Tag Archive for: WarOnFossilFuel

ESG Financial “Leaders” Live In La-La Land

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

This week, I virtually attended “The ESG Leadership Forum 2022” co-hosted by the Wall Street Journal Trust and Nasdaq. Panel discussions covered everything from accelerating the energy transition to how to model climate risks into climate strategy to getting to net-zero with tips on how to “actually deliver” on ESG promises.

Speakers earned an “A+” in leadership lingo and managerial theory, but a big “F” in reality. There was a creative high point where win-win was reimagined as wind-wind to describe one company’s “winning” approach to wind energy. (Get it?) In their defense, it is winning from the C-suite perspective. These companies are guaranteed to reap the benefits of government-backed dividends promised by President Biden through trillions of mismanaged taxpayer dollars. 

In reality, however, we the taxpayers will be stuck with the consequences of the ESG movement, and, most notably, the “path to net-zero,” which is both damaging and delusional. It is behind efforts to shutter reliable and affordable energy—mainly coal, oil, and natural gas—and replace it with less reliable, more expensive alternatives. The arbitrary deadlines to reach this goal are forcing the early closure of energy sources without adequately replacing them. As a result, our degraded energy grid now regularly delivers blackouts and brownouts, especially during heat waves and cold snaps when we the regular people consume it the most. This isn’t because of climate change. It can be attributed to poor planning and blind allegiance to ESG principles that constantly overpromise and underdeliver.  

As Team Biden implements its whole-of-the-government effort to shutter U.S. oil and natural gas, ESG investing is maximizing its effect. Government-mandated red tape, coupled with leasing bans, has increased operating costs. At the same time, ESG investors are limiting access to the very capital these companies need to upgrade, expand, and ultimately keep up. The resulting oil market imbalance of suppressed supply is the leading reasonfor the high costs we pay at the pump. The strained natural gas supply, which accounts for 37% of electricity production, has led to the largest 12-month increase in over 40 years and is why one in six families is now behind on utility bills. 

Adding insult to injury, this will have no impact on the climate. Some reports found that a net-zero U.S. would reduce temperatures by only 0.137 degrees in 2100. Recall that a warming temperature is the purported key driver of the change these financial gurus are fighting. 

The real problem is that these ESG elites are in charge of trillions of dollars of investments and their decisions—even the damaging and delusional ones—have a broad reach. They should not be celebrated, but rather held to account—starting with the fire-fire approach. (See what I did there?)

That is fighting fire with fire. Leading this is Strive Asset Management, a company that offers investors the ability to partake in good old-fashioned planning, where maximizing value takes precedence. Strive CEO Vivek Ramaswamyeven has the audacity to let those that reap the benefits of his fund’s returns use their own money to be the change in the world they want to be.

Americans are starting to wake up to the ESG fraud. To find out more about ESG, what it is, and how states are starting to rightfully push back, check out our comprehensive communications kit on ESG Investing.

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This article was published at Independent Women’s Forum, and is reproduced with permission.

America’s Broken Policies Put Our Energy and Environmental Futures at Risk

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

To hear the current administration tell it, the energy crisis is over because gasoline prices have come off near-record highs. They tell us that there is no “there” there when it comes to the fact that America’s energy policy is thoroughly broken and headed down a path that is already risking our economic, national and energy security.

Pay no mind to inflation at 40-year highs and gasoline prices are still well over $1.50 higher than they were in January 2021. Ignore the fact that the fundamentals that caused the problem – lack of supply, bottlenecks in refining, Putin taking advantage of European dependency on Russian oil and gas – still exist and prices are likely to go back up.

Please disregard the fact that our federal government keeps intentionally limiting U.S. energy production to essentially put the Gulf of Mexico out of the oil and gas business, even though it provides 15% of our oil supply.

Nothing to see in the UK’s economic ruin, either, where restrictive energy policies that look exactly like the ones being proposed for the U.S. caused prices to triple and felled former Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government. Those same policies are expected to increase utility bills by 80% in October, barring a taxpayer-funded bailout of $172 billion.

What were some of the UK’s first steps toward disaster? Limiting exploration and production in the North Sea and bans on hydraulic fracturing. Do those sound familiar?

That is the very path some in our federal government appear to want Americans to follow. High prices of oil and gas, some argue, are why we should change our energy systems completely. They are the ones who seek to model California’s energy example, while its Europe-style policies can barely keep the lights on, strangle its economy in insane energy prices, all while backtracking on its environmental progress.

No American, regardless of party affiliation, should accept this state of affairs. This is 2022 in the most innovative nation on Earth.  We should expect more. We should expect better policies.

We must demand sound energy policies that keep energy reliable and affordable, and require constant environmental improvement. They must be worked on as a single, three-sided challenge, and not a battle of one against the other.

What we should demand Congress and the White House focus on is creating a national energy program Americans can believe in.

First, we must understand and agree that fossil fuels will play a critical role in our energy mix while we advance toward net-zero emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050. Anyone who says they must be eliminated fails to understand the science and overwhelming role they play in every facet of our society. No credible study concludes that we can have the energy we need without traditional fuels by 2050 and beyond so let’s work together to advance the technologies and the workforce to build an honest path to net-zero.

Second, we need to stop talking about an “energy transition” as if we are moving away from one energy and toward another. This is a misnomer and implies a pre-determined outcome. Academic studies have shown that changes in energy systems are long-term evolutions, where the most efficient, reliable, and available sources are adopted over time – not legislated into or out of existence. We need them all – traditional sources, wind, solar, hydro, geothermal, nuclear, you name it– because energy depends so much on where it’s deployed and why.

Third, we must supercharge our carbon capture and sequestration efforts. One solution: capture and store carbon dioxide safely underground. The technology to make this happen is already here, and it is one of the fastest ways for us to reduce the carbon footprint of critical industrial sectors like steel, cement and other manufacturing.

Fourth, the government must recognize that its wind and solar power ambitions cannot ignore the elephant in the room: the need for hundreds of billions of dollars of new transmission infrastructure. Our permitting system must be overhauled in a way that speeds projects along while not compromising on safety and environmental studies. It no longer needs to be so complex that it spawned and sustains an entire litigation industry.

