Issues & Insights
transmission tower under gray sky
Photo by Pok Rie on

You’ll Have No Power And You Will Like It

While campaigning in 2019, Joe Biden guaranteed “we’re going to end fossil fuels.” What he didn’t say is that eliminating fossil fuels will create a troublesome scarcity of electricity. He also didn’t say that was part of the plan, even though it just might be.

Now with the power of the presidency behind him – again we ask, how could such a disastrous event happen? – Biden is just a few pages of paperwork away from forcing natural gas- and coal-fired power plants to sharply cut their greenhouse emissions. If the emission caps can’t be met, power plants will then have to adopt carbon capture technology, which is quite expensive.

Our friends at the Committee to Unleash Prosperity had an interesting response to the news.

“Ben Franklin,” they said, “is often heralded as the man who discovered the power of electricity. Joe Biden wants to be the president who abolished it.”

Output cuts that will be required under the proposed regime “are so stringent,” says the CTUP, that “fossil fuel plants – which supply around 65% of America’s power – would be technologically incapable of complying.” The only way they will be able to stay open and generating power is if Americans’ utility bills are raised “dramatically.” If not, they close, and the power they produce is gone.

The administration knows this. The administration doesn’t care. The administration, driven by the hard-left zealots that run the Democratic Party, wants the rest of us to make do with less.

It’s the much same in California, where progressive politicians are committed to an unachievable target: As 2045 expires, all retail electricity sold in the state and used in government buildings must be produced by renewable resources, which are effectively limited to solar and wind.

Actually, the objective can be met. But there won’t be enough electricity to meet demand because the natural gas and nuclear power that’s taken off line won’t be fully replaced, so California is looking at a future of blackouts, rationing and rates more punishing than they already are. Either policymakers are aware of this and it doesn’t bother them, or they are completely inept and incapable of critical thinking.

We are naturally reminded of Ida Auken, the Social Democrat member of the Danish parliament, who in a World Economic Forum essay insisted that in the future we will own nothing and be happy. The headline – “Welcome to 2030: I own nothing, have no privacy and life has never been better” – made it clear that some powerful people are trying to turn the world into a commune which they of course will run.

In the U.S., Democrats see a country of 330 million as their sandbox. In addition to the proposed power plant rules, the administration has decided, with zero input from voters and no regard for the Constitution, that we will all one day be driving electric vehicles.

The White House’s plan isn’t the same as California’s mandate, which bans the sale of new internal-combustion engine cars and trucks beginning in 2035. Biden is instead placing emissions limits on car makers that are so strict that they will have no choice but make sure that two-thirds of their sales by 2032 will be EVs.

The political left has no regard for individualism or liberty, and intends to take those away by any means possible. Authoritarianism can start with small change, but the Democrats are tired of incremental shifts and now are taking long leaps to reach their goal. They want it to be their world and we just live in to serve them.

— Written by the I&I Editorial Board

We Could Use Your Help

Issues & Insights was founded by seasoned journalists of the IBD Editorials page. Our mission is to provide timely, fact-based reporting and deeply informed analysis on the news of the day -- without fear or favor.

We’re doing this on a voluntary basis because we believe in a free press, and because we aren't afraid to tell the truth, even if it means being targeted by the left. Revenue from ads on the site help, but your support will truly make a difference in keeping our mission going. If you like what you see, feel free to visit our Donations Page by clicking here. And be sure to tell your friends!

You can also subscribe to I&I: It's free!

Just enter your email address below to get started.


I & I Editorial Board

The Issues and Insights Editorial Board has decades of experience in journalism, commentary and public policy.


  • I remember the harsh winters of 1977 and 1978, when I was in grade school in Western Pennsylvania. There were temporary shortages of natural gas and the Carter administration ordered the schools to lower the daytime temperatures to no more than 65 degrees Fahrenheit, and 55 degrees overnight.The sun often rose in the middle of winter just as school started at our high latitude, and the electric heaters couldn’t warm up the classrooms quickly. The temperatures in classrooms with large windows often were stuck in the 50s during a cold winter day, and the students were shivering. The teachers placed wet paper towels on the thermostats to try to trick them into detecting an even lower temperature and boosting the heat, but it was a limp and lame response to an impossible situation.

    I wondered exactly how dumb adults had to be to allow such a situation to occur, not just once, but two years in a row.

    It’s almost fifty years later, and the same damn pretzel logic will once again make innocent grade school kids freeze their tushes during winters, as the system can’t deliver the needed power.

    We elected a vegetable to preside over the country, and innocent children will suffer dearly for it.

    • I lived in Bradford, PA, during that same time. Nearly froze off my nether parts. For the better part of a month, we lived in the living room, with kerosene heaters nearby, and rooms closed off to save energy. Our bedroom actually had frost on the walls.
      We survived by piling on clothes, and sleeping together under multiple blankets and quilts to conserve heat.

  • This is too right. Look at the election in Chicago. The voters decided they voluntarily want to become a third world, banana republic. People are shot in the streets on a daily basis. Riots are common. The schools suck. The police force is short thousands of officers. But what the heck! They’re woke and won’t mind freezing all winter long under the Biden power rules. GOD save the Republic!

  • When not busy indulging and enriching themselves, the communists and hard-core Marxist Morons ruining the Democrat party are hellbent on recreating California, Oregon, Seattle, Chicago, Michigan and the rest of the USA as a Totalitarian Paradise under their iron-fist. The USA minus freedom for their political enemies will be their Personal Fiefdom. The New Nobility has arrived. When King Schumer decrees fire Tucker, censor the Internet, imprison MAGA conservatives, and hunt down Supreme Court justices, then so shall it be. Dictatorial Privilege. Their “ecological” model is nation-states with low resource use, such as Zimbabwe in Africa and the former East Germany and old USSR. Like kings and absolute rulers, the ruling Democrat elite will live the rich life in mansions with freezers full of designer ice cream, unlimited private-jet vacation travel, and mask-less dining at luxury restaurants.

    Substituting a command-and-control economy and diktats for the free market and freedom of choice has its advantages for the Ruling Elite. They can allocate or direct scarce resources to themselves. Shortages of energy and goods will only affect the disposable masses that survive the street violence, bio-plagues and vaxxes. Poverty for all except the Ruling Elites works just fine for the Wannabe Rulers of the New Eco-communist USA. “What Me Worry?”

  • Very Nice Editorial.
    Apparently the power despots want to take away not only the power that gives us electricity-but also our political power. It’s interesting, I believe Stalin said that “all political power comes from the end of a gun.” Unfortunately, in our democracy/republic is also comes from Washington.

About Issues & Insights

Issues & Insights is run by the seasoned journalists behind the legendary IBD Editorials page. Our goal is to bring our decades of combined journalism experience to help readers understand the top issues of the day. We’re doing this on a voluntary basis, because we believe the nation needs the kind of cogent, rational, data-driven, fact-based commentary that we can provide. 

We Could Use Your Help

Help us fight for honesty in journalism and against the tyranny of the left. Issues & Insights is published by the editors of what once was Investor's Business Daily's award-winning opinion pages. If you like what you see, leave a donation by clicking on donate button above. You can also set up regular donations if you like. Ad revenue helps, but your support will truly make a difference. (Please note that we are not set up as a charitable organization, so donations aren't tax deductible.) Thank you!
%d bloggers like this: