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How ‘Green’ projects are looting the treasury

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From the Frontier Centre for Public Policy

By Elizabeth Nickson

All that money is wasted. Wind and solar and the various battery projects have not managed to support the electrical grid in any substantial way, hovering, on average, around 4 percent.

The most egregious theft of collective wealth and well-being — and it is flat-out theft — is the churn on “alternative” forms of energy production. Senator Tommy Tuberville of Alabama said last week in an interview with Steve Bannon that the U.S. has spent some $7 trillion over budget in the last three years, and 25 percent of that went to “climate change” projects. They are all like Solyndra, massively subsidized and within a decade, massive failures. “The investors take a tax loss,” said Tuberville, “then move onto the next effort where they again loot the public.” This is salted through all the investment banks, retirement accounts. It represents all putative growth.

In June of 2023, the Department of Energy admitted that it had allocated $1.3 trillion for “clean energy” investment support since 2020, and that spending rose 25 percent from 2021-23. This is a fraction of what was really spent. Further, this money is not only based in debt, thus raising inflation, but it is also raising energy prices. It is the principal reason that almost 25 percent of us, according to economist Peter St. Onge, have been forced to choose between heat and food this winter.

What a choice.

$1,750,000,000, in an annual gift to the rich. The World Economic Forum projects that climate spending in the U.S. will triple over the next ten years. Biden’s “climate” budget is $5.7 trillion. Triple that to $20 trillion. No wonder the market is booming. The U.S. has pledged another half a trillion in “low carbon electricity” under this year’s Paris Climate Accord. And further:

  • Among all measures tracked since 2020, direct incentives for manufacturers aimed at bolstering domestic manufacturing of “clean” energy now total to around $90 billion.
  • Since the start of the global energy crisis, governments have also allocated $900 billion to short-term consumer affordability measures, additional to pre-existing support programs and subsidies. Around 30 percent of this “affordability” spending has been announced in the past six months, and despite calls to better target households and industries most in need, only 25 percent of affordability measures are targeted towards low-income households and most-impacted industries.

Much of this last $900 billion is direct subsidy to the wealthy in annual subsidies for clean energy. This is again, annual subsidy, so look at the last twenty years. President Obama started this program, therefore, we are looking at a $10 – $ 20 trillion gift to the rich since the Lightbringer took office. What is not counted in these budgets are the losses that accrue from the failure of “green energy” projects, which is the taxpayer’s loss.

Last year, investors in Spain’s green energy collapse took the government to court to claw back subsidies from a dead industry in a country with a debt 400 percent larger than GDP. No wonder millions on the street want to outlaw socialism. As is clear from Spain,  when the government runs out of money the first thing to go is the subsidy to green energy, after which the enterprise fails immediately.

In my neck of the Canadian woods, you can install a solar system for $20,000, and get a 25 percent subsidy, as does the installer whose business the government created via “free” “investment.” I live in a rain forest. Which means solar is not available during winter rains and not needed during the summers. Recently everyone with a few extra bucks has taken up the government offer to install heat pumps, also subsidized by between 50 percent and 75 percent. Rain forests mean hydro power, which is essentially, greenhouse-gas-free, and the most inexpensive “fuel,” but an almost-free heat pump? Again win/win for the upper-middle-class because no one in Canada’s increasingly massive working class can afford it.

This model was invented by politicians in power. The first person to notice it was Peter Schweizer; in Throw Them All Out, he details the billionaire investors who funded Obama and who were cashed out via various solar and wind projects. Hundreds of billions of dollars went missing on Obama’s various “clean energy” projects.

This year, every government department is “investing” in clean energy, vis, a quick Google search, will show. Pages and pages of boastful press releases follow. Every agency is in on the boondoggle. NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the U.S. Patent and Trade Mark Office have signed a collaborative agreement to advance climate technology. Putting aside the fact that “climate change” is neither imminent nor dangerous, the government should not be creating patents. Innovation should be carried out by the private market, where there are controls.

As we discovered during Covid, government patents on both the virus and the vaccine were not subjected to court challenge, double blind testing, or feasibility. There is no number attached to NOAA’s “initiative,” but this is representative of ten thousand such projects salted through every government bureau. All that money is wasted. Wind and solar and the various battery projects have not managed to support the electrical grid in any substantial way, hovering, on average, around 4 percent. Despite this mind-boggling waste of money, in September last year former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg pledged another $500 billion to shutter the equivalent of 40 percent total electricity use of nine states, including California, Florida, New York, Illinois and Texas.

