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Biden Admin Energy Policies Putting Americans Further At Risk In Potential War With China, Analysis Finds

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From the Daily Caller News Foundation

By NICK POPE

 

The environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) movement is undermining U.S. energy security by artificially sapping demand for new refining projects, even though demand for fossil fuels and petrochemicals remains strong and could grow stronger in the event of a prolonged military conflict.

America’s energy systems and infrastructure may be currently unprepared to sustain a wartime economy in the event of a hot war with China, thanks in part to the Biden administration’s green policies, according to a new report published by the Heritage Foundation.

The report, published Thursday and titled “Chinese Handcuffs: Don’t Allow the U.S. Military to Be Hooked on Green Energy from China,” examines the state of American energy security and resilience in a potential war with China, taking stock of markets at home and overseas. The paper emphasizes the need for American policymakers to get ahead of any possible conflict with China by ensuring that the U.S. military has a robust and secure supply of traditional energy available, rolling back certain environmental regulations and targets pushed by the Biden administration, building more strategic energy infrastructure and bolstering existing commercial relationships with friendly countries, all of which may heighten deterrence with an adversarial country considering escalation with the U.S.

“Due to a heavy reliance on foreign sources, poor policy choices, and constraints on the transport of fuels, the U.S. military could be vulnerable,” the report states. “The risk is for localized fuel shortages, global supply disruptions, and Chinese economic coercion during a conflict driving significantly increased energy demands.”

Brent Sadler, the report’s author and a 26-year U.S. Navy veteran who now works as a senior research fellow for naval warfare and advanced technology at the Heritage Foundation, further emphasized that while steps to heighten America’s energy security will be expensive and require political will, they are necessary measures to ensure that the U.S. can transition to and sustain a wartime footing against near-peer competitors like China. Numerous pundits and ex-military personnel have suggested that China is getting ready for a war to start in the coming years, whether in Taiwan or in the South China Sea.

“America’s energy network is brittle in some regions and unable to adjust easily to surges in demand,” the report states. “In wartime, the consequences of such weaknesses could be an inability to sustain military combat operations and the inability of wartime industry to keep America safe. On the other hand, readiness for this possibility could be a significant advantage, enabling the United States to deter China by confronting it with a foe that is able to wage a prolonged war backed by a resilient wartime economy.”

The insistence of some federal and state officials — particularly Democrats — on transitioning the American economy to reliance on green energy poses a major problem for American security, the report asserts. Additionally, the environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) movement is undermining U.S. energy security by artificially sapping demand for new refining projects, even though demand for fossil fuels and petrochemicals remains strong and could grow stronger in the event of a prolonged military conflict.

The Biden administration has pledged to invest at least $1 trillion over the next decade to advance its massive climate agenda, and federal agencies have pushed stringent regulations and taken other bureaucratic actions targeting the broader American energy sector. The administration is also looking to make the military a more climate-friendly organization, including by seeking to have the Department of Defense (DOD) transition its non-tactical vehicle fleet to electric models by 2030.

Additionally, the supply chains for many of the green energy technologies favored by the Biden administration are dominated by China, the report points out. Numerous energy and national security experts have highlighted that retiring existing energy infrastructure in favor of products reliant on China-dominated supply chains is likely to make America more vulnerable, particularly in the event of an acute geopolitical crisis.

One specific element of the American energy system in need of change is the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), a de facto emergency supply of oil stored in underground caverns along the Gulf Coast established in the 1970s amid an energy crisis, according to the report. Sadler recommends that policymakers begin to treat the SPR as a key tool for the military to use in the event of war, given China’s rise, as well as improving energy transportation infrastructure to more easily get SPR supply to coastal regions where the military can use it expediently.

The Biden administration has used the SPR as a tool for manipulating markets, as officials decided to release approximately 180 million barrels from the stockpile to bring down spiking energy costs ahead of the 2022 midterm elections. Several million of those barrels were sold to Chinese entities, and the administration has subsequently floated the possibility of again tapping into the SPR ahead of the pivotal 2024 elections while the reserve remains at its lowest levels in about 40 years, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Stadler calculated that the SPR’s current inventory would need a boost of about 55 million more barrels in order to single-handedly supply the amount of oil that U.S. forces used in Operation Desert Storm in 1990.