While we are at it, our pipeline infrastructure needs attention. Failing to permit energy pipelines makes our environment worse by forcing energy delivery via more polluting means. Permit delays, misguided activist protests and endless litigation are curtailing and not helping carbon mitigation.  Streamline permitting today.

Fifth, we must move swiftly to expand the domestic supply chain for critical minerals essential for many modern technologies, including clean energy innovations, now controlled by China. The Administration has ordered a review of vulnerabilities in our supply chains, but we need to act now if we have any hope of moving forward without Beijing’s blessing or supplies. Like all energy-related issues, this is a clear and present national security issue that must be resolved.

These are a few points that should receive swift bipartisan support for the good of the nation. We need national leadership from Congress and the Administration to deal realistically with our energy and environmental issues. We believe those leaders exist, but it is up to all Americans to send a clear message in November that energy is too important for anyone to mishandle.

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This article was published by CFACT, Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow and is reproduced with permission.

Musk: “Civilization Will Crumble” Without Oil and Gas

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

Editors’ Note: Elon Musk is hard to categorize. On the one hand, he is selling a lot of cars because of government subsidies, tax breaks, and coercion. But on the other hand, he notes such policies are anti-human and will lead to great misery and chaos. His space business gets a lot of both government and private sector business, largely because NASA could not do the job and left the world reliant on Russian rockets. He seems to believe in having children, yet he has them with multiple women. But with his comments below,  he recognizes that we are destroying cheap, healthy, and dependable energy sources, seeking to replace that technology with new methods that are unproven and way behind the curve. He recognizes that environmentalism today puts a mythical “earth” above the needs of people, and thus is a secular religion that will likely kill a lot of people in the process. More ironic is that solar panels and windmills could not even be made without material and the energy created by fossil fuels. The “new energy” is completely dependent on the “old” energy it seeks to eliminate. But so is just about everything that provides our high standard of living almost totally dependent on fossil fuels. He seems to understand all this while our political leaders do not. Given his following, this is a good thing, even if we may disagree with some aspects of his business and personal life.

 

Tesla CEO Elon Musk spoke out about the need for more drilling and exploration of fossil-fuel resources for decades to come while addressing attendees at the ONS 2022 energy conference in Stavanger, Norway, on Monday.

“Realistically I think we need to use oil and gas in the short term, because otherwise civilization will crumble,” Musk told reporters at the conference.

When asked if Norway should continue to drill for oil and gas, Musk said, “I think some additional exploration is warranted at this time.”

“One of the biggest challenges the world has ever faced is the transition to sustainable energy and to a sustainable economy,” he said.

“That will take some decades to complete.”

Warning the conference participants who are quite aware of the world’s energy woes, especially in Europe, Musk stated, “We actually need more oil and gas, not less.” This is in line with the current concern that Europe’s energy issues will get much worse over the upcoming winter. There is also the risk of continued high gas prices and the fact that the power grid is being rendered more unstable in the United States by reliance on so-called sustainable energy.

The Blaze reported,

Musk’s theme of civilizational collapse as a response to a premature transition off of fossil fuels is taken up in scientist and policy analyst Vaclav Smil’s recent book “How the World Really Works.” Although Smil discusses the impact more broadly, he zeroes in on our food supply’s link to fossil fuels: “Our food supply — be it staple grains, clucking birds, favorite vegetables, or seafood praised for its nutritious quality — has become increasingly dependent on fossil fuels.”

Smil, like Musk, anticipates a transition, but does not think it can be rushed. “Even if we try to change the global food system as fast as is realistically conceivable, we will be eating transformed fossil fuels, be it as loaves of bread or as fishes, for decades to come.”

He is certain that the coming transition “will not be (it cannot be) a sudden abandonment of fossil carbon, nor even its rapid demise — but rather its gradual decline.”

Last week Musk, the electric-vehicle pioneer and disciple of renewable energy sources, tweeted, “Countries should be increasing nuclear power generation! It is insane from a national security standpoint & bad for the environment to shut them down.”

response to Elon’s tweet stated, “Nuclear is clean, efficient, and could replace fossil fuels entirely if it was embraced. It’s not, because so-called environmentalists aren’t pro-clean energy, they are anti-human.” Musk agreedposting, “Some are indeed sadly anti-human.”

Germany is suffering from the “anti-human” environmentalists’ effect on their nation’s green-energy goals. They have gone from 17 nuclear power plants to just three in an aggressive transition to wind and solar power, which has not worked. Germany still heavily relies on fossil fuels for more than 75 percent of the nation’s energy needs.

Musk’s comments come after California Governor Gavin Newsom’s California Air Resources Board voted to require all new vehicles in the state to run on electricity by 2035. California, the nation’s most populous state, is likely to suffer grave consequences from this massive government-forced regulation.

California’s “ground-breaking” effort to lead the nation and world with Zero Emission Vehicle goals can only lead the state into an economic abyss brought forth by renewable energy grand illusions. The infrastructure and technology required to even get the ball rolling toward being free of fossil fuels is at the very least decades away.

Joining California last week, the far-left Marxist states of Massachusetts and Washington also issued mandates requiring the purchase of electric vehicles. In what can only be pure nonsensical “green madness” lemming behavior, those states passed legislation in 2019 to follow whatever guidelines are enacted by the California Air Resources Board. Sadly, all of these states are falling victim to the policies of their hubris-infected, green-energy politicians.

Elon Musk’s warning that civilization will crumble could very well come to pass if the Democrat-supported leftist green-energy evangelists continue to impose their oppressive agenda. The Great Reset is in play, and the world as we know it is rapidly changing.  So, it is up to all of us to continue to challenge our leaders and keep them on a path away from the evils and falsehood of “sustainable” energy.

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This article was published by The New American and is reproduced with permission.

What Would Global Decarbonization Actually Cost?

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

As those who write frequently on climate policy issues, we are often asked, What will decarbonization cost?. Decarbonization is the term used to refer to effectively eliminate emissions of greenhouse gases, usually measured in terms of carbon dioxide equivalent, allegedly to stop human-caused global warming. In practical terms, that means ending use of hydrocarbons (oil, natural gas, and coal), and the energy services provided by them. According to the agreement reached at the United Nations COP25 conference in Paris in 2015, the goal is to achieve decarbonization by 2050.

