These are the worst of times for Europe when it comes to energy. Not only are its green schemes failing to produce enough energy, but because of environmental laws, taxes and regulations, conventional energy prices are shooting through the roof. Inexplicably, President Joe Biden wants to recreate the same failed policies here.
Europe faces a winter of energy discontent, thanks to its absurd green programs that have created sudden extreme shortages and sharply higher prices for natural gas around the world. Officials thought they could cut carbon dioxide emissions to zero simply by building more wind farms and regulating fossil fuels out of existence.
Wrong. Sure, they built wind farms and shut down coal and nuclear plants, but they didn’t think of the simplest question: What if the wind doesn’t blow, or the sun doesn’t shine? As cold weather looms, Europe has had an unusually windless period, triggering severe deficits.
To make up for the shortfalls, Europe has gone back to the natural gas market. But who supplies its natural gas these days? Russia, which has cut supplies to Europe mainly, it seems, just to watch it squirm.
Things are so bad that Germany has returned to evil coal for fuel, only to be told by providers that, sorry, prices are sky high and supplies are tight. After closing all its nuclear power plants, which supplied CO2-free energy, foolish Germany has no choice. Nor does the rest of Europe, suffering the same self-inflicted green maladies.
“Europe’s increasingly expensive gas and electricity prices are sending a strong signal to manufacturers to consider temporary plant closures and to home and office owners to turn down thermostats to conserve fuel this winter,” wrote Reuters last week. “Front-month gas futures are now more than six times more expensive than at this point last year, as the region struggles to import enough gas to refill its depleted storage ahead of the winter peak heating season.”
“Europe’s climate follies created fuel shortages and price spikes rippling through global energy markets,” CFACT, a climate think tank, tweeted in response to Europe’s energy shock. “Demand for natural gas has soared due to waning wind production, the shutdown of coal and nuclear plants, and lower Russian gas deliveries.”
Even China’s feeling the pinch, with blackouts and energy rationing due to a shortage of coal, the country’s main fuel source. Thanks to the global “green energy revolution” and communism, China’s three decades of surging economic growth is at an end.
All this should be a warning to policymakers everywhere about the folly of going green on your energy grid. But Biden is oblivious. Indeed, he’s doubling down on his own European-style green polices, which have helped set off a destabilizing upward price spiral here in the U.S..
After going to near-zero at the start of the pandemic, oil prices have swelled more than 75-fold to reach nearly $80 a barrel, sharply pushing up gasoline and home fuel-oil prices.
In just the last year, the Consumer Price Index for household energy costs has surged 25%, a major force behind current inflation. But the Biden administration plows ahead anyway with its disastrous energy policies based on the idea that we can produce 80% of all our energy from renewables by 2030. It’s as much a fantasy as it is a lie.
And you’ll pay for this hubris. A recent piece on The Hill web site called Biden’s energy policies “anti-American.”
From its first days, the Biden administration has attacked and stifled America’s energy production. When he was campaigning, Biden and his running mate both promised to stop fracking. Immediately after he was elected, Biden paused all oil and gas leasing on federal lands. He then killed the Keystone XL pipeline and the many thousands of jobs it supported, claiming the pipeline did not serve the U.S. national interest. Only a few months later, he supported removing sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, handing a major energy and international policy win to Russian President Vladimir Putin and oil giant Gazprom.
Expect no relief from this, because Biden’s energy and climate “team” is the most radical anti-energy group of federal officials in American history. To wit:
- President Barack Obama’s radical former EPA chief, Gina McCarthy, is Biden’s climate adviser.
- Biden’s “special climate envoy” John Kerry recently suggested that the genocide of the Uighurs was an acceptable tradeoff for a global climate deal with the Chinese. He has Biden’s ear as well.
- Biden’s new chief of the Bureau of Land Management, Tracy Stone-Manning, is a former Earth First! eco-terrorist, having aided that group’s “tree-spiking” sabotage activities.
- Former Michigan governor and current Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm, meanwhile, “gained experience redirecting sizable government handouts to politically savvy green industries. She matched that experience with an apparent ability to parlay close relationships with those green companies into a sizable retirement fund.”
Get the picture? They are all extremists who advocate what can only be called a kind of green socialism, a top-down control of energy supply and use. With the Biden energy crisis already upon us, the best Americans can hope for is that a new Congress will be elected next year to tie the hands of Biden’s energy radicals. When it comes to energy and the environment, “moderate” Joe Biden has turned out to be the most left-wing president in history.
— Written by the I&I Editorial Board