned to producing oil and gas, Darwall replied, “That’s a catastrophic outcome for Russia. Because Russia is a natural gas oil exporting country and economy, and it really, it needs those foreign currency earnings.

“Its economy depends on it. So, it would be terribly bad. It would be awful for Russia. That’s why I say that Net Zero is Vladimir Putin’s best ally.”

See also West’s Obsession with EV Tech Puts China in World Driver Seat

Energy Inflation Playbook

Rupert Darwall explains the intentional inflation of energy prices world wide in his forward to a Real Energy study by Joseph Toomey Energy Inflation Was by Design.  The title is a link to the pdf.  Darwall’s introduction was published at the Federalist entitled Energy Inflation Isn’t An Accident, It’s A Planned Demolition.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds and added images.

Our current energy crisis was self-inflicted, a foreseeable outcome
of policy choices made by the West, and it’s getting worse
.

The West is experiencing its third energy crisis. The first, in 1973, was caused by the near-quintupling of the price of crude oil by Gulf oil producers in response to America’s support for Israel in the Yom Kippur war. Their action brought an end to what the French call the trente glorieuses — the unprecedented post–World War II economic expansion.

The second occurred at the end of the 1970s, when Iran’s Islamic revolution led to a more than doubling of oil prices. This again inflicted great economic hardship, but the policy response was far better. Inflation was purged at the cost of deep recession. Energy markets were permitted to function. High oil prices induced substitution effects, particularly in the power sector, and stimulated increased supply.

In the space of nine months, the oil price cratered from $30 a barrel in November 1985 to $10 a barrel in July 1986. It’s no wonder that the economic expansion that started under Ronald Reagan had such long legs.

This time is different. The third energy crisis was not sparked by Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies or by Iranian ayatollahs. It was self-inflicted, a foreseeable outcome of policy choices made by the West: Germany’s disastrous Energiewende that empowered Vladimir Putin to launch an energy war against Europe; Britain’s self-regarding and self-destructive policy of “powering past coal” and its decision to ban fracking; and, as Joseph Toomey shows in a recent powerful essay, President Biden’s war on the American oil and gas industry.

Hostilities were declared during Joe Biden’s campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination. “I guarantee you. We’re going to end fossil fuel,” candidate Biden told a climate activist in September 2019, words that the White House surely hopes get lost down a memory hole. Toomey’s paper has all the receipts, so there’s no danger of that.

As he observes, Biden’s position in 2022 resembles Barack Obama’s in 2012, when rising gas prices threatened to sink his reelection. Obama responded with a ruthlessness that his erstwhile running mate lacks. He simply stopped talking about climate and switched to an all-of-the-above energy policy, shamelessly claiming credit for the fracking revolution that his own Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) tried to strangle at birth.

Passage of the comically mistitled Inflation Reduction Act places this option beyond Biden’s reach, even if he were so inclined. Democrats are hardly going to take a vow of climate omertà when they’ve achieved a political triumph of pushing through Congress what they regard as the most significant climate legislation to date.

Although the price of oil has slipped back from recent highs, the factors behind high gasoline prices remain in place. Foremost among these is the steep decline in U.S. oil refinery capacity triggered when Covid lockdowns crushed demand but continued after the economy reopened. There has never been such a large fall in operable refinery capacity. Moreover, Gulf Coast refineries were operating at 97 percent of their operating capacity in June 2022. As Toomey remarks, “There isn’t any more blood to be squeezed out of this turnip.”

Toomey identifies five factors driving this decline in refinery capacity.

EPA biofuel blending mandates impose crippling costs on smaller refineries. 

When conventional refineries are converted to processing biofuels, up to 90 percent of their capacity is lost. Biofuel mandates cost consumers far more than federal excise taxes. Toomey demonstrates that the Biden administration’s claim that biofuel mandates protect consumers from oil-price volatility is totally false; biofuel prices, he writes, “are essentially indexed to the price of crude oil.”

Biden could order the reversal of the EPA’s retroactive biofuel threshold rules. That he has not done so demonstrates that the administration isn’t serious about making energy affordable again. High prices for fossil fuel energy are an intended part of the plan.

Corporate and Wall Street ESG policies are another factor driving refinery closures.

Especially facilities owned by European oil companies have to meet punishing decarbonization targets that will effectively end up sunsetting them as oil companies. If finalized as proposed, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s proposed climate disclosure rules, with the strong support of the Biden administration, will heighten the vulnerability of U.S. oil and gas companies to climate activists and woke investors to force them to progressively divest their carbon-intensive activities, such as refining crude oil, and eventually out of the oil and gas sector altogether.

Aggressive federal policies aimed at phasing out gasoline-powered vehicles.

To these should be added aggressive federal policies aimed at phasing out gasoline-powered vehicles in favor of electric vehicles (EVs); an administration staffed from top to bottom by militants who believe that climate is the only thing that matters in politics; and an increasingly hostile political climate (“You know the deal,” Biden said of oil executives when campaigning for the presidency. “When they don’t deliver, put them in jail”).

These policies, argues Toomey, will see China become the world’s leading oil refiner for years to come. Will Biden find himself asking China for supplies of refined gasoline? He might well find himself being saved from such an unfortunate position, made more so by Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s recent trip to Taiwan, by help from the other side of the southern border.

Mexico is constructing a $12 billion refinery, due to start producing gasoline next year. Perhaps President Biden’s next foreign trip should be to Mexico City.

 

 

Biden Feds Kneecapped Oil and Gas

Report from Just the News After Trump energy ‘renaissance,’ Biden ‘kneecapped’ oil and gas producers: industry spokesman.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds and added images

The president of the U.S. Oil and Gas Association contrasted “the greatest energy renaissance in our history” under Trump with “regulatory assault and the attempt to defund us and to debank us on Wall Street” by the Biden administration.

The U.S. oil and gas industry quickly went from a “renaissance” under former President Donald Trump to a new dark age under a Biden administration hostile to traditional energy sources, the head of the industry’s trade association said Friday.

“President Trump, to his credit, presided over the greatest energy renaissance in our history,” Tim Stewart, president of the Oil and Gas Association, said on the the “Just the News, No Noise” TV show. “Right before the pandemic, we were producing 13 million barrels [of oil] a day. For all intents and purposes … we were a net exporter of energy.”

Amid buoyant expectations of increasing U.S. production to 15 million barrels per day, the industry was suddenly rocked by consecutive shocks: the pandemic, followed by the Biden administration war on fossil fuels.

“We came out of COVID right into the Biden administration, which then kneecapped us,” Stewart recounted. “Between their regulatory assault and the attempt to defund us and to debank us on Wall Street, we’re still a million or million and a half barrels behind where we were. And we’re 3 million barrels behind where we could be. And that’s really unfortunate. And that’s unfortunate for our European allies in particular.”

Now, even some Democrats are recognizing the administration has taken its crusade against oil and gas too far, too fast, says Stewart.

“I’ve had some interesting conversations with members of Congress just in the last two weeks, of both the Senate and the House and Republicans and Democrats,” he said. “And there are Democrats who are starting to say, ‘Maybe we went a little too far.’ It’s a year too late. But we welcome that.”

Stewart was asked if the Oil and Gas Association would ever get a call seeking advice from the Biden administration.  “I don’t know if we ever will hear from them to be honest with you,” Stewart answered.

“The number of people who are political appointees in the administration who came out of our industry or who really understand it, you can literally count on one hand.”

See also Wake Up and Smell the Fossil Fuel Insanity