The woke Biden administration is receiving loud wake up calls from appropriately alarmed constituents as their Democratic Party poll numbers tank.
The message is that a vast majority of the country isn’t feverish enough about global warming Armageddon hyped by a powerful coalition of globalist non-governmental organizations (NGOs), investment corporations, well-funded environmental activist, green subsidy lobbies, far left government special interest groups — and politicos — to warrant sacrificing reliable, affordable fossil-fueled energy sufficiency essential to individual life quality and national economic prosperity.
The rude awakening is warranted.
Throughout our history, America’s rich abundance of oil, natural gas and coal has afforded U.S. citizens the world’s highest living standards. And until very recently — just before Joe Biden took office — our nation was not only energy independent, but also a leading global oil and gas exporter.
Witness the current paradox, a presidential promise to kill the hydrocarbon industry, followed up by implementing every conceivable regulatory measure to do precisely that.
And then the hubris to demand that this same "big oil" pump more of their evil product as they simultaneously plead with Saudi Arabia, OPEC, Venezuela, and Iran to do the same.
The consequences should hardly be surprising — record gasoline and diesel prices that are rippling through every corner of business and driving up food and commodity costs with devastating 8.6% four-decade- high inflation.
Perhaps even far left liberals are beginning to realize that the idea of replacing the more than 80% of reliable energy we get from hydrocarbons by growing the less than 4% provided by intermittent wind and solar combined — plus then also try to add millions of electric vehicles to already overstressed power grids that require big batteries that depend upon rare earth minerals where 80% come from China — may not be a feasible, winning strategy after all.
Nevertheless, that’s exactly what Joe and his core White House and congressional supporters have attempted to push and sell to the public when, as a presidential candidate, he promised: "I guarantee you we're going to end fossil fuels."
On his first day in office, President Biden canceled the Keystone XL pipeline and halted new leases in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).
A week later, he banned new oil and gas leases on federal lands and waters, and in June he shut down exploration on existing leases in ANWR.
In October, he increased the regulatory burdens on building pipelines and other infrastructure, and last February, he limited leasing in Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve.
Then, in April, almost a year after a federal judge enjoined the White House from implementing its pause on leases in federal lands and waters, the Biden administration finally offered 144,400 acres for exploration — only 20% of the acreage originally slated for this tranche of leases — an area less than half the size of Phoenix.
By comparison, bear in mind here that the Federal Government owns and manages 640 million acres, 28% of all U.S. land, totaling about six times the size of California.
The feds also raised the federal royalty rate for new leases 50% from 12.5% to 18.77%, the first increase since they were first imposed in the 1920s.
On top of that, the Biden White House intently nominated vehemently anti-fossil energy officials to shepherd draconian regulatory policies including climate impact disclosures to dry up industry investment capital in favor of preferred "clean" alternatives.
Enter the administration’s Department of Energy Secretary, former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, who supported every failed government subsidized green boondoggle the Obama-Biden administration threw in her lap.
The Mackinac Center, a Michigan think tank, reported that only 2.3% of Granholm's hundreds of millions of handouts for favored start-ups in her state during her governorship from 2003 to 2011 met their advertised job creation promises.
Appearing recently on CNN’s "State of the Union," ahead of President Biden’s plan to meet with the Saudi’s once again seeking relief from his self-inflicted policies, Granholm said, "we need to have increased production, so that everyday citizens in America will not be feeling this pain that they’re feeling right now."
This national indignity, after the Saudi crown prince previously refused to take our president’s call, followed Biden’s letter to seven major oil producers and refiners in June, demanding them to take "immediate action" to increase the supply of gasoline, and blasting them for record prices at the gas pump which he also conveniently blamed on Vladimir Putin.
After all, it was Biden’s war on America’s hydrocarbons, not Putin’s war on Ukraine, that reduced supplies and drove up prices.
In January of 2021, the average price of regular gasoline was $2.33 a gallon.
By February of this year, it was up to $3.52.
Since as of May, the average price was $4.44, 56% of that rise predated the invasion.
Rapidly approaching midterm elections leave Democrats little time to relieve inflationary pump pains. Other than return to Trump-era policies --- which his party’s far left wing won’t possibly allow, Joe Biden’s only remaining options are short-term gimmicks intended to appear show he’s doing something helpful.
A total public feel-good deception was to have his EPA increase the maximum allowable amount of ethanol additive in petroleum from 10% (E10) currently, to 15% (E15) over summer driving months between June 1 and Sept. 15.
The ethanol strategy is a sham "fix" which will only add to inflationary food costs by consuming more of our nation’s corn supply, provides about 40% less energy than petroleum (reducing milage efficiency); and offers no environmental advantages or CO2 emission reduction benefits whatsoever.
The White House is also pushing for Congress to suspend the 18.4 cents-per-gallon federal gas tax for three months, primarily a public relations play that could save about $3 on the $75 it costs to fill up an average 15-gallon gas tank at $4.98 per gallon.
New York’s June 1 suspension of its 16-cent gas tax — out of roughly 46 cents a gallon between state and local taxes — has had notably little consumer benefit, leaving the $4.98 a gallon pump price nearly unchanged.
In the end, President Biden and his progressive playbook have successfully accomplished what they set out to do — to make fossil energy prohibitively expensive so that we use less of it.
Their major failure in the process was attempting to replace those marvelously abundant and efficient hydrocarbons with magical green alternatives before their empty promises ran out of gas, their midterm polls tanked, and their roadmap to Utopia led the country to nowhere any of us should ever wish to be.
Larry Bell is an endowed professor of space architecture at the University of Houston where he founded Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture and the graduate space architecture program. His latest of 11 books, "Beyond Flagpoles and Footprints: Pioneering the Space Frontier" co-authored with Buzz Aldrin (2021), is available on Amazon along with all others. Read Larry Bell's Reports — More Here.
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