Looking back less than 200 years, we had a decarbonized society with no coal-fired power plants, no natural gas power plants, and the Beverly Hillbillies had not yet discovered oil. Its easy to see how civilization has benefited from more than 250 leading-edge, hydrocarbon processing licensed refining technologies used by the more than 700 refineries worldwide that serve the demands of the eight billion people living on earth with more than 6,000 products made from the oil derivatives manufactured out of raw crude oil at refineries. None of these products were available to society before 1900.

This is all very silly to consider. A better question might be how much life on earth would be lost on the way to eliminating fossil fuels. Certainly, all medical facilities could not function without hundreds of critical products derived from petroleum. How long would the public be willing to put up with the life their ancestors left behind in the middle of the 19th century, think 1850?

Everyone would begin to look toward life in the poorest area where electric power and continuous clean running water are not available. Like we said the discussion is silly but as an intellectual exercise, we will pursue it in a series of articles in the next few weeks here at CFACT.org, your home for some of the most interesting scientific developments.

The short answer to the initial question is of course, Nobody knows.” And sensible people dont care knowing it is a pipe dream of the not-too-smart liberal, progressive, socialist, and communist communities. That lack of knowledge, nobody knows” is a rather astounding statement, in that 196 governments of the world agreed in principle that they will pursue an objective whose costs are completely unknown. Keep in mind their primary goal has never had much to do with climate or temperature but rather a way to destroy capitalism and create the communist world foreseen over a century ago in Russia’s Bolshevik Revolution.

There have been no engineering studies, no feasibility analyses, and no benefit/cost analyses to which one might refer. This, however, has not stopped several western countries from embracing the goal with religious fervor. That should be a tip-off to the impossibility, as religion and politics or business never mixTo come up with even a partial answer in this fictional world we will examine it as an intellectual exercise from different perspectives.

How much have the countries of the world spent so far on measures that are intended to reduce emissions by reducing energy consumption, encouraging substitution to low or zero emission fuels, or promoting the research and development of new emissions-free sources of energy? What have been the costs to consumers? These are relatively easy questions to answer.

Life Without Oil is NOT AS SIMPLE AS YOU MAY THINK as renewable energy is only intermittent electricity from breezes and sunshine as NEITHER wind turbines nor solar panels can manufacture anything for society. Being mandated to live without the products manufactured from crude oil will necessitate lifestyles being mandated back to the horse and buggy days of the 1800s and could be the greatest threat to civilizations eight billion residents.

What are the projected costs of future measures out to 2050, is it a little more difficult but still an amusing attempt at calculation? A simple way to address this hopeless effort of Decarbonization is to try and calculate the costs to eliminate each ton of carbon dioxide emissions.

We hope our efforts here and the next two weeks are an enjoyable read which can only end with an optimistic outlook.

What Complete Decarbonization Means

First things first. Let us establish what full decarbonization – the complete elimination of the use of oil, natural gas, and coal – would mean for life in the countries of the world better yet Life on Earth.

History offers the answers. Before 1800 the earth, our nation, and the world had no active carbon derivatives other than our bodies and animals, and plants all constructed of carbon by Mother Nature. Essentially none was used to enhance life other than allowing plant food to grow throughout the world and then increased dramatically by human agriculture.

The invention of the steam engine allowed coal to be used to power industrial plants, trains, and ships. The discovery of large oilfields and ways to produce from them in the late 19th century, followed by the invention of the internal combustion engine to power cars and trucks in the early part of the 20th century, revolutionized the way people and goods moved. The invention around the same time of electricity and of ways to transport and apply electricity for lighting and heating allowed the application of energy to hundreds of new uses, a process that goes on today. Energy made work easier and allowed a massive increase in economic activity (investment, employment, and trade) that improved living standards and expanded peoples choices of what to do and how to spend their time.

Today, about 84% of the energy used in the world comes from fossil fuels. The rest comes from a variety of sources, the most important of which are nuclear energy, hydroelectricity, and traditional biomass (wood and dried animal dung). New renewables, like wind and solar energy, account for about two per cent.

Oil and natural gas are also extremely important sources of feedstock (i.e., building materials) for petroleum and petrochemical products. Without them, we would not have access to hundreds of products that most people consider either essential or highly valuable for modern life. The examples are almost endless but allow us to cite a few that young people in the richer countries might miss if they were gone – televisions, cell phones, computers, most clothes and footwear, refrigerators, air conditioners, hand lotion and cosmetics, antiseptics, deodorant, purses, pantyhose, eyeglasses, luggage, and credit cards. There would be no plastic products to supply a huge range of things varying from water pipes to ice cube trays. Life as we know it would have much less variety.

Neither wind turbines nor solar panels can manufacture anything for society

What would ending oil consumption mean? Well, the largest energy-consuming sector is transportation, where oil-fueled vehicles and other modes of transport constitute about 97% of consumption.

Without fossil fuels Air Force One would be grounded along with all sections of the Military.

People like to hope that electric cars will catch on, but up to now, they constitute only 3% of new car sales, even with government subsidies of up to $7,500 per vehicle. Would we really be able to eliminate all internal combustion light duty vehicles regardless of cost? Would people be glad to go everywhere by foot, bicycle, or (if you were lucky) by bus at all times and in all weather conditions? The fastest growing source of transportation emissions is commercial trucks. Electric-powered trucks are barely on the horizon. How would we move products around if we eliminated the trucks? The most emissions-intensive mode of transportation is aviation. There simply are no technologies available or on the horizon that would fuel aircraft or marine vessels in the absence of oil products (unless marine shipping reverted to the use of sail). The long-distance transportation of freight and people would be severely limited, with resulting effects on global trade and tourism.

All the parts of vehicles, wind turbines, and solar panels are made with the oil derivatives manufactured from crude oil. Eliminating crude oil would eliminate vehicles, wind turbines, and solar panels

Everything we have said in Part 1 of this three-part series on the idiocy of decarbonizing the world would be intuitively obvious to the least knowledgeable among us. Do they ignore it, do they know its an exercise in futility and stupidity? How has this project actually become mainstream? We will explore this next week here at CFACT.org.

