Feds Give Fossil Fuels The Coal Shoulder

From Day One in office, the Biden Administration has had it in for fossil fuels: oil, natural gas, and coal.  First shot was cancellation of the Keystone XL Pipeline, followed by anti-fracking moves, and freezing oil and gas leases on public lands. These energy wizards are now also considering cancelling the Line 5 Michigan pipeline which few of us, self-included even knew existed.  But, regardless, it sends the same signal: fossil fuels are evil.  Now comes word that the administration is planning to increase the price of oil leasing fees on U.S. federal lands by 50% (from 12.50% to 18.75%). That will certainly help with production, distribution, and consumer costs!

Former senior economic advisor for the Trump administration, Stephen Moore, reacted to all of the negative actions being imposed on energy producers.  “The President has declared war on American energy.  They do not want to produce oil and gas and coal in this country.  There are ‘climate change fanatics’ in the administration who want high oil and gas prices.” Moore pointed out that oil/gas/coal provides 80% of our energy!  Ask the folks in Texas if transitioning to a large degree to just solar and windmill generated power last winter was a really good idea.  It wasn’t.  Of course, there’s always hydro power, which simply requires you to live somewhere near a large river and a huge dam.

President Trump had America running on all cylinders, economically and energy-wise (oh, and our southern border was closed with his ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy then in effect!).  The United States, for the first time in generations, could, thankfully, boast of being energy independent (“drill, baby, drill”), no longer captive to foreign (OPEC/Middle Eastern) oil prices. That was then. Significantly higher prices at the pump and for home-heating this winter is now.

Inflation for fuel pricing, and higher prices for goods overall are hurting American families, especially those on the lower income side of the scale. The administration’s solution: Pull 50-million barrels of oil out of the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve, oil designed to be held for extreme circumstances, such as war, and certainly not for the political need to pull one’s administrative butt out of the fire of national discontent.  By the way, given the nation’s burn rate for oil, it’s been estimated that those 50-million gallons would service America’s need for oil for just over 2 ½-days!  But it did give the administration bragging rights when they were able to announce that, as a result, national gasoline pump prices had come down  2-cents-a-gallon.  Breathtaking relief!  Republicans responded that selling-off some of our strategic oil reserve was nothing but “an unserious political move to distract from (the administration’s) failed policies.”

Stealing from our Strategic Reserves did nothing, of course, to increase petroleum production, which is really what we need, but Progressive/Destructive D.C. certainly doesn’t want to do that.  With oil and natural gas production slowed purposely by federal policy, in the face of consumer complaints, the administration turned the issue one-eighty by casting blame for shortages on everyone and everything but themselves.  (Truth: Their policies directly caused of it all).

In that regard, Lawrence Kudlow reacted: “Blame the Saudis.  Blame OPEC.  Blame Russia.  Blame gas stations. And then blame America.” (Note: Now the feds are gonna climb up that food chain in order to blame and investigate our handcuffed energy producing companies, too!).  Kudlow continues: “Because in ‘Biden World,’ America needs to stop producing fossil fuels – like oil – in order to clear the way for climate change reforms. How about America first! Drill. Drill. Drill.”

Then, in a seeming extreme ‘Who’s On First’ policy reversal, with no fanfare and little publicized advance notice, three weeks ago, the Biden administration opened up and auctioned off over 80-million acres in the Gulf of Mexico for oil drilling and natural gas production!! This move was reported to be “the largest off-shore oil and gas lease sale in the United States.” Perhaps, off-shore isn’t considered restricted federal land leasing??

Contrary to campaign promises to ban new leasing for petroleum exploration, this would seem to be a mega-step backwards in the crusade to tame climate change, which, by the way, is controlled by Mother Nature (still awaiting scientific proof otherwise) and is not significantly impacted by the behavior of mortal Americans.  By the way, if the oceans are truly in danger of rising because of our evil internal combustion engines and our other earthly sins, why is it that a recent past president (name starts with an O), and likely many others of the elite wealth-gained-through-politics class, purchased an expensive home close to the ocean?  Apparently pounding, shore-topping ocean waves aren’t as imminent as bellowed on horse-back through the towns and countryside by the hand-wringing climate change warriors!

A recent Congressional hearing summoned U.S. oil corporation executives to D.C. to testify.  Although hoping to intimidate the execs, the oil folks, instead, apparently took committee members to school on their increasing positive efforts to cut emissions during oil and natural gas extraction and production.  Writer Steve Milloy described the “low point” of the hearings for Democrats “when Congresswoman Cori Bush accused the CEO’s of being racists because Big Oil was somehow involved in the manufacture of tear gas (!!).  Hello, anybody awake or even alive in there?  Clear evidence that all of this on the liberal Democrat side is far less about emissions, and far more about pure politics, domination, and control.

Milloy concluded his review of the hearing candidly, as follows: “The reality is that global emissions are not decreasing in the foreseeable future, if ever, and we should be grateful for that.  Oil and gas have been instrumental in taking the world from a global pre-industrial population of about 1-billion to the present 7.8-billion with the highest standard of living ever.”  Speaking at a recent World Petroleum Congress meeting in Houston, Chevron CEO Michael Wirth spoke of his industry this way: “Oil and gas continue to play a central role in meeting the world’s energy needs and we play an essential role in delivering them in a lower carbon way. Our products make the world run.”

