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Without Fossil Fuels, There Is No Need For Electricity

America is in fast pursuit of President Biden’s stated goal “to get rid of fossil fuels as part of the Green New Deal’s (GND) plan to deploy massive numbers of wind turbines and solar panels to provide electricity to run the world. But there’s one big catch: Everything in our materialistic lives and economies cannot exist without crude oil, coal, and natural gas.

Everything that needs electricity, from lights, vehicles, iPhones, defibrillators, computers, telecommunications, etc., are all made with derivatives manufactured from crude oil.

The need for electricity will decrease over time without crude oil. With no new things to power, and the deterioration of current things made with oil derivatives over the next few decades and centuries, the existing items that need electricity will not have replacement parts. They will ultimately become obsolete and the need for electricity will diminish accordingly.

The Green New Deal proposal calls on the federal government to wean the United States from fossil fuels and focus on electricity from wind and solar. But why? What will there be to power in the future without fossil fuels? 

Rather than list the more than 6,000 products  made from the oil derivatives manufactured from crude oil, I will let the readers list things that are not dependent on oil derivatives but that will need electricity. They can begin listing them here ______   ________    _______.

And by the way, crude oil came before electricity. The electricity that came after the discovery of oil, is comprised of components made with those same oil derivatives from crude oil. Thus, getting rid of crude oil also eliminates our ability to make wind turbines, solar panels, as well as those vehicles intended to be powered by an EV battery.

Today, Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) divesting from fossil fuels are all the rage with big banks, Wall Street firms, and financial institutions. The goal is to sell off investments in coal, natural gas, and crude oil. Both President Biden and the United Nations support allowing banks and investment giants to collude to reshape economies and our energy infrastructure toward electricity provided by wind and solar, and little else.

A forced reduction in the use of coal, natural gas, and crude oil would lead us to life as it was without the crude oil infrastructure and those products made from oil that did not exist before 1900, i.e., the decarbonized world that existed in the 1800’s and before when life was hard, and life expectancy was short.

Ridding the world of crude oil would result in less manufactured oil derivatives and, as a consequence, less of all the following essential items:

  • The 50,000 heavy-weight and long-range merchant ships that are moving products throughout the world.
  • The 50,000 heavy-weight and long-range jets used by commercial airlines, private owners, and the military.
  • The wind turbines and solar panels for the Green New Deal, as they too are made with oil derivatives from crude oil.
  • Pesticides to control locusts and other pests.
  • Tires for billions of vehicles.
  • Asphalt for millions of miles of roads.
  • Medications and medical equipment.
  • Vaccines.
  • Water filtration systems.
  • Sanitation systems.
  • Communications systems, including cell phones, computers, iPhones, and iPads.
  • The number of cruise ships that now move 25 million passengers around the world.
  • The space program.

Before we rid the world of all three fossil fuels of coal, natural gas, and crude oil, the greenies need to identify the replacement or clone for crude oil, to keep the world’s population of 8 billion fed and healthy, and economies running with the more than 6,000 products now made with manufactured derivatives from crude oil. That includes the fuels required to satisfy the long-range needs of the more than 50,000 jets and 50,000 merchant ships listed above, and our energy-hungry military and space programs.

Open government policies should be focused on reducing our usage, via both conservation and improved efficiencies, to reduce not eliminate crude oil, and shrink its footprint as much as practical and possible. It’s truly the only plan that will work.

Wind and solar may be able to generate electricity from breezes and sunshine, but they cannot manufacture anything.  Again, what is the need for the Green New Deal’s electricity from breezes and sunshine when you have nothing new to power in the future?

Ronald Stein is an author, engineer, and energy expert who writes frequently on issues of energy and economics. Ron serves as a Policy advisor for The Heartland Institute on Energy, and national TV commentator on energy and infrastructure with Rick Amato.

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6 comments

  • A really stupid article.
    Two points that were overlooked:
    1) If we only use petroleum to make products, and not to make electricity, we will vastly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. And we won’t run out of petroleum.
    2) Most, if not all, things that are currently made from petroleum can be synthesized, including plastics, motor oil, jet fuel, and gasoline.

    • The economics of refining is that the manufactured fuels for airlines, merchant ships, and vehicles are the economic reasons they even exist. The by-products products are the basis of economies made from the derivatives BUT those derivatives cannot financially support keeping refineries operating.

      Some products may be “synthesized,” BUT not at the commercial levels now attained from crude oil. We have had more than 200 years to clone or replace crude oil with minuscule results to support the thousands of products that are the basis of life in healthy and wealthy countries.

      As governments and ESG movements continue to restrict supply of the crude oil to manufacture, to meet ever increasing demands by the world’s eight billion we are guaranteed to see shortages and inflation as more refineries start to shutter.

      • The laws of entropy are operative here: Lots of energy (electricity), much of it from fossil fuels, will go into creating the synthetic alternatives. Synthesizing chemicals requires large energy inputs and catalysts (expensive rare and heavy metals which require mining and waste disposal whose environmental effects and energy consumption may be greater than getting the products from petroleum refining). You have to look at the total product eco-system.

        The true idiocy is the California model of mandating electric vehicles only after 2030, and thereby increasing the demand for electricity beyond the current demand, which already taps all the hydro-power and alternatives imported from Washington state, Arizona and Nevada. Meaning energy and electricity shortages will likely increase in the future. Idiots are running the show in California and Washington DC, that is the root of the energy problem. The real incredible transition would be competent leadership & slimmed down bureaucracies. Though the Mental Midgets running the show should get credit for having incredible physical abilities (being able to withstand continual vaxxing followed by continual COVID infections). But can’t blame COVID or vaxxes, as their mental incompetence was a preexisting condition.

    • ” Most, if not all, things that are currently made from petroleum can be synthesized, including plastics, motor oil, jet fuel, and gasoline.”
      Synthesized from what? Provide a few examples and the costs of the synthesized products.

  • Per Senator Kennedy from Louisiana, imported oil comes in tankers that use 2000 gallons of fuel per hour and emit 8 TONS OF CARBON DIOXIDE PER HOUR. How is that better for the environment? Biden only wants the working class to do without (food, shelter, transportation, energy, guns) so the elites can enjoy more of your productivity for themselves.

  • With oil prices above $100/barrel and natural gas having quadrupled in price, one would expect a capitalist economy to come up with cheaper energy alternatives. Why has that not happened?

    Electric Vehicles (EV) will require more Electricity Generation, which just shifts fossil fuel use upstream. In California, the plan is to ban all nuclear, coal, oil and related power generation within the state, and buy 90% imported electricity from other states. Truly idiotic. What if surrounding states decide to grow their economies and export less energy? EVs only make sense for society if EV owners have access to off-grid power sources, like backyard windmills or rooftop/yard solar panels to power their vehicles. Otherwise EV use is irresponsible, a selfish ploy to avoid paying a fair share of gasoline taxes for road maintenance; and are Bad for the Environment, unless windmill bird-kills are treated as a positive (less bird pooping on cars). Being a government by mandates, why not make EV owners responsible for their vehicle’s electricity use and install enough home wind and solar to power their EVs? Otherwise EVs compete with hospitals, supermarkets, computers, homes, etc. and push up the societal price for electricity. EVs in California will create or make worse electric power shortages (perhaps a positive, if it shutdowns down energy-consuming social media).

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