Note: Robert Lyman is an economist who served in the Canadian government for 38 years

Note: Ron Stein contributed to this article.

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The article was produced by CFACT, Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow and is reproduced with permission.

The West Might Lose The New Cold War With Its Self-Defeating Energy Policy

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

In today’s new Cold War, the West is losing its economic advantage because of its self-defeating energy policies to address ‘climate change.’

 

Three significant events this year indicate that we are already in a new Cold War. In early February, China and Russia established an unofficial strategic alliance by announcing “a friendship of no limits” while denouncing the Western democracies. Shortly after, Russia invaded Ukraine. After some initial hesitation and delays, the United States and its Western allies worked together to impose severe economic sanctions on Russia while providing Ukraine with military and humanitarian aid.

A new iron curtain has descended from the Baltic to the South China Sea. One side is a coalition of autocracies led by China and Russia, with illiberal regimes such as Iran and North Korea playing the supporting role. The other side we call the West, led by the United States, including liberal democracies in Europe, South Korea, and Japan. Will the West win this new Cold War?

The West claimed the victory of the last Cold War against Communism not only because of the superiority of liberal democratic values but also because of the economic strengths of the free market, which had created a higher standard of living and enormous wealth. It’s self-evident that freedom and prosperity go hand in hand. In contrast to the economic success of the West were widespread poverty and hunger in Communist countries. People in these countries either fled to the West or demanded political change at home through protests. It’s fair to say that the Berlin Wall fell, and the West won the Cold War, mainly because of its economic advantages over Communist regimes.

In today’s new Cold War, however, the West is losing its economic advantage because of its self-defeating energy policies driven by a cult-like devotion to addressing “climate change.” Aiming to slow down global warming (although our planet only warmed 1 degree Celsius since the late 19th century) and bring the greenhouse emissions back to the pre-industrial revolution level, liberal elites have decided to rapidly replace fossil fuels with renewable energy. They refuse to admit that despite many technological advancements, renewable energy is not reliable because the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow on demand. According to Lars Schernikau, an energy economist, “practically every windmill or solar panel requires either a backup or storage.”

The United States and Europe’s ill-advised energy policies have little effect on global warming or greenhouse gas emissions. Instead, they have made the West vulnerable in this new Cold War for three reasons.

1. The West Has Inflicted Economic Pain and Lower Standard of Living

The West’s anti-carbon energy policies resulted in energy shortages and high energy prices long before Russia invaded Ukraine. Since food security depends on energy, high energy prices led to food inflation and shortages. Higher prices of food and energy are the main drivers of rising inflation in Europe and the U.S. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine exacerbated these problems and crystallized how foolish the West’s energy policies are.

For the first time in decades, people in the West must embrace economic pain and a lower standard of living that was familiar to those of us who used to live in Communist countries. Today in Germany, people face a “cost of living crisis,” with shortages of necessities such as cooking oil, flour, and toilet paper. Some local authorities have already limited hot water and traffic lights. Others warned they might have to turn off floodlights in soccer stadiums to conserve energy, something unthinkable for a soccer-crazy nation. But it’s the coming winter that may be most dreadful. If Russia cuts off the natural gas supply, pundits in Germany predict an economic recession and “major civil disorder, a winter of cold showers and extra jumpers.”

Other European nations aren’t faring any better. The continent is on the verge of an energy-driven recession. Fed up with rising fuel prices and local governments’ insistence on their unrealistic “green” policies, Dutch farmers staged protests in the Netherlands. Now similar protests led by farmers have spread to Germany, Italy, Spain, and Poland.

Americans have been enduring economic pain too. A survey shows that rising gas and food prices have forced two-thirds of Americans to cut back on restaurants, movies, and entertainment, and to drive less. More than 4 in 10 Americans spent less on groceries. Some families have resorted to switching off lights and air conditioning due to the cost of energy. The survey also shows that the majority of Americans has a pessimistic outlook of our nation’s economy, expecting a recession.

The West cannot win the new Cold War when its green policies lead to economic suffering and political instability at home.

2. The West’s Energy Policies Have Empowered and Enriched Adversaries

Europe’s dependency on Russia’s oil and natural gas has enriched Russian President Vladimir Putin. Without money earned from energy exports to build his war chest, Putin probably would have had to think twice before he invaded Ukraine. After the European Union (EU) imposed economic sanctions on Russia after the invasion, Putin showed how he could use energy to retaliate. Russia reportedly reduced the flow of natural gas through Nord Stream (offshore natural gas pipelines run under the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany) to about 40 percent of its capacity in recent months. Then it shut down the pipelines for ten days in the name of annual maintenance, when Europe was in the middle of a heat wave. Putin eventually turned the pipelines back on but “warned of possible new capacity shortfalls because of Western sanctions.” French President Emmanuel Macron finally acknowledged that energy has become “a weapon of the war.”

Anticipating the coming winter heating season, the EU urged members to cut back natural gas consumption by at least 15 percent over the next eight months and start to ration energy usage, prioritizing “essential industries.” That means both businesses and homes should expect rolling blackouts, which I was used to when growing up in Communist China. The prospect of no heat in winter may force some EU nations to give up economic sanctions on Russia in exchange for energy. A divided Europe is a win for Putin. If the EU can’t maintain a united front on sanctioning Russia, Putin will win his war in Ukraine. The EU has no one else but itself to blame for this outcome because previous U.S. administrations warned about it for years. But leaders such as former German Chancellor Angela Merkel refused to listen.

While the EU’s green energy policies were enriching Putin’s Russia, in the U.S., the Democrats’ “green” energy has enriched Communist China. U.S. government subsidies for solar panels and electric vehicles have gone to China, since that country dominates the global supply chains of critical components and materials. A rich and powerful China has helped Russia mitigate the effects of Western economic sanctions by purchasing Russia’s agricultural and energy exports. Even more troublesome, China’s “clean” energy producers have been accused of causing environmental pollution and exploiting forced Uyghur laborers.

The West cannot win the new Cold War when it looks to adversaries for energy solutions.

