Common Sense Energy: Common Sense Joe vs. the Green New Dealers
Your Weekly Dose of “Common Sense“ Energy News
Presented by: The Empowerment Alliance
September 17th, 2021
Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) was speaking some common sense this week. In an interview with CNN, Manchin provided explanation for why he would not be supporting the $3.5 Trillion reconciliation bill and urged his progressive colleagues in the house to end threats to tank the bipartisan infrastructure bill.
While discussing the clean energy provisions in the reconciliation bill he said, “It makes no sense to me at all for us to take billions of dollars and pay utilities for what they are going to do as the market transitions.” Manchin went on to acknowledge the progress that the U.S. has made cutting emissions over the past two decades, thanks in large part to an increased use of natural gas. Citing the Texas energy crisis this past February, he wisely pointed out that rushing a transition to renewable energy can create severe grid reliability issues. And when pressed on AOC’s claim that he is “bought and paid for” by the oil and gas industry, Manchin brushed it off as false information intended to “divide, divide, divide.”
It will be interesting to see how this plays out, as Senator Manchin and Senator Sinema (D-AZ) are the only Democrats expected to vote with their common sense GOP colleagues against the reconciliation bill.
The Bottom Line: In the words of Sen. Manchin, we “can’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.” The clean energy transition is happening. We shouldn’t spend billions on something the free market will take care of on its own.
House Democrats were not interested in any adding any bipartisan amendments to the multi-trillion dollar reconciliation package, no matter how non-controversial.
During an Energy & Commerce committee markup session, the Democrat majority successfully struck down every GOP-proposed amendment, including one from Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI) that would “prohibit the use of critical minerals that were mined using forced labor in any foreign country, including China.” You may be wondering, “why would Democrats vote against that?” Well, here is your answer directly from Speaker Nancy Pelosi. In the same breath, she acknowledges that the CCP has committed “genocide” against the Uighur Muslims, yet the “overriding” issue is “working together on climate change.” Nonsense.
And just for good measure, E&C Dems almost unanimously voted down an amendment that would remove the proposed methane tax from the spending bill. Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-OR) was the lone Democrat to break rank and vote for the amendment. Kudos to him!
The Bottom Line: Turning a blind eye to the CCP’s laundry list of human rights violations in order to continue importing rare earth minerals for solar panels and EVs is not just egregiously misguided, it’s antithetical to everything America stands for.
Residents of countries in Europe that generate more grid energy from renewables are learning an expensive lesson. What happens when natural gas stockpiles low, the wind stops blowing and the weather gets cold? Prices go WAY up for consumers.
As the Wall Street Journal writes, “energy prices are soaring in Europe, and the effects are rippling across the Atlantic. Blame anti-carbon policies of the kind that the Biden Administration wants to impose in the U.S.” U.K energy prices hit a crazy $490/megawatt hour this week, a 700% increase from 2010-2020 averages.
The Bottom Line: The United States has the opportunity to avoid the fate of European consumers this winter by replenishing gas stockpiles sooner rather than later and keeping reliable energy plants online.
Even as summer comes to an end and demand is in the decline, U.S. gasoline prices hit another 7 year high this week. The national average is currently $3.17/gallon. Guess Joe Biden’s pleas to OPEC+ didn’t work..
Reconciliation Trudges On: Reconciliation committee work edged over the tentative September 15 deadline set by both chambers to move their reconciliation packages to the floor. Things should wrap up (or completely unravel) next week as House Speaker Pelosi’s deadline to take up the infrastructure bill and the very hard deadline of passing a budget to avoid a shutdown loom at the end of the month.
Interior Nominations Hearing: On Tuesday, September 21, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on various nominations for the Department of Interior.
FERC Virtual Commission Meeting: On Thursday, September 23, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will hold a virtual commission meeting.
Line 3 in Minnesota Could Come Online: Despite ongoing protests and legal battles, Enbridge revealed in an August filing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and Canadian pipeline regulators, that “oil could begin flowing through the Line 3 project as soon as mid-September.”