I have some friends who are totally invested in the view that Green Energy and believe it is the only hope for the planet. I have others who believe that Fossil Fuels are sufficient and no need to pursue that path. I happen to be one who believes it to be prudent to use all sources of energy available but not destroy the economy and lives in the process.
When energy becomes a political football, those of us who are not part of the process but are dependent upon energy for our homes, businesses, travel, etc. are the ones hurt. Visionaries have always been the driving force behind many changes in our societal evolution and progress. Not all innovations by the visionaries have been viable and some are so outrageously costly they are not reproducible by the average citizen.
It has always taken decades to transition from one technology to another. Both the vision of the entrepreneurs and the demand by the public create a niche for those transitions to occur. Supply and demand, at a reasonable price, are always key factors in the success or failure of those innovations. It took fifty years to transition from the horse and buggy to the automobile. Before there were complaints about smog, traffic jams, congestion, and loss of public space there were complaints about horse poop, flies, and the smell associated with it.
Alternative energy is not a bad thing! But unless it is allowed to develop technologically and made affordable and viable it should not be imposed on the citizens. Using the old technology and energy sources until and even after there are readily available and reliable alternative energy sources would be the prudent path.
The idea that having enough fossil fuels (oil, gas, coal) to supply the nation without dependency upon middle eastern oil cartels being impossible is a wrong position. Under the last administration, we proved we could be energy independent and the discoveries of untapped oil underground in the U.S. is proof that we could be again. We are once again dependent not because of a lack of supply but because of bad political policies and the push to transition to Green Energy due to the false claims of the climate alarmists.
The transition from one technology or energy source to another must be done with great care. Let’s consider Electric Vehicles such as Tesla. Those are not powered by renewable energy although they are electric. The electricity needed to recharge those batteries comes from the energy produced by oil, gas, and coal. Also, at least sixty percent of all the tires in the world are produced using synthetic rubber, a byproduct of hydrocarbons. If we suddenly eliminate all petroleum, where will we get the tires for those EVs? Are we supposed to drive Fred Flintstone vehicles with stone tires, powered by our own energy?
What happens when there are no more tires to put on those vehicles and on the massive dirt movers, tractors, etc. all needed to produce the food and everything else what will we do? If you eliminate the hydrocarbon synthetic fibers used in clothing that produces another problem. PETA protests loudly against using any animal fur for clothing. I suppose that when the synthetic fibers are gone those Climate Alarmists who are demanding the immediate elimination of petroleum will become nudists. Not only that, ladies where will your lipstick come from?
This administration has declared war on the oil and gas industry and the president is demanding that oil companies and gas station owners lower the price that he caused. It seems that King Biden and Company have not done any research into the situation regarding the production of gasoline. Even CNBC reported that our refineries are already running at 90% capacity and no new refineries have been built in decades. That is largely due to the stringent federal regulations and inconsistency in energy policies. Why risk investing in a refinery if it is likely to be closed due to government policies?
The Keystone XL Pipeline and allowing drilling on federal lands without the overreaching restrictions would have prevented this crisis from transpiring. But this is not about what is best for America or even making life easier for the public, it is about an ideological agenda that they are hell-bent on achieving.
I find it laughable that the Climate Alarmists who are influencing the energy policies insist that a Carbon Tax will alleviate the problem. How? It does not reduce the Carbon in the atmosphere, it only increases the bottom line of governments, individuals, and corporations that benefit from the payment of those taxes.
China’s National Energy Administration (NEA) approved a coal mine project worth $3.1 billion in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. It will produce four million tons per year at its optimum production. The stated goal, “ensure stable energy supply.” What a novel idea, right? Taking care of your country’s needs rather than being subservient to foreign sources. Using what is readily available and dependable rather than depending on energy sources that are difficult to predict and often unreliable.
The evil fossil fuel industry, as it is described by the Climate Alarmists and this administration, is not the problem. The crisis created by Biden’s policies has created a situation where he is pleading with Middle Eastern Countries to step up their production so we can buy from them. That is beyond insane when we have so much available here.
The excess funds we are sending to countries like Iran and other avowed enemies of the United States could be used to build refineries and produce domestic crude. The monies expended in entitlements for illegals and funding projects that have no redeeming value could be invested in our energy production as well. We could have cheaper energy and not be tied to any foreign source. But that would not allow the demand for an immediate transition to Green Energy.
Wind and Solar are good, but those pushing those sources are usually opposed to using nuclear energy. They detest coal, oil, and gas and ignore the true science of CO2 and photosynthesis. God knew what He was doing when He created this planet, and He assuredly knew what man would produce and discover. The planet is not so fickle that car farts and fossil fuels are going to destroy it.
I am 100% in favor of using renewable energy whenever possible and if it is the most efficient energy source. It also must be affordable. I feel about this like I do about most things, each person should be allowed to make their choice as to what type of vehicle they will drive. If you cannot afford and do not want to rely on an EV and prefer the combustion engine you should have that option.
There is the argument that the batteries last a couple of decades and that mitigates their prohibitive cost for replacement. I do not know how long those batteries are covered by warranty. If they are like most automobiles, then you get 2-5 years and a stipulated number of miles or hours of use, often prorated. What happens if the battery goes bad in 3 or 5 years, and it is no longer under warranty? Then the cost is on you. Many people would find it impossible to fit that into their budget.
At this point, the electric grid is not capable of handling millions of EVs being plugged in during the same hours. We are barely able to handle the demand made on the grid now without the inclusion of millions of more energy users. Therefore, until and unless we allow the technology to further develop, increase our grid capacity, and somehow make renewable energy fully sufficient, we are not ready to transition to Green Energy.
It may be a feel-good topic, and on the surface seem like a great idea and will save the planet and be economically viable for the citizens, but it is not there yet. You may disagree and I do not have the space to fully articulate many more reasons to tap the brakes and allow the process to evolve naturally not as a political mandate.
God bless you and God bless America!
Very good analysis, thank you Roy.
Whilst I think nuclear power stations are ugly and we have been told radiation is a serious issue, I have begun to wonder if we have not been misled by those who wanted to promote fossil fuels. I am not against fossil fuels per se, but the issue has always been one of pollution and I consider the carbon dioxide so called ‘problem’ merely a red herring.
As you say, the carbon tax is merely to transfer wealth to those already very wealthy and does nothing to address the serious issues of toxins in the environment, many of which will be added to by the production of electric vehicles.
I have always sought to use my bicycle where I can, and whilst this would not be a practical transport in many areas, in urban settings it is highly sensible. It is even supposed to be 4 times more efficient than walking! I have carried some quite heavy loads and there are pictures on the internet which show just how much is possible with some ingenuity and persistence.