3. The West Faces Difficulties Building a Broader Coalition

When the West led a United Nations resolution condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, 35 countries abstained or voted no. In another vote to expel Russia from the UN Human Rights Council, 58 countries abstained. Some of these “abstainers” are ideologically aligned with Russia. Others refused to join the West’s condemnation due to their economic needs. Their top concerns are food and energy security, not climate change. They are unconvinced that the West’s “green” energy policies worked when they see the once affluent West is now suffering economic pain and instability. They also witnessed how countries such as Sri Lanka collapsed economically and politically after adopting the West’s green policies. Unlike foolhardy climate alarmists in the West, leaders in these countries know that they need affordable fossil fuels, food, and fertilizer exports from Russia, and economic investment from China to keep their people happy and maintain stability. Driven by these practical economic reasons, many nations chose not to take sides. Not surprisingly, the West is having difficulty building a broader and stronger coalition against Russia.

The liberals in the West need to face the reality that not only does the world primarily run on fossil fuels, but energy has also become a powerful weapon in this new Cold War. The West cannot win this new Cold War with its self-defeating anti-carbon energy policies.

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This article was published by The Federalist and is reproduced with permission.

Here’s Why The Media Don’t Want You To Know About The Massive Protests Going On Around The Globe

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

Discontent with left-wing policy failures is triggering massive protests all over the world. Just don’t expect to read all about it in the New York Times.

If you skim the front pages of major corporate news outlets, you’ll find no mention of the economic protests raging in Spain, Morocco, Greece, and the United Kingdom.

On The Washington Post homepage these days, you’ll find headlines such as, “How To Deal With A Chatty Coworker Who Won’t Get Out Of Your Office,” but you won’t find mention of the more than 100,000 people protesting in Madrid. You’ll find the story of a gay union entitled, “What’s Two ‘Yentas’ Plus One Senator? A Lifetime Together” at The New York Times, but you won’t see a single heading on the more than 10,000 protesters in Athens. Corporate media has largely glossed over the tens of thousands of farmers in the Netherlands who clogged up roadways and distribution centers by holding Canadian-trucker-convoy-style demonstrations to protest radical climate policies.

According to the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, which records protests worldwide, 11 countries are currently seeing protests of more than 1,000 people in response to the rising cost of living and other economic woes in 2022. As of July 5, Carnegie had recorded protests of more than 120,000 people in France, 100,000 in Spain, 10,000 in Greece, 10,000 in Kazakhstan, 10,000 in Sri Lanka, 10,000 in India, 5,000 in Iran, 5,000 in Peru, 1,000 people in Argentina, 1,000 in Morocco, and 1,000 in the U.K.

Many French protesters took to the streets on May Day for salary increases and against President Emmanuel Macron’s increase in the retirement age. Fifty-four people were reportedly arrested in Paris after some demonstrations turned violent. France’s economy, Europe’s third-largest, shrank in the first quarter of 2022, and in June, inflation shot up 5.8 percent compared to last year. Protesters also held demonstrations in March, with some complaining they had lost 15 to 20 percent of their purchasing power. Meanwhile, France’s answer to inflation? Keep spending; the country is throwing $20.4 billion at the problem.

In Spain, with gas subsidies, direct grants, and an increase in the minimum wage, the socialist-leaning government has seen only rising inflation rates (10.2 percent), and the accompanying price hikes are driving thousands of people onto the streets to protest. The country is finding out the hard way what a 40 percent reliance on renewable energy will do to the labor market. With its high unemployment rate at 13.65 percent as of the first quarter of 2022, labor shortages are raising prices on staple grocery items to an almost 30-year high. Thousands of demonstrators protested in March for relief in the form of tax cuts.

Meanwhile, it’s no surprise that any supply issues, aggravated or initiated by the would burden Greece’s weakened economy that only just emerged from a decade-long crisis in 2018 to be sent right back by Covid shutdowns in 2020. In April, thousands gathered at a labor union-organized rally outside parliament in protest of inflation, which followed a February demonstration where about 10,000 people showed up to prove the Russia-Ukraine war, st electricity prices that had leaped 56 percent, fuel prices that had jumped 21.6 percent, and natural gas prices that had skyrocketed 156 percent in January.

In India, a country locked in a vicious cycle of going into debt to pay off the interest of former debts, the increasing cost of living is racking the country. In March, an estimated 50 million workers participated in a two-day strike to protest the loss of jobs and income, with communist groups organizing rallies in May decrying the high rate of inflation.

The socialist government in Argentina that led the country to default seven times and produced the largest decline in the relative standard of living in the world since 1900 is trying to do something new. On Monday, Argentina’s new economy minister Silvina Batakis announced her plan to cut the fiscal deficit — a proposal more than a thousand Argentines are protesting.

Decades of government spending and faulty economic policies have led to Argentina’s inflation rate growing to 58 percent. Prices are liquid and through the roof, with iPhones costing six months’ rent and a two-hour plane ticket equaling the cost of a month’s college tuition. Batakis plans to hold Argentina to the terms of a $44 billion debt deal it made earlier this year with the International Monetary Fund. Thousands of Argentines meanwhile flocked to protest against the economic hardships felt by the country upon cutting spending and took up banners crying for Argentina’s separation from the IMF.

The United Kingdom is suffering from a high 9.1 percent inflation rate as of May, and many are tired of the government’s response. Brits flocked out in February to protest rising costs of living, with demonstrations held in at least 25 towns and cities and signs reading, “tax the rich” and “freeze prices not the poor.” The U.K.’s inflation rate was already at 5.4 percent in January of this year due in part to the 2020 Covid shutdowns, but it has since almost doubled, largely due to the EU’s sanctions on Russian oil. In June, thousands marched down central London in protest, wanting the government to boost its welfare response.

Still reeling from the worst drought it has had in 40 years, Morocco is seeing price spikes on even the most basic goods. Thousands of Moroccans joined protests in February to decry the increasing cost of living, with unions staging more demonstrations in April. The country has high unemployment rates and large public debt, along with a heavy reliance on imports.

