Saturday, March 19, 2022

Small: Could Biden have a worse energy policy?

Could Biden have a worse energy policy?
By Jonathan Small

If one deliberately tried to devise a U.S. energy policy that would harm national interests and working families alike, it would look a lot like the Biden administration’s current policy.

The administration’s approach combines a willful ignorance of reality with a dismissive attitude towards working families. This could be seen when Biden Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg blithely declared the people who would benefit most from driving electric cars “are often rural residents who have the most distances to drive, who burn the most gas.”

That rapid charging stations for electric cars are nonexistent in rural areas apparently never occurred to Buttigieg, nor did the reality that the price of electric cars makes them luxury items, not a practical purchase for the working class.

But that’s far from the worst aspects of Biden’s energy policy.

Amidst surging gasoline prices, there are reports the Biden administration is seeking to ease relations with Iran and Venezuela, two terrorist-supporting nations.

At the same time, the Biden administration is trying to force more people into electric cars. But that would also increase U.S. reliance on overseas nations that are not our friends. According to one estimate, China accounts for an estimated 74 percent of the market for lithium-ion batteries used for electric cars and is expected to still produce two-thirds by the end of 2030. That dominance is due in part to control of many raw materials used in batteries, such as graphite.

(Notably, a recent report concluded that Russia funded rabid environmental groups to steer European countries away from energy independence, indirectly leaving them dependent upon Russian energy.)

At the same time, massive transition to electric vehicles in the U.S. could result in increased demand for electricity that may overload the grid in some areas (causing rolling blackouts) and likely require the construction of new power plants—which, for the most part, run on natural gas or coal.

Put simply, Biden would increase our dependence on foreign oil, which will funnel millions to terrorist-supporting regimes that hate the U.S., so we can transition to electric vehicles that will require even greater dependence on hostile regimes in the future, so we can reduce fossil-fuel use in cars and replace it with greater fossil-fuel use for electricity production even as China’s emissions continue to rise unabated.

However, there is an alternative—one successfully deployed during the Trump administration, a policy that generated far lower fuel costs than what we see today: Drill, baby, drill.

Lower costs and increased American security are achievable, but only if the Biden administration gets out of the way of producers, including many here in Oklahoma. That would require the administration to simply repeal onerous regulations and end the threat of new regulations.

American producers, including many Oklahomans, could quickly drive down gas prices while reducing our national dependence on foreign oil.

Sadly, that appears to be the only policy Biden refuses to consider.

Jonathan Small serves as president of the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs.


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