Energy reliance fuels WAR
Your Weekly Dose of “Common Sense” Energy News
Presented by: The Empowerment Alliance
March 4th, 2022
This week millions tuned in to hear President Biden’s first State of the Union (SOTU) address. While he opened with and spent a significant amount of time on the Russian invasion of Ukraine and international affairs, domestic energy was almost an afterthought. If you coughed at that point during the address, you might not have noticed that it was in there at all. Here’s what he said.
President Biden unveiled another release from America’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve in coordination with other countries. He also delivered this line, “Let’s provide investment tax credits to weatherize your home and your business to be energy efficient and get a tax credit for it; double America’s clean energy production in solar, wind and so much more; lower the price of electric vehicles, saving you another $80 a month that you’ll never have to pay at the pump.”
Let’s break it down.
“…investment tax credits to weatherize your home and your business…” This sounds like asking families and companies to spend money on construction and refurbishment projects and they get a tax credit to take the edge off the bottom line. Maybe there are some long-term savings on energy bills too. But how much will that credit be? Home improvement projects are incredibly expensive. Also, where will the government get the money to fund the credit? Increasing taxes?
“…double America’s clean energy production in solar, wind and so much more…” Short story here is that the government is going to be spending more money. Again, where is that money coming from? Again, increasing taxes? Doubling solar and wind capacity this year will unquestionably mean a much heavier reliance on China. The Biden Administration already made it more difficult for those raw materials to be sourced at home and China currently dominates the world in collection of raw materials and production of solar panels. Also, where will the solar panels be placed? What will happen to the panels at the end of their lifecycle? The current systems can’t be recycled. Same questions apply to wind turbines.
“…lower the price of electric vehicles…” Will this be the Federal government directly interfering with private industry pricing models? Or tax incentives for companies? Or maybe rebates for customers? In either of the last two scenarios, where does that money come from? And, keeping with the theme, more taxes?
Bottom Line: Biden’s tiny mention of domestic energy policy—while Americans are facing the highest gas prices in years—raises way more questions than it answers. When will our prices come down, and how?
There were a few short news items this week that The Empowerment Alliance is highlighting as common sense.
Most notably, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds delivered the GOP response to President Biden’s State of the Union (SOTU). More on the SOTU in ‘Nonsense.’ In Governor Reynolds’ response she defined what Republicans stand for and will be promoting this year through policy and messaging. It should be a relief to all Americans who are concerned about their energy bills that she said Republicans will be “fighting to restore America’s energy independence and that includes biofuels.” Obviously, she included a great plug for one of her state’s biggest industries.
Signaling a future that will include common sense energy policies, House Members introduced H.Res. 940. While a resolution does not hold the force of law, it provides a powerful message from Congress. In this case, the resolution sends a positive message that signals support for domestic energy infrastructure projects, LNG exports, and shortening DOE permitting timelines.
Finally, the Supreme Court started hearing oral arguments in the West Virginia v. EPA case. Plaintiff, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey seeks to halt Federal overreach at the EPA. AG Morrisey stated before arguments began, “the case centers on a simple concept dubbed the ‘major questions doctrine.’ That doctrine expresses a common-sense idea: when Congress intends for an executive agency to decide major questions of significant economic and political consequence, it will at least clearly say – in the text of an empowering statute – that it means for the agency to act. Otherwise, the court will assume that Congress has kept the power to decide the major questions for itself.”
Bottom Line: At a time where energy reliance is literally “fueling” a war, you’d think our President would’ve mentioned Energy Independence in his SOTU speech. Gov. Kim Reynolds was willing to say what he wasn’t.
Early last week Special Presidential Envoy for the Climate John Kerry delivered remarks that were so disconnected from reality that nonsense doesn’t quite capture it. Shortly before President Putin began his invasion of neighboring Ukraine, John Kerry said, “I hope President Putin will help us to stay on track with respect to what we need to do for the climate.”
On the one hand, his job is to talk about the climate in any context possible. On the other hand, essentially asking a political leader who is launching an unprovoked invasion to think about climate change while they attack is shockingly unrealistic. But, who knows, maybe President Putin hears Kerry’s plea and realizes the incredible carbon footprint of an invasion and that’s what convinces him to call off the invasion and retreat back to Russia…but, our guess is, probably not.
Bottom Line: Once Putin hears about the emissions toll of his war on Ukraine, we’re sure he’ll call off the invasion and put on a unity rally with Greta Thunberg. At least that’s what John Kerry thinks.
If you were planning on traveling this summer, you may want to think again.
Due to a combination of factors, not the least of which being President Biden’s refusal to unleash the American oil and gas industry, gas prices have risen a startling 27 cents over the past week. The national average is now $3.84 and does not show any signs of slowing down. Americans everywhere will soon be paying >$4 at the pump, with highs expected to reach the mid $4s by May.
Hearing On “Climate Adaptation and Resilience”: On Tuesday, March 8, the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee will hold a hearing on “Federal Climate Adaptation and Resilience for the 21st Century.”
Hearing On “Confronting Climate Impacts”: On Tuesday, March 8, the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis will hold a hearing on “Confronting Climate Impacts: Federal Strategies for Equitable Adaptation and Resilience.”
Hearing On Electric Vehicle Manufacturing: On Tuesday, March 8, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy will hold a hearing on “Charging Forward: Securing American Manufacturing and Our EV Future.”