Aside from a scant headline here and there, America’s most popular news providers, The Washington Post, New York Times, CNN, and NBC, did not cover these protests, despite the French and Spanish protests being 10 to 100 times larger than the protests these corporate media giants did report.

None of these four major outlets wrote a single line on the protests of more than 100,000 demonstrators in Spain, more than 10,000 in Greece, more than 1,000 in Morocco, and more than 1,000 in the U.K. The New York Times published one lone article on the strike in India, where an estimated 50 million people walked off the job. The Washington Post has two small articles on the Argentinian protests of more than 1,000 as inflation appears set to hit 70 percent, and it has reported once on the May Day protests in France where more than 120,000 people protested government pension reforms. NBC mentioned the May Day protests once in a world report. This is the entire 2022 coverage by these media giants of these countries’ protests over economic turmoil.

Of these 11 countries, only four made any major headlines. The corporate press oftentimes only highlights these economic protests when they get so loud they can no longer be ignored, as we saw with Kazakhstan’s kill order to quell protests and the Sri Lankans’ attack on their president’s home. Over the weekend, the biased media finally began covering the Sri Lanka protests that are over 10,000 people strong — but only because footage of demonstrators swarming the president’s residence by the thousands on Saturday went viral.

Corporate media won’t talk about the rest of these protests because the countries are struggling from economically disastrous policies akin to President Joe Biden’s. Any show of economic turmoil in EU member states could be traced back to EU sanctions on Russia or green energy failures, which would fly in the face of the corporate media’s agenda. Many of these countries have inflationary monetary policies.

The leftist media will tell you about Sri Lanka, Kazakhstan, Iran, and Peru, however, but only to bolster its pro-Ukraine/anti-Russia narrative that denies the realities of war to promote Biden’s efforts to empty our pockets and replenish Ukraine’s.

In its treatment of the Kazakhstan protests, The Washington Post made sure to mention the country’s relationship with Russia. The Times’ articles on the Sri Lanka protests framed the economic downturns in terms of problems stemming from Russia’s invasion and ignored Sri Lanka’s Green Deal ban on chemical fertilizer that ultimately crashed its economy. Both CNN’s coverage of protests in Iran and NBC’s reports of those in Peru likewise stressed the Russia-Ukraine war as the cause for economic turmoil.

The media only highlight these world protests when they grow too big to ignore or when the facts can be skewed toward their preferring narratives. Cherry-picking which protests to highlight gives media cover to paint them as isolated incidents in non-Western countries instead of a worldwide trend showing the consequences of embracing left-wing policies. After all, Biden is making the same blunders in the United States, and corporate media can’t have Americans connecting those dots.

The U.S. labor market is in shambles. Inflation has skyrocketed to a 40-year high at 9.1 percent. The Biden administration is drawing down our emergency oil reserves, shipping it overseas to nations that can’t function on their “Green Energy” policies any more than we can. Irony alert: The oil will go through a European pipeline despite Biden citing climate conservation to shut down our own Keystone pipeline.

Discontent with these policy failures is triggering massive protests all over the world. Just don’t expect to read all about it in the New York Times.

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This article was published by The Federalist and is reproduced with permission.

Once Again, Senator Manchin Detonates Biden’s Agenda

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

Nero Incendiarius!” (“Nero, the arsonist”) Romans called their emperor after most of Rome burned to the ground in 64 AD. The rumor was that Nero wanted to burn down the city as inspiration for one of his poems — a myth started by Nero’s enemies. But most of Rome wanted Nero’s head on a spike.

You have to believe that Democrats are thinking the same thing about their Senate colleague, Joe Manchin of West Virginia.

Manchin has single-handedly — literally — set afire the radical, frighteningly expensive agenda of the president and far-left Democrats in Congress. That agenda included ruinous tax increases, massive changes to America’s energy policy, and other items on the radical left’s wish list to transform America. “Build Back Better” was a blueprint for disaster.

It’s been Manchin who has insisted on some kind of fiscal sanity. It’s been Manchin insisting the president’s climate policy include an “all of the above” promotion involving coal, oil, gas, and nuclear power as well as solar and wind energy generation.

Manchin’s vote is crucial given that Republicans are universally opposed to Build Back Better and Biden needs all 50 Senate Democrats to support it if the party wants to use reconciliation to pass it. He derailed the bill last December. He derailed it again when Biden tried to revive it in March.

And now Manchin has reduced Biden’s gargantuan $2 trillion Build Back Better bill to a measure that would extend Obamacare subsidies for two years and reduce drug prices by allowing Medicare to negotiate with Big Pharma.

Politico:

Sam Runyon, a spokesperson for Manchin, indicated the West Virginian has little concern for how his rejection might affect his party’s overall political prospects, should Democrats ultimately fail to accept the narrow terms he’s outlined.

“Political headlines are of no value to the millions of Americans struggling to afford groceries and gas,” said Sam Runyon, a spokesperson for Manchin. “Sen. Manchin believes it’s time for leaders to put political agendas aside, reevaluate and adjust to the economic realities the country faces to avoid taking steps that add fuel to the inflation fire.”

While radical Democrats prepare the tar and feathers, Manchin has quietly carried out his own personal anti-inflation war against his party. The West Virginian blew up the bill in December, citing inflation concerns. His argument hasn’t changed; Build Back Better is inflationary and raising taxes with the economy teetering on the edge of a recession is madness.

“All of our efforts should be: How do we reduce the gas prices, the high prices of energy, the high prices of food, all of these things: that’s every day living. And everyone’s talking about everything except though things,” Manchin said in an interview earlier this week. “Unless you can get your financial house in order, you’re not going to get inflation under control.”…..

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Continue reading this article at PJ Media.

The Left Is About To Pay For Their Energy Insanity

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

Most politicians and activists have strong views on every political issue. Those views grow from their fundamental political philosophies and beliefs. The best politicians know how to balance their political ideals with a keen watch on how they affect the lives of everyday Americans — those who voted them into office. Go too far with your ideological preferences in the face of evidence that it’s hurting the American people, and you will not go far in politics. The Democratic Party seems poised to take a beating for forgetting this fundamental maxim when it comes to energy and climate change. They feel so strongly about the issue that many have lost touch with reality. They have entered a sort of make-believe world. The coming election is going to bring them back to reality.

