President Joe Biden has been scavenging the globe for oil to bring down the oil prices, begging dubious regimes such as Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela to help. He lashed out at Vladimir Putin for the high inflation and blamed the oil companies for not using their 9,000 licenses to drill for more oil. Why isn’t he complaining about the wind and solar energy industry doing its part? The current debacle over gas prices deals a mortal blow to the narrative that switching from fossil fuels to green energy will be profitable and painless.
The Climate Narrative
During his election campaign in 2020, Biden promised to cut back aggressively on fossil fuels and inject tax dollars into research and development of green technology. In 2021, he clarified the goal as a 50-52% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 from 2005 levels. When confronted with questions about whether this would cause economic pains and hardships for the American people, he indicated that America would benefit and prosper from the new green economy.
In the words of Biden’s administration, his policy “will create millions of good-paying union jobs, ensure economic competitiveness, advance environmental justice, and improve the health and security of communities across America.”
Biden showed that he is a man of his words. On his first day in office, he signed an executive order to revoke the Keystone pipeline permit enacted by President Donald Trump.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine interrupted the rosy climate narrative that he had painted. In Biden’s first year in office, oil and gas prices rose precipitously, and the invasion propelled them even higher. The international situation revealed how dependent America is on fossil fuels and the effects of restricting supply.
By demanding that oil companies ramp up their production and blaming them for high energy prices, he also tacitly admits that green energy is not a realistic replacement in the foreseeable future. By chasing windmills, Biden demonstrated how vulnerable his policies had rendered America.
It’s not only America that has had to face the reality of the broken green energy dream. Europe has followed a similar path as Biden, but for much longer and far more severely. Germany is so dependent on Russian gas because environmentalists have successfully pushed through policies to shut down nuclear and coal power plants.
It is a nation far north with about the same solar potential as Alaska. Yet, it has one of the highest percentages of solar power installed, with 8.2% of electricity generation in 2019. Germany must buy Russian gas in winter when the sun shines the least and energy is needed the most due to icy winters that were supposed to disappear with climate change.
Putting solar panels where the sun rarely shines is not a rational policy. One time far in the future, wind and solar power may perhaps be cheap and efficient enough to replace fossil fuels in some areas. Today, the only green energy that is realistic and economically viable is nuclear power. In the meantime, oil, gas, and coal are the only game in town.
~ Read more from Caroline Adana.