When it comes to energy policy, there was a clear loser at the last presidential debate: Joe Biden. Our next president’s energy policies will shape America’s future. Biden’s vision of expensive, scarce, and government-controlled energy – energy dependent on the whims of weather, and about as reliable as Obamacare is affordable – would spell disaster for the United States.
Perhaps Biden understands that he needs voters in key energy-producing states like Pennsylvania – or he’s simply realized that he’s neck deep in promises he can’t keep. Whatever the reason, he’s been walking back some of his more extreme positions. Just weeks after publicly praising the Green New Deal, Biden admitted that banning fossil fuels is “not possible,” and he declined to support a ban on fracking despite pressure from environmental activists. “I would transition from the oil industry,” Biden proclaimed at the debate, only to admit afterward, “We’re not getting rid of fossil fuels for a long time.”
Biden’s flailing around stands in sharp contrast with President Trump’s leadership on energy and the environment. It’s hard to argue with Trump’s record of transforming America into the world’s dominant energy producer and a world leader in clean air. The United States’ newfound status as a net energy exporter strengthens our national security, gives us a leg up in global trade negotiations, and bolsters an economy that’s helping our nation weather and bounce back from the COVID-19 recession. It provides Americans more good-paying jobs that make as much as double the private-sector average.
Biden touts the progressive dream of 100% renewable energy, but he’s all but admitted that it’s not achievable – and he’s right.
First, wind and solar remain too unreliable to serve as anything other than a supplementary power source. “Wind and solar promoters need to start admitting that they are not capable of providing this type of continuous and on-demand electricity supply on a national scale that modern societies are used to,” says the author of a study on climate-change expenditures.
Even if it were feasible, a nationwide transition to all-renewable power would have a minuscule effect on global temperatures. If every clause of the Green New Deal became law today – from banning fossil fuels to retrofitting or tearing down every building in America – global temperatures would drop by less than two-tenths of a degree by 2100.
And it’s an open question as to whether wind and solar power could ever live up to their “net-zero” hype, anyway – not only because of the massive amounts of fossil-fuel energy required to manufacture and ship their components but also because of the carbon dioxide that wind and solar farms generate
by warming the soil beneath them.
If climate change and greenhouse-gas emissions are really the problems that Joe Biden and his supporters seek to solve, they should back nuclear power – the most energy-dense, lowest-emitting fuel available. They should support President Trump’s One Trillion Trees initiative, an effort that, if carried out, could eliminate two-thirds of manmade carbon dioxide emissions. And they should be celebrating America’s unprecedented progress in clean air and water, with harmful air pollution down 77% over the last 50 years.
Maybe the reason they don’t is because the climate plans promulgated by leading Democrats like Biden aren’t really about the environment. They’re about controlling Americans’ choices.
Instead of waging a futile and costly fight against our ever-changing climate, we should continue to pursue President Trump’s sensible and effective policies on energy and the environment, which, in addition to being effective, also free us up to spend more of our tax dollars on the problems affecting American families here and now – economic recovery, disaster preparedness, and public safety.
Let the American people, not the government, dictate the nation’s energy future.