Republicans are not immune to ideological overstepping. Republicans in general believe in the private sector. They believe that free markets offer more benefits for society than government spending and mandates. The theory has proven correct far more than it hasn’t, but not always. When a so-called private sector line of business becomes so corrupt, so dominated by Washington political favoritism, and so mismanaged that it’s offering worse products and worse prices than government options, then even limited-government free market activists need to take notice. Those who don’t will pay a political price. The private student loan industry is a prime example. Created and supported by Republicans, it became so corrupt and so mismanaged that eventually, it was impossible to defend. The few who tried paid a political price.

On climate change, the Democrats face a similar dilemma, except with politically apocalyptic consequences. Student loans are important; they affect a lot of people. Energy is different; it affects everyone. Skyrocketing energy prices cause widespread economic disruption. In the extreme, they lead to starvation, heat stroke, freezing and death. It’s not a policy area you can get wrong. Yet American and global policymakers have deliberately done just that. The left’s energy policies make zero sense.

Clean energy is a worthy goal overshadowed by lofty expectations that outpace the pragmatism of working people. For large segments of the left, the climate change issue has become more like a religion than a policy debate. Pesky facts like technological limitations and costs are thrown aside in favor of magic. “Ban fossil fuels and utopia will follow” is essentially the mindset. (RELATED: Democrats Look To Sustainable Investing Craze As Means For Pushing Climate Agenda).

In the real world, you have to take into account technological limitations, costs, and other trade-offs. Transitioning energy production too fast can cause real present-day harm. The rich can afford to ignore high prices, slower economic growth, and a reduction in national security. 

President Joe Biden campaigned on “getting rid of” fossil fuels. If there were economically efficient alternatives that would allow this to happen without slamming American families and harming America’s national security, that would be a less radical thing to say. Those things do not exist at scale today.

America became energy independent during the Trump years. This energy independence brought huge advantages. First, America’s fracking boom and the massive expansion of natural gas production that came with it lowered carbon emissions more than any regulation. Second, American energy independence changed the national security dynamic with respect to huge energy-exporting countries in the Middle East and Russia. Finally, the lower energy prices that followed led to massive economic and manufacturing growth. Many dormant small towns in America literally came alive as a result.

Throwing all this away without an adequate and, importantly, cheaper alternative in place is almost unimaginable from a policy perspective, but that’s exactly what happened. By promoting so-called Environmental, Social and Governance, or ESG, investment standards to choke off fossil fuel investments, by canceling pipelines, and by limiting federal oil and gas leasing, the left has reduced American energy production and left America vulnerable to the rest of the world. All this has come with very little emissions benefit to boot. It has just enabled Russia, Saudi Arabia, and others to displace American fossil fuel production with their own foreign fossil fuel production. The result? From Biden’s inauguration to the onset of the war in Ukraine — before the much-discussed “Putin price hike,” in other words — American gas prices went up nearly 50%. Those prices are up another 15% on top of that since the war began.

There have been huge technological strides in solar, wind and other renewable power sources, but primarily due to their intermittent nature and a still-huge gap in energy storage (battery) technology, those forms of energy are not yet ready to make up for lost fossil fuel production without massive extra cost. (RELATED: ANALYSIS: White House Keeps Misleading Public On Oil, Gas Leasing. Here Are The Facts)

Giving away a huge economic and national security advantage is political malpractice. Slowing American energy production while begging the Saudis to increase their own fossil fuel production, as Biden is doing this week, is a botch so foreseeable it should be disqualifying for future leadership. Energy policy under the Biden administration has been insane. With prices booming, everyone now knows it. Those who got us in this mess should prepare to pay a massive political price.

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This article was published in Daily Caller was republished with permission.

Leave the Gas Station Owners Out of It

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

Over the Independence Day weekend, the Biden Administration shifted its blame for rising prices, and specifically rising prices of gasoline, from Vladimir Putin to gasoline retailers. On Saturday, July 2nd at noon, President Biden’s Twitter account inveighed:

My message to the companies running gas stations and setting prices at the pump is simple: this is a time of war and global peril. Bring down the price you are charging at the pump to reflect the cost you’re paying for the product. And do it now.

On July 1, 2022,  the average price of gasoline in the United States was $5.34 per gallon. That’s down from the high of $5.47 per gallon hit two weeks ago, but still a historically elevated level.  On the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYME), gasoline futures prices are up 57% in 2022. Diesel recently topped $5.75 per gallon and now sits at $5.73 per gallon, its highest price in decades.

The largest factor input for both gasoline and diesel is the price of oil, which has eased back some over the last month. The major reason for the price declines in both oil and products derived from oil are a mounting accumulation of economic data suggesting that an anticipated recession may already be here. (The first calculation of the second quarter US GDP number will be released on July 28th.) But even despite the recent price declines, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) remains up over 37 percent in 2022, Brent Crude up 38 percent.

Both misinformation and disinformation are essential skills in politics, but under the pressure of rising inflation and slowing economic growth the current administration has expanded the practice to new frontiers. The tweet, which was undoubtedly not written by the President but to which he has lent his name, begins with a salvo directed at “the companies running gas stations.”

In fact, of an estimated 145,000 fueling stations across the United States, less than 5 percent (7250) are owned by refiners who would be, as the President says, “setting prices.” But even that small number of gas stations are not ultimately setting the price of gasoline. The prices first derived on world oil markets, a major contributor to which are decisions of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), is the major factor.

Further, more than 60 percent of retail stations are establishments singularly owned by a family or an individual. And while the number has undoubtedly changed over the last decade, 2013 Census data reported that 61 percent of those stations are owned by immigrants. Thus the Democratic administration that rails daily against billionaires and “big companies” has taken direct aim at ‘mom & pop’ stores, in so doing assaulting the newest arrivals to the United States, upon whom it is clear the left and much of the Democratic Party stake their political future.

As for the present time being one of “war and global peril,” how tied the interests of the United States are to either of the combatants in southeastern Europe is a matter of opinion. If indeed peril is to be avoided, adopting a far more neutral stance than that which has tens of billions of taxpayer dollars and lethal weapons being sent 5000 miles would be a wiser approach.