What has been the result of trillions of public money shunted into “clean” “green” “energy” on the actual energy grid? Robert Bryce, an acknowledged expert, shows that it is failing. A speech he gave at the winter meeting of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners showed astonishing, across the-board failure in every metric you can imagine.

“Climate Policy” is considered the most significant risk. As Bryce describes, “green energy” has meant Europe is deindustrializing, Ford lost $64,731 for every EV it sold, and the IEA states that global coal use will hit another new record of 8.5 billion tons. Coal use increased 35 percent in last summer’s heat wave. Wind dropped by 21 percent.

Climate policy breaks everything. It breaks communities, it encourages widespread theft of public money, it starves productive work and manufacturing, it has punched down on the less advantaged, and it is destroying the fabric of our lives. And for what?

First published in thepipeline.org, March 24, 2024.

Elizabeth Nickson is a Senior Fellow at the Frontier Centre for Public Policy. 

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New Report Reveals Just How Energy Rich America Really Is

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From the Daily Caller News Foundation

By DAVID BLACKMON

 

A new report by the Institute for Energy Research (IER), a nonprofit dedicated to the study of the impact of government regulation on global energy resources, finds that U.S. inventories of oil and natural gas have experienced stunning growth since 2011.

The same report, the North American Energy Inventory 2024, finds the United States also leading the world in coal resources, with total proven resources that are more than 53% bigger than China’s.

Despite years of record production levels and almost a decade of curtailed investment in the finding and development of new reserves forced by government regulation and discrimination by ESG-focused investment houses, America’s technically recoverable resource in oil grew by 15% from 2011 to 2024. Now standing at 1.66 trillion barrels, the U.S. resource is 5.6 times the proved reserves held by Saudi Arabia.

The story for natural gas is even more amazing: IER finds the technically recoverable resource for gas expanded by 47% in just 13 years, to a total of 4.03 quadrillion cubic feet. At current US consumption rates, that’s enough gas to supply the country’s needs for 130 years.

“The 2024 North American Energy Inventory makes it clear that we have ample reserves of oil, natural gas, and coal that will sustain us for generations,” Tom Pyle, President at IER, said in a release. “Technological advancements in the production process, along with our unique system of private ownership, have propelled the U.S. to global leadership in oil and natural gas production, fostering economic benefits like lower energy prices, job growth, enhanced national security, and an improved environment.”

It is key to understand here that the “technically recoverable” resource measure used in financial reporting is designed solely to create a point-in-time estimate of the amount of oil and gas in place underground that can be produced with current technology. Because technology advances in the oil and gas business every day, just as it does in society at large, this measure almost always is a vast understatement of the amount of resource that will ultimately be produced.

The Permian Basin has provided a great example of this phenomenon. Just over the past decade, the deployment of steadily advancing drilling and hydraulic fracturing technologies has enabled producers in that vast resource play to more than double expected recoveries from each new well drilled. Similar advances have been experienced in the other major shale plays throughout North America. As a result, the U.S. industry has been able to consistently raise record overall production levels of both oil and gas despite an active rig count that has fallen by over 30% since January 2023.

In its report, IER notes this aspect of the industry by pointing out that, while the technically recoverable resource for U.S. natural gas sits at an impressive 4.03 quads, the total gas resource in place underground is currently estimated at an overwhelming 65 quads. If just half of that resource in place eventually becomes recoverable thanks to advancing technology over the coming decades, that would mean the United States will enjoy more than 1,000 years of gas supply at current consumption levels. That is not a typo.

Where coal is concerned, IER finds the US is home to a world-leading 470 billion short tons of the most energy-dense fossil fuel in place. That equates to 912 years of supply at current consumption rates.

No other country on Earth can come close to rivaling the U.S. for this level of wealth in energy mineral resources, and few countries’ governments would dream of squandering them in pursuit of a political agenda driven by climate fearmongering. “And yet, many politicians, government agents, and activists seek to constrain North America’s energy potential,” Pyle says, adding, “We must resist these efforts and commit ourselves to unlocking these resources so that American families can continue to enjoy the real and meaningful benefits our energy production offers.”

With President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump staking out polar opposite positions on this crucial question, America’s energy future is truly on the ballot this November.