And speaking of coal, of the three fossil fuels, coal, oil, and natural gas, “coal is the biggest climate villain. It’s responsible for about 20% of all (the world’s) greenhouse gas emissions.”  While coal was once the absolute dominant power source in America, natural gas has surpassed it in recent years, but coal has made a bit of a come back here recently due to increases in natural gas prices. Coal is comparatively inexpensive and plentiful.  And, with “world electricity needs soaring, as the world’s population and prosperity increase, renewables simply aren’t enough to satisfy that growth in demand.” Coal still fuels about 37% of global electricity generation.

China is the world’s “biggest coal consumer.” “In 2019, China produced from coal almost twice as much electricity as the rest of the world combined.” The largest overall coal users after China: India and the U.S. Perhaps surprising, on a coal-use per-capita basis, Australia is currently the largest coal consumer, by that measure.  In his article ‘When The Costs Hit Home, Nobody Will Give Up Fossil Fuels,’ Francis Menton writes that “China and India have long since figured out that solar and wind energy can’t succeed in running a modern economy.” What an important statement! Reality finally stated out loud by the world’s two largest coal consumers. And so much for America being the world’s pollution demon, and the country somehow deemed responsible for single-handedly solving it all (at the expense of our economy and our freedom)!

Reportedly, at the recently concluded world energy/carbon emissions conference in Glasgow, India was said to have ‘pledged’ to achieve ‘net zero’ carbon emissions by 2070!  Pretty darn safe pledge, given that, in another 49-years, most if not all of the ‘pledgers’ will have long-since passed away (and perhaps record of the ‘pledge’ with them).  In the meantime, China, India and other nations dependent on coal indicate publicly that they intend to continue adding coal-fired power generation facilities within their respective countries.

Meanwhile, the Biden administration, by recent executive order, ignoring the current reality of otherwise insufficient and unreliable electric power generation sources to meet both manufacturing, municipal, and home requirements, is now mandating that America will be cutting carbon emissions by 65%, by the Year 2030.  That’s only about 8-years from now.  Just imagine the billions of tax-payer and borrowed dollars that will be needed to achieve that overall federal edict: “Government buildings (300,000 leased or owned) to use 100% carbon-free electricity by 2030; ordered that the U.S. government fleet of cars and trucks (600,000) become all-electric by 2035; and that all federal contracts for goods and services be carbon-free by 2050.”  And by the way, has anyone in D.C.-land thought about how we intend to power our military forces (land, sea, and air) in this brave new fossil-fuel-free world?   Oh, and one thing more. Climate Czar John Kerry has publicly stated that the United States will be free of all coal use by 2030!!  In all probability, under different leadership (we hope and pray), ain’t gonna happen.

Simply stated, we simply cannot power this country with current renewable energy sources, either now or at anytime in the predicable future.  The only currently known renewable, and reliable, power source that is available now, and today in modular form, is nuclear.  But no one in current authority will dare mention nuclear, because it’s not on their sun/wind dance card.

But, on the horizon, that attitude may be forced to change. Stated one uranium industry leader recently: “The need for clean energy will take precedence over the stigma of nuclear energy disasters.”  To that point, China has reportedly announced that 150 nuclear reactors will be built there within the next 15-years!  And, perhaps news to most, the U.S. currently has 95 nuclear reactors in operation (Georgia’s Southern Company is still in the delayed/problem-slowed process of building one).  With greatly reduced modular reactor size now available (vs. past behemoths), our renewable future might very well center, eventually, on nuclear. That is, unless, before then, another miracle emission-free power source can be economically produced, purchased, and operated. Until then, drill, baby, drill.  Regardless of political posturing and promises, our power-generation future, here, for the foreseeable, will still rely on dependable and, thankfully, plentiful, oil, natural gas, and, yes, coal.

Addendum:  By the way, on the subject of fossil fuels and proclaimed (from the roof tops) damage to our climate, a just-released Monmouth poll indicates that just 2%, repeat, just 2% of Americans polled consider ‘climate change’ to be a priority for the Biden administration to solve.  Americans’ true concerns: “Everyday bills, inflation, job security, the economy, and healthcare costs rank in the top six in order behind #1 coronavirus.” We can likely add domestic law & order, foreign aggression threats, and maintenance of our individual freedoms to that list.


Increase in leasing fees via breitbart.com, Wendell Husebo, 11-27-21; Stephen Moore quotes via newsmax.com , Sandy Fitzgerald, 11-24-21; GOP response to sell reserves sell-off quote via breitbart.com, Katherine Hamilton, 11-23-21; Kudlow quotes via NYSun.com, Lawrence Kudlow, 11-23-21;  Off-Shore federal leasing data/quote via dailycaller.com, Taylor Giles, 11-19-21; Milloy quotes via townhall.com, Steve Milloy, 11-28-21; Coal emissions quote via Associated Press, Wirth quote via The Wall Street Journal, Collin Eaton & Christopher M. Matthews, 12-7-21; Coal emissions quotes and data via Associated Press, Karl Ritter, 11-14-21;  Menton quotes via manhattancontrarian.com, Francis Menton, 11-19-21; Carbon emissions U.S. federal executive order provisions via dailymail.com, Elizabeth Elkind, 12-8-21;  Nuclear disasters quote & data via Kitco.com, Kitco News, 12-9-21; Monmouth poll results via breitbart.com, Wendell Husebo, 12-8-21)