Petroleum and natural gas industries that provide about 85% of America's energy (with wind and solar constituting barely over 3%) is under siege by adversaries — both foreign and domestic.
The first major assault was launched by a no-winner dispute between Russia and Saudi Arabia that flooded the global market with underpriced petroleum that overflowed U.S. storage capacities.
A double-whammy occurred at a time when a COVID-19 pandemic eviscerated energy demand, driving Exxon's stock value below that of Netflix.
If all that wasn't bad enough, Green New Deal activists on the home front are attempting to execute a final coupe de grace, seizing upon a the crisis as a "kick 'em while they are down" opportunity that is too valuable to waste.
Until we somehow learn how to power naval ships by windmills and sails, fly aircraft with solar panel-powered propellers, or power everything else ranging from industrial plants to cellphones and light bulbs on cloudy, windless days — we've got a very serious problem ahead.
On the national security front alone, briefly reflect for a moment to replay some lessons from the past.
Recall a time when Jimmy Carter — no raging imperialist — proclaimed by presidential decree that the U.S. would use military force, if necessary, to defend America's vital national interests in the Persian Gulf. This was prior to a fracking revolution when decades of wars, terrorist attacks, and the rise of global jihadist violence kept our country tied by dependence to the region.
Remember times when the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) collaborated to keep oil prices at the highest feasible levels, causing soaring energy costs to drag down global economies. The consequences slowed America's growth, placing special pressures on American wages and living standards of blue-collar workers, lower-middle class families, and all others who depended upon affordable fuel and electricity.
Thanks greatly to the hydraulic fracking oil shale revolution, America is now a net petroleum and gas exporter, no longer subject to the mercy of OPEC, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Iran, or never-ending Middle East conflicts. This independence not only ensures secure military and domestic supplies, but also provides negotiating leverage to secure peacetime benefits.
Coronavirus impacts on energy demand in combination with a cheap oil supply glut have taken a particularly devastating toll on American shale producers, many of whom may never recover. If this occurs, many years may pass before the industry can regain its strength to return America to its very recent time of unparalleled economic and social prosperity.
Tragically, some vocal Democrats are advocating and cheering such prospective industry demise.
Driven by grossly exaggerated claims regarding prospective "renewable energy" capacities, and touting wantonly illusory climate and environmental benefits, their determined efforts are unrelenting.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., cheered a drop in oil prices below zero as a positive development to advance the Green New Deal. She tweeted:
"You absolutely love to see it. Fossil fuels are in long-term structural decline. This along w/ low interest rates means it's the right time to create millions of jobs transitioning to renewable and clean energy."
"A key opportunity," she added.
Presumptive Democratic Party presidential nominee Joe Biden has declared that if elected, he will ban all new drilling and fracking on public lands.
Biden has also been citing "environmental justice" issues purporting to link fossil fuel "PM 2.5" particulate emissions to increased coronavirus death statistics disproportionately affecting areas with predominate minority populations.
The claims were based upon what Wall Street Journal editors characterized as a "sloppy study" published by Harvard's T.H Chan School of Public Health that correlated elevated PM 2.5 levels with higher incidences of death from respiratory lung diseases.
Among numerous variables not addressed were how death rates differ among individuals who are exposed to different levels of PM 2.5, or how pollution levels vary across neighborhoods in cities.
Canadian epidemiologists Paul Villeneuve at Carleton University and Mark Goldberg at McGill University weren't impressed. They told the Journal, "When we looked closely at the research, we saw so many shortcoming that we were not convinced of the results."
Incidentally, Dr. Goldberg has supported a fracking moratorium.
Also, PM 2.5 levels across the U.S. have fallen 40% since 2000, thanks in large part to transitions from coal to cleaner-burning natural gas.
Former Texas Governor and U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry recently told Fox News host Tucker Carlson that America is "on the verge of a massive collapse of an industry that we worked awfully hard, over the course of the last three or four years, to build up to the number one oil and gas producing country in the world, giving Americans some affordable energy resources."
Perry added, "If we woke up a year from now, and there were five big companies because all of these independents were gone out of business . . . I would suggest that would make a lot of Americans really nervous."
Let's all wake up long before that frightful day of energy insecurity arrives.
Larry Bell is an endowed professor of space architecture at the University of Houston where he founded the Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture (SICSA) and the graduate program in space architecture. He is the author of several books, including "Cyberwarfare: Targeting America, Our Infrastructure, and Our Future" (2020), "The Weaponization of AI and the Internet: How Global Networks of Infotech Overlords are Expanding Their Control Over Our Lives" (2019), "Reinventing Ourselves: How Technology is Rapidly and Radically Transforming Humanity" (2019), "Thinking Whole: Rejecting Half-Witted Left & Right Brain Limitations" (2018), "Reflections on Oceans and Puddles: One Hundred Reasons to be Enthusiastic, Grateful and Hopeful" (2017), "Cosmic Musings: Contemplating Life Beyond Self" (2016), "Scared Witless: Prophets and Profits of Climate Doom" (2015) and "Climate of Corruption: Politics and Power Behind the Global Warming Hoax" (2011). He is currently working on a new book with Buzz Aldrin, "Beyond Footprints and Flagpoles." Read Larry Bell's Reports — More Here.
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