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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LNG leader: Haisla Nation Chief Councillor Crystal Smith on the world’s first Indigenous project

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Haisla Nation Chief Councillor Crystal Smith during a press conference announcing that the Cedar LNG project has been given environmental approval in Vancouver, Tuesday March 14, 2023. CP Images photo

From the Canadian Energy Centre

By Will Gibson

‘Now we are working together to make our own opportunities as owners and developers of the resource’

Growing up in the 1980s, Crystal Smith felt supported and nourished by her community, the Haisla Nation along the shores of Kitimat, British Columbia. But at the same time, she also sensed the outside world had placed some limitations on her future. 

“I enjoyed a wonderful childhood with a solid foundation and lots of love, especially from my grandma Cecilia Smith. She raised me because I lost my mother and stepdad at a young age. But it wasn’t popular to be Indigenous when I grew up,” says Smith.  

“A lot of people would talk about how Indigenous people were not expected to be successful. That kind of talk really affected my confidence about what I could be.” 

Smith, now the Haisla Nation’s elected chief councillor, never wants children in her community to feel those constraints.  

Her community has seized on a major opportunity to build prosperity and resiliency for future generations. The Haisla Nation is a partner in the proposed $3.4 billion Cedar LNG project, the world’s first to have Indigenous ownership. A final go-ahead decision for the project to proceed is expected by the middle of this year 

Smith, who has served as board chair of the First Nations LNG Alliance since 2019, has already seen tangible changes in her community since the project was announced. 

“It’s hard to put into words about the impact on the ground in terms of how this opportunity has affected our members in their lives,” she says.  

“We were just interviewing candidates to serve as board directors on our economic development corporation and one candidate, who is from our community, just amazed me with how far he has come in terms of pursuing his education and how much his career has progressed.” 

The town of Kitimat on British Columbia’s west coast. LNG Canada site in background. Photo courtesy District of Kitimat

Of her own career, Smith says she knew since college that her future was in serving the community. She started working in the Haisla band administration in 2009 and was first elected chief councillor in 2017.  

“I was lucky because my family really pushed me to seek an education after high school, so I took the business program at Coast Mountain College. I also helped that I had mentors in my community, including my father Albert Robinson, who served as an elected Haisla councillor, and Ellis Ross (now an elected MLA in B.C), who was very inspiring in terms of his vision as chief councillor and encouraged me to take the step into elected office,” Smith says.  

“When I came back to the community from school, I knew I would end up working in our band office. I wanted to see more opportunities for people in my community and LNG provides that.” 

She already sees the benefits of the development, as well as the Haisla Nation’s participation in the LNG Canada project, within her own family including for her grandsons.  

“Xavier is six and he goes to the same school I attended as a child. He gets to learn parts of our culture, our teachings, as well as the value and importance of family and community. There’s more of an emphasis on our language and culture in the curriculum, which really makes me happy. Luka, who just turned two, will also attend that school when he’s old enough,” Smith says.  

“I want programs and services to meet our needs, not the level of government’s needs. And we need to make sure that it is sustainable not just for my grandsons or their peers but for seven generations beyond this one.” 

Cedar LNG is coming closer and closer to fruition, with all permits in place and early construction underway 

An eight-kilometre pipeline will be built connecting the recently completed Coastal GasLink pipeline to deliver natural gas to the floating Cedar LNG terminal located along the Douglas Channel near Kitimat.  

The facility will be capable of producing up to three million tonnes of liquefied natural gas every year, which will be transported by carriers through the Douglas Channel to Hecate Straight, using the existing deepwater shipping lane, to reach customers in the Asia-Pacific region.  

Powered entirely by renewable energy from BC Hydro, Cedar LNG will be one of the lowest carbon intensity LNG facilities in the world. Its so-called emissions intensity will be 0.08 per cent CO2 per tonne, compared to the global average of 0.35 per cent per tonne. 

Rendering courtesy Cedar LNG

 Up to 500 people will work on the project during the peak of construction. Approximately 100 people will be working at the facility full-time during operation, which is expected to start in the second half of 2028.  

Smith says the benefits of the project will extend beyond the 2,000 members of the Haisla Nation. 

“This work has really helped us reconnect with other Indigenous communities along pipelines and shipping routes,” she says.  

“When I was growing up, our communities never had the opportunity to come together because we were separated by the territorial boundaries imposed by the Indian Act. And we were fighting each other for financial scraps from Indian Affairs.  

“Now we are working together to make our own opportunities as owners and developers of the resource. That’s very empowering and the most important part. Participating in developing these resources provides independence. It’s the only solution for my nation and other Indigenous communities.” 

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