But it is by admonishing gas station owners to lower their prices that what is deep-seated ignorance, profound dishonesty, or both are exposed.

In fact, even at the current prices, most gas stations earn a pittance from, or actually lose money, selling gasoline alone. According to IBISWorld, whereas the average US business has a profit margin of just under 8 percent (7.7 percent), the average gas station scrapes by at less than a quarter of that: 1.4 percent. At $5.34 per gallon, the average national price of gasoline over the Independence Day weekend, a 1.7 percent profit would come to $0.09 cents a gallon.

The Hustle estimates that after overhead (labor, utilities, insurance, credit card transaction fees, and so on), a gas station owner receives on the order of five to seven cents per gallon. Even selling a few thousand gallons of gasoline per day would only generate a few hundred dollars free and clear to the owner. Franchise City estimates that $50 spent at the gas pump goes

$30.75 to the oil company, $7.00 to refineries, $4.00 to the delivery company, $1.25 on processing and transaction fees, and finally right at the end of the chain you get $1.00. And that number can and does change, sometimes even lower, most owners suggesting an average [profit] of 1 to 3 cents net per gallon.

Meanwhile, the Federal gasoline tax of $0.18 cents per gallon yields a riskless, unearned fee to Washington of 3.4 percent per gallon. That’s twice what risk-bearing entrepreneurs, most of whom are small business owners and a sizable portion of whom are immigrants, are receiving. And this doesn’t take into account state gasoline taxes, the highest five of which are found in Pennsylvania ($0.57 per gallon), California ($0.51 per gallon), Washington ($0.49 per gallon), New Jersey ($0.42 per gallon), and Illinois ($0.39 cents per gallon).

And none of this takes into account other costs and headaches which accompany gas retailing. Miniscule profits come with the costs and recordkeeping associated with environmental regulations at the local, state, and federal levels. Competition tends to be fierce, with numerous locations clustering at high-volume transportation junctions. The price sensitivity of many drivers is active at differences of as little as one cent. Many stations operate 24/7 to maximize revenue. And for those which operate as franchises, in return for name recognition and some volume discounts the associated fees can be enormous. (Not only do franchisees have to pay fees to the parent company, they also have to price their product in accordance with national promotions, which can undercut profitability.)

The awful business economics of gas station ownership is, in fact, why large oil firms and refiners are not interested in it. And it is why they’ve reduced their exposure to the consumer-facing end of the energy sector over several decades. Unsurprisingly it is lousy financial prospects that have pushed fueling stations into retailing food, drinks, cigarettes, toiletries, and a wide variety of other goods travelers may want or need. All of those goods have appreciably higher profit margins than retail gasoline sales, and for many independent, single owner-operated service stations are the key to their very survival.

So why do so many immigrants choose a business with seemingly dismal financial prospects? Trisha Gopal explored that question in Eater a bit over a year ago; kindly remain mindful of Biden’s July 2nd tweet while reading her explanation:

As I speak to each owner, I realize the choice of a gas station is always a utilitarian one. When I ask her why they chose a gas station, Angelina Rizo gives me two answers. The first is one I hear from every restaurant owner I speak to: People need gasoline, so as long as people are driving, the more likely they are to have customers, and the more likely those customers will need something to eat. It’s an explanation rooted in the same immigrant mentality I’ve seen and heard my entire life: Look for opportunities, stay on your toes, and always find a way to be useful. When we wonder why immigrants are so entrepreneurial, it’s because so many of us are taught to first look to see where we are needed, and then, once we are there, go beyond.

There is a darker component to Biden’s redirection of blame as well. It is ironic that an administration built upon an ideological commitment to political correctness and the notion that words should be selected with surgical precision would message this clumsily. Gas station owners, a business community overrepresented by new immigrants to the United States, have frequently been targets of racist and xenophobic ire. Saddling them with blame for a particularly damaging aspect of the ongoing inflation increase is, beyond wildly inaccurate, irresponsible, and morally unconscionable.

No one expects government officials, especially career politicians, to understand any of this. Neither have they any incentives to take real economic, financial, and business details into their static, oversimplified missives. The image of gas station proprietors as richly-compensated corporate executives at the helm of multinational corporations earning is one the Biden Administration has a vested interest in promoting. And there is no better measure of a political body out of ideas than an increasingly frenzied leap from scapegoat to scapegoat.

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This article was published by AIER, American Institute for Economic Research, and is reproduced with permission.

Biden Administration Looks To Halt Offshore Drilling In Atlantic, Pacific Amid Energy Crisis

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Biden administration announced a five-year plan Friday that prevents new offshore oil drilling projects in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

The proposed plan will give the administration the ability to hold no new lease sales at all, according to the Interior Department. The plan could allow a maximum of 11 oil lease sales for offshore drilling, ten in the Gulf of Mexico and one in the Cook Inlet off of the south-central Alaska coast over the course of the next five years. (RELATED: Biden Admin Considers Banning All Offshore Drilling As Energy Crisis Worsens: REPORT)

“A Proposed Program is not a decision to issue specific leases or to authorize any drilling or development,” said Department of the Interior (DOI) Secretary Deb Haaland.

“From Day One, President Biden and I have made clear our commitment to transition to a clean energy economy,” she continued.

The proposal comes amid rising gas prices and inflation and calls for increasing oil production as well as President Joe Biden’s commitment to tackling climate change. Biden also vowed to ban offshore fossil fuel drilling during his campaign.

Any new offshore leases are unlikely to have a short-term impact on fuel prices as it often takes years after a sale is completed for companies to begin drilling.

The announced plan is part of the federally required process to implement a new five-year plan for offshore oil drilling. The DOI last held an offshore oil and gas auction in November, located in the Gulf of Mexico; however, a court order later stopped the sale on the grounds that the administration had failed to properly account for its impact on the climate.

The DOI intends to open this matter to public comment and may reduce the areas they open up for new drilling based on the public’s reaction.

The White House did not immediately respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment. The DOI referred TheDCNF to its statement issued at the time of the decision.

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This article was published by the Daily Caller News Foundation and is reproduced with permission.