How it started vs. How it’s going
Your Weekly Dose of “Common Sense“ Energy News
The Empowerment Alliance
October 22nd, 2021
Late last week, 145 House Republicans that value a common sense approach to energy (led by Rep Carol Miller of West Virginia), wrote a letter to President Biden calling out his administration’s hypocrisy. On one hand the President has crippled the domestic energy industry by canceling the Keystone XL pipeline, banning leases on federal lands, and proposing new energy taxes such as a carbon or methane tax. More regulations on domestic producers mean less product available and higher prices for consumers, as we’re seeing now. On the other hand, he has asked OPEC+ to increase their production to help meet global demand and put downward pressure on rapidly rising energy prices.
In the letter, the GOP coalition asks the President to “preserve America’s energy security,” and use the country’s “robust supply of resources, infrastructure, and skilled labor,” to “maintain our energy independence and increase our global competitiveness.”
Perhaps they’re having an impact because this week, the President turned to the domestic oil industry for suggestions on how to lower the rapidly rising price of gasoline. That would’ve been nice to hear about 9 months ago..
The Bottom Line: Joe Biden quickly learned Americans don’t like paying more for gasoline, electricity, heating and just about everything else. That’s why he’s come full circle, now asking the domestic oil and gas industry for help.
“The Biden administration dealt a serious blow Wednesday to the proposed Twin Metals copper-nickel mine in northeastern Minnesota, ordering a study that could lead to a 20-year ban on mining.”
In a confusing move, the administration is making it more difficult to access minerals critical to its own green energy objectives. Copper and nickel are two of the rare earth minerals necessary for solar panels and electric vehicles. Due to the lack of domestic mining projects, producers of green technology currently rely on foreign imports to meet demand.
In a release from the House Natural Resource Committee, Ranking Member Bruce Westerman (R-AK) pointed out that it “threatens years of hard work and hundreds of jobs” and will make the U.S. more dependent on nations with poor environmental and labor protections. Rep. Pete Stauber (R-MN) wisely pointed out that this project would’ve allowed “Minnesotans to develop the minerals necessary for almost every sector of our economy under the strongest labor and environmental standards in the world. The administration is already squeezing American wallets by promoting dependence on unreliable energy sources, now green-at-any-cost initiatives will be even more expensive and damaging to the environment.
The Bottom Line: Biden wants green energy. Green energy requires mining. Biden bans mining. If you didn’t know better you’d think this was an episode of VEEP.
Americans can expect to pay more this winter as the “Biden Bill” is added on top of regular expenses. Adding to persistent inflation, green new deal style policies promoted by the administration are contributing to rising electricity prices. In the midwest, consumers coule end up paying 49% more than last year. “This is going to create significant hardship for people in the bottom third of the country,” said Mark Wolfe, executive director of the National Energy Assistance Directors’ Association. “You can tell them to cut back and try to turn down the heat at night, but many low-income families already do that.”
Adding insult to injury, NOAA’s winter weather outlook is predicting a mix of colder and wetter weather this winter for a large stretch of the United States, including the midwest. This means Americans will be dependent on heating not only for comfort but survival this winter. With rising electricity prices this is going to be a financial challenge.
The Bottom Line: It’s time for President Biden to admit his mistake. His attacks on the domestic oil and gas industry have put vulnerable Americans in a dire position heading into the winter. Without affordable heating, people will die.
As much as we wish we had better news to report, gasoline prices just keep rising. By the weekend, every state will be seeing average prices above $3/gallon.
In a true “you have to see it to believe it” moment, a gas station in a coastal California town is selling a gallon for $7.59.
We’ll see record breaking prices in the near future if something doesn’t change.
Hearing on Pipeline Cybersecurity: On Tuesday, October 26, the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Innovation will hold a hearing called “Transportation Cybersecurity: Protecting Planes, Trains, and Pipelines from Cyber Threats.”
EPA Nominations Hearing: On Wednesday, October 27, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will hold a nomination hearing for various EPA and other energy-related positions.
Federal Coal Program Hearing: On Wednesday, October 27, the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources Committee will hold a hearing called “The Federal Coal Program: A Bad Deal for Taxpayers and a Threat to Climate.”
Hearing On “Critical Energy Infrastructure”: On Wednesday, October 27, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Governmental Operations and Border Management will hold a hearing on strategies to improve “critical energy infrastructure.”
COMMON SENSE QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“While most environmental groups tend to be on the side of a ban, there are actually strong environmental justifications for Biden and Harris’s light touch on fracking today. In fact, there are reasons to worry that even a partial ban on fracking could slow decarbonization efforts in the near-term.”
– Politico, in an article titled “Could Fracking Actually Help the Climate?”