Smart Talk #7

Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH) recently took a few moments to summarize what he sees as the Biden administration’s ‘accomplishments’ since taking office.  His view vs. the official White House version.  Lamented Mr. Jordan: “In 14-months, he (Biden) has given us nothing but chaos.  I mean, remember those images from last summer (from the “botched Afghanistan withdrawal”), where Afghan refugees are trying to jump on the wheels of that plane as it’s taking off.  Look at the situation in Ukraine – I think largely, obviously, Putin is the main problem here, but I think driven because of the weakness projected from the White House.  And then, of course, domestically, it’s been chaos on the border, chaos with inflation (40-year high), chaos with crime in our urban areas, and a chaotic situation with our energy policy.  So, the idea that he’s been masterful in his decisions just doesn’t make sense.”

Zeroing in the domestic economic chaos/crisis of the hour, our energy policy, or lack of same in a rational world, the ever sharp-and-articulate Senator from Louisiana, John Kennedy, commented: “The president refuses to stand up to the wokers.  The wokers who have taken over his party, (and whose) energy policy is wind, solar, and pixie dust – no oil and gas.” Sadly true, until such time (twelfth of never?) as sanity and reality can force the much-needed change and reinstate the priority of American oil and natural gas production.

In an early March (2022) survey of likely general election voters, a clear majority of Americans indicated their support for increased domestic energy production. The question asked: “In the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, do you believe President Biden should make increasing American energy production a priority?  77.3% said Yes, while only 9.3 % answered No (88.6% Republicans / 77.6% Independents / 67% Democrats).  The president, as you know, has refused to take any responsibility for rising prices at the pump.  Said he recently: “I’m sick of this stuff.  The American people think the reason for inflation is the government spending more money.  Simply, not, true.  Democrats did not cause this problem. Vladimir Putin did.”  He, like others of his outer space chorale, blames the oil and gas industry for the higher pump prices, which is incorrect.  A look in the mirror would help.

And, continuing on the need for more domestic oil and gas production, a recent poll showed that 71% of likely voters either ‘favor very much’ or ‘favor somewhat’ restarting the Keystone XL pipeline.  While understandably, since Mr. Biden chose to “revoke the cross-border permits required for the pipeline to operate,” it would take an unknown number of months to actually complete Keystone and begin the steady piping of Canadian oil, Americans seem far more comfortable with oil obtained from our northern neighbor (by truck/rail, later via pipeline) than from an anti-American-values nation elsewhere.

Now, offering at least a temporary one-state solution to the escalating gasoline pump prices, Georgia’s Republican Governor Brian Kemp has just signed a law “suspending Georgia’s motor fuel tax through the end of May.”  The bill was approved by both Georgia Assembly chambers without opposition.  Georgia’s state tax for gasoline is 29.1-cents per gallon, so that suspension will represent a noticeable and welcome price lowering at the pump, when this move can be implemented around the state. This new law will also cover diesel (GA tax 32.6-cents per gallon) and “aviation gasoline, liquified petroleum gas, and other fuels, including compressed natural gas.”

Meanwhile, Germany is trying to wean itself off of Russian oil.  The government intends to continue with prior plans to shut down Germany’s remaining nuclear power plants, and instead, now, is reopening some of its previously shuttered coal-generated power facilities.  That country, too, was bitten by the USA’s “green” bug, but public opinion in that regard is shifting. Wrote columnist Peter Caddle: “The German public has become extremely skeptical of the government’s climate change plans, with over half of the population believing the coalition’s green agenda will have a negative effect on German society, and on their personal lives.”  Recall, again, that Germany is shutting down its remaining nuclear plants in favor of reopening coal plants for energy production. A seeming reverse-direction solution, but all brought on by the need to decouple from Russian oil.

Concluding this edition, as we’ve discussed previously, nuclear power is the current cleanest, most-reliable renewable available.  Surprisingly, nuclear has been a power-generating factor in America since 1951.  Currently, 93 nuclear reactors are providing about 20% of our nation’s electricity. As Steven Nesbit (President of the American Nuclear Society) states it: “Unlike renewable energy, nuclear power plants run when the sun is not shining, and the wind is not blowing. From a security perspective, nuclear power plants run 18-24 months between refueling, and they can store years of fresh fuel on-site.”  And uranium supply for nuclear fuel?  Said to be plentiful in the U.S., as well as from allies like Canada and Australia.  As a key part of the shift from fossil fuel dependency in America, if, in fact, that is rationally really that necessary, nuclear would seem to be the logical answer for dependable power.  And the nuclear folks would welcome the opportunity to construct more such power plants domestically, while, as they say, “seeking a level playing field, without (federal) subsidies for ‘favored’ sources (wind & solar).”

While there seems to be no administration interest in expanding America’s nuclear power dependence, there certainly should be, if we absolutely must look to begin the construction of efficient, reliable, and credible long-term transitional electric power sources, despite the known, decades-lasting, abundant fossil fuels we possess within our borders.  Regardless, without huge, HUGE storage batteries yet to be developed, and likely even then, wind and solar are definitely not the realistic, dominant sources needed to effectively power this great nation.


(Jordan chaos quote via, Trent Baker, 3-18-22; Kennedy quote via, Trent Baker, 3-16-22;  Public opinion of oil and gas production survey via, Hannah Bleau, 3-16-22; Survey to restart Keystone via, Penny Starr, 3-16-22; GA Governor Kemp signs state tax suspension bill via Associated Press, Jeff Amy, 3-18-22; Germany moves back to coal via, Peter Caddle, 3-16-22; Nuclear as a reliable source of energy production via, Steven Nesbit, 3-11-22).