Berkeley's Gas Ban Gets Cooked 🍳 - TEA

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Berkeley’s Gas Ban Gets Cooked 🍳

April 21st, 2023

  • American natural gas is the world’s cleanest, most affordable, and most reliable energy. America’s energy independence and national security depends on it.
  • Biden unleashed inflation; this simple solution would reduce it.
  • U.S. natural gas price dynamics is seen changing over next year.
  • Finally the truth from the green-at-any-costs movement.

A federal appeals court on Monday overturned Berkeley, California’s first-in-the-nation ban on natural gas in new construction, agreeing with that state’s restaurant owners who argued the city bypassed federal energy regulations when it approved the ordinance.

  • The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco rejected a lower court judge’s decision two years ago that had upheld the Berkeley ordinance. In her 2021 decision, U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers said the city was not trying to regulate energy efficiency for appliances, only the fuel they used.
  • But Judge Patrick Bumatay wrote in the 3-0 Ninth Circuit ruling that a local ordinance that bans appliances such as gas stoves “impacts the quantity of energy” they consume, which is regulated by the federal government.
  • The ruling was expected to be appealed, according to a statement from a group of environmental advocates. As usual, progressives are seeking to advance their anti-fossil fuel agenda through a legal back door when they can’t get it through Congress.

We join restaurant owners and others in applauding this decision by the court. One member called Berkeley’s ban “an overreaching measure beyond the scope of any city” and that is quite accurate.

Bottom Line: The federal court ruling overturning Berkeley’s local natural gas ban is a big win for California and America. It sets a strong precedent for protecting access to affordable energy in cities across the nation.

When President Biden and Congressional Democrats refuse to buy into the Lower Energy Costs Act, they are saying point-blankly that they are against small business, farmers and low- and middle-income American families. There is no other way to look at their refusal to support it.

The House three weeks ago voted for this measure. Yet he and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) continue to strongly oppose it.

We agree wholeheartedly with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, when he accurately points out:

  • From the day he took office, President Biden has waged a war on American energy, and hard working families are the ones paying the price.
  • Energy costs have hit record highs with gas prices up 51 percent and household electricity prices up 24 percent.
  • And yet, Biden continues to drive inflation sky-high by blocking American energy production with red tape while begging hostile countries like Russia for oil.

Speaker McCarthy wants to use the debt ceiling discussions to push this forward instead of Biden’s $370 billion green hallucinations package. McCarthy is pushing for American energy while Biden continues supporting China energy. If you are not for the American energy affordability act, then you are for the China-dependent energy act.

America can and MUST be energy independent and this bill would go a long way toward making that happen. It also will make clean, affordable, reliable energy available for more consumers. We are facing a real energy crisis and it must take a different course, one that puts the American people first. Millions of families, small business owners and farmers will be grateful.

The energy crisis we face today didn’t develop overnight, nor can it be fixed overnight. Reinvesting in American energy may take time and effort, but the alternative is far more costly.

Bottom Line: The Lower Energy Costs Act would be a massive win for the American people and a much-needed boost for our economy. When we produce energy here at home, we do it cleaner, safer, and more efficiently than anywhere else in the world.

‘Net Zero’ will mean a mining boom. But, as the author of this opinion piece points out, the drive toward energy transition will increase demand for lithium, cobalt and other minerals many times over.
Where will those minerals come from?

  • An offshore wind project uses nine times the minerals of a natural-gas-fired power plant of the same generating capacity.
  • As countries roll out targets for “net zero” carbon emissions by 2050, it’s becoming clear how difficult it will be to source this huge increase in minerals.
  • We must either strengthen mining here in the US or rely more on foreign supplies.
  • China dominates 85% of the rare earth minerals production market necessary to produce battery storage, for example.

Here is where it gets a bit trickier.

There’s a further complication — about 60% of the world’s lithium is processed in China, and 47% of copper is smelted there. By comparison, the U.S. processes 4% of world copper. Once the U.S. had more than a dozen copper smelters; now it has two.

With great-power competition intensifying, many nations are concerned about having too heavy a dependence on China. The U.S. has taken the lead in establishing the Minerals Security Partnership, which aims to diversify mineral supply chains. Some aspects of the massive Inflation Reduction Act aim at building up mineral supply and processing either in the Americas or like-minded countries.

One of the leading wind and solar developers in the U.S. summed up the issue recently: “The single biggest challenge for renewables going forward is how supply chains evolve.”  It’s becoming clear that there is a very big gap, not easily closed, between aspirations for energy transition and the availability of the minerals needed to implement those goals.

Bottom Line: Goals are nothing if not backed up with a plan of action. The Biden admin must put forth a plan to loosen China’s grip on the mineral supply chain or else his clean energy goals will leave us reliant on our adversary.

More pain at the pump this week as the national average jumped up another 2 cents to $3.68. The residents of Florida are being hit the hardest, where the state average increased nearly 16 cents over the past 7 days due to severe weather causing shortages. On the bright side, drivers may experience relief soon, as oil prices are falling and U.S. refineries are coming back online after winter/spring maintenance.

Hearing On Health Costs Of Climate Change: On Wednesday, April 26, the Senate Budget Committee will have a hearing to examine the health costs of climate change.

Hearing On Risks Of Biden’s Green Policies: On Wednesday, April 26, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment, Manufacturing, and Critical Materials will have a hearing to expose “the Environmental, Human Rights, and National Security Risks of the Biden Administration’s Rush to Green Policies.”

Meeting On Cold Weather Grid Operations: On Tuesday, April 25, and Thursday, April 27, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation will hold a drafting team meetings on “cold weather grid operations, preparedness, and coordination.”

“Common sense has to be invoked at some point. Stop beating up on Americans and making us dependent on China for God’s sake.”

—  House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-Louisiana) on Fox News

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