Deliberate policy choices and infrastructure upgrades are needed to make sure that the U.S. is able to effectively fight China in a prolonged conflict, Stadler contends in the report. Making these adjustments would help to provide an advantage over potential adversaries like China that rely on energy imports, according to Stadler.

Beyond SPR-related adjustments, the report also identifies an urgent need to unleash refiners and build out more pipeline capacity in light of China’s possible ability to launch highly disruptive cyber attacks against key pipeline and shipping infrastructure.

Additionally, Stadler emphasizes the importance of strengthening relationships with energy-rich countries that could be key sources of energy for American forces around the world in the event of a hot war with China. While several memoranda of understanding are in place with such countries, Stadler suggests that U.S. officials should move to elevate these agreements to treaty status to enhance America’s standing with those countries and decrease China’s ability to pressure third-party countries against assisting American forces.

“This is especially true for scenarios in which a major war disrupts overseas energy markets and normal shipping methods. Under such conditions, the U.S. will need more diverse and reliable overseas suppliers for military operations,” the report states. “Given the global impact that a war with China would have, the U.S. urgently needs to ensure that it has enough fuel stocks and crude oil to allow it time to adjust to a wartime footing.”

Neither the White House nor DOD responded immediately to requests for comment.

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Economy

Trump’s Promise Of American Abundance, Fueled By ‘Liquid Gold’

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From the Daily Caller News Foundation

By JAMES P. PINKERTON

 

One of the brightest nuggets of policy in Donald Trump’s July 18 acceptance speech to the Republican convention in Milwaukee was his ode to “liquid gold.” That is, oil.

As part of his inflation-fighting plan, Trump offered a gleaming solution: increase energy production, thereby decreasing energy prices. “By slashing energy costs,” Trump declared, “we will in turn reduce the cost of transportation, manufacturing and all household goods.”

He continued: “We have more liquid gold under our feet than any other country by far. We are a nation that has the opportunity to make an absolute fortune with its energy.”

Indeed. According to the Institute for Energy Research (IER) technically recoverable oil resources in the U.S. total 2.136 trillion barrels. At the current price of around $80 a barrel, that’s some $171 trillion. And so, Trump concluded, “we will reduce our debt, $36 trillion.”

As former Alaska governor Sarah Palin would say, “You betcha.” In Palin’s Alaska, oil is so abundant, relative to the population, that everyone gets a check from the state. Last year, it was $1,312. For a family of four, that’s more than $5000. Our goal should be that every American gets such an energy dividend.

Moreover, the abundance of America’s carbon fuels is not limited to oil. According to IER, we have 3.391 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. That’s worth $165 trillion.

To be sure, these staggering dollar totals can’t be counted directly against the national debt—or in support of some future tax cut. Yet every dollar of our energy assets would contribute to the economy, and if even 10  percent of the humongous total could be available to the public, we could, in fact, pay off the national debt.

Moreover, thanks to fracking and other enhanced recovery techniques, we keep finding more energy: Human ingenuity has upended old beliefs about energy shortages, ushering in an almost Moore’s Law-ish surge in production.

Indeed, there’s so much oil and gas (and coal) that an emerging school of thought holds that carbon fuels aren’t “fossil” at all, but rather, the product of earth’s vulcanism. The core of this earth, after all, is the same temperature as the surface of the sun. Perhaps all that heat is cooking something.

In any case, we keep finding more oil, and not just in the U.S.

So how, exactly, do we take advantage of this planetary cornucopia? As Palin said, as Trump said, and as the convention crowd chanted, “drill, baby, drill.”

Okay, but what about climate change? Most Republicans don’t worry too much about that, but if Democrats do, they should be reassured that we can capture the carbon and so take it out of the atmosphere. Trees and other green vegetation have been capturing carbon for eons; the element is, in fact, vital to their very existence. Similarly, the human body is 18 percent carbon. Yes, all of us ourselves are carbon sinks.

So we, being smart, can capture vastly more carbon — capturing it in everything from wood to cement, from plastics to nanotubes. These in turn can be landfill, construction materials — maybe even a space elevator.

We can, in fact, establish a a circular carbon economy: carbon fuels extracted, burned, and then recycled back into feedstocks. By this reckoning, carbon fuels are renewable. Such creative thinking can power all those energy-hungry data centers on which Big Tech and AI depend. So there’s the makings of a bipartisan “Grand Carbon Bargain,” uniting mostly blue-state tech with mostly red-state energy. More energy + more tech = more wealth for all.

In Milwaukee, Trump spoke of American “energy dominance,” and that’s great. But with all the energy we can produce and consume, we can speak of economic abundance — and that’s even greater.

James P. Pinkerton served in the White House domestic policy offices of Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. He is the author, most recently, of “The Secret of Directional Investing: Making Money Amidst the Red-Blue Rumble.”

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Energy

The Flood Of Energy Absurdities Never Slows

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From the Daily Caller News Foundation

By DAVID BLACKMON

 

I often write about absurdities in the energy space, the kinds of stories in which nothing seems to make sense and which result in the wasting of massive amounts of money on rank boondoggles.

Indeed, I maintain an entire Substack focused on what is an amazingly target-rich environment.

Despite enjoying such a wealth of absurd potential content, I found myself suffering from a bit of writer’s block Tuesday morning — thanks in large part to all the breaking news about debates and attempted assassinations  permeating our society in recent days. But that was before two gloriously absurd stories popped into my in-box.

The first of these absurdities comes to us from the ritzy Massachusetts island of Nantucket, where debris from one of President Joe Biden’s vaunted offshore wind monstrosities — speaking of rank boondoggles — was found littering the beaches in recent days. The Nantucket Current reports that the debris, apparently hard fiberglass material from a broken blade, originates from the Vineyard Wind 1 offshore project, whose first ten massive turbines were activated less than a month ago.

So much for that advertised 30-year life, huh?

The operators of Vineyard Wind said the debris is the result of an “offshore incident” in which a blade suffered damage. The company also characterized the debris as “non-toxic fiberglass fragments,” adding that they are “not hazardous to people or the environment.”

No word from the company on the nature of this “incident,” or on how frequently Nantucket residents can expect such litter from their 62 government-subsidized, 850-feet-tall turbines (almost the height of the Eiffel Tower) and blades to wash up on their beaches. But the fact that the first “incident” came during the first month of operations was not exactly encouraging.

Then the story got even worse for Vineyard Wind: Boston.com reported Tuesday that Nantucket officials made the decision to close the beaches to public access due to dangers from what they called “floating debris and sharp fiberglass shards” that were part of the debris. Worse still, the Federal Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement announced late Tuesday the development’s operations have been “shut down until further notice” due to the safety hazards to the public.

Despite the inconvenience and potential hazards caused by Biden’s offshore wind boondoggles, we can be sure that Nantucket residents will enjoy paying their future power bills that are being inflated by the power-provision guarantees deftly negotiated by their state leaders. It is, after all, a small price to pay for such a glorious virtue signaling opportunity.

The next story comes to us from a report at LiveScience.com detailing a new study predicting that earthquakes will now be caused by the all-knowing, all-seeing, all-causing, all-powerful boogeyman we refer to as “climate change.” No, really, I swear I’m not making that up. Promise.

It is a real report, headlined, “Will we have more earthquakes because of climate change?”

Naturally, the story suggests this will be the case. What else would a good climate alarmist say? It is a requirement for researchers to blame literally every bad thing in our lives on climate change because, if you don’t, you won’t get that next government grant, now, will you?

That is the game. It has been the game for 30 years now, and many believe the net effect has been the increasing corruption of what we call “science.” The raising of outlandish claims such as this in glaring headlines or by hyperventilating weather people on our local news channels is exactly why a constantly rising percentage of the population holds the field of climate “science” in contempt.

One X user who tweeted this story out said: “I miss the days when we used to blame witches.” That is really funny. I wish I had thought of it first.

I know this frustrates all the alarmists out there, but I am just the messenger here. If you want the winds of public attitudes to ever shift in your direction, you are going to have to stop spreading ridiculous nonsense like this. All your cynical efforts to raise alarm are backfiring, and it could not happen to a more deserving bunch of people.

David Blackmon is an energy writer and consultant based in Texas. He spent 40 years in the oil and gas business, where he specialized in public policy and communications.

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