It appears that consumers are finally beginning to realize that the Democrats’ war on fossil fuels is a war they can’t afford to win.
This war began in earnest during the Obama administration when he promised to shut down the coal industry, which is still a predominant fuel source for much of America and the world. (Even “green” Europe is now going back to coal!)
America enjoyed a brief interlude from the war on fossil fuels, courtesy of the Trump administration, which achieved both energy independence and a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Go figure, but I digress. The ongoing war on oil and gas then achieved warp speed the first day President Joe Biden took office.
Consumers now know for certain, thanks to President Biden being more truthful than he intended to be, that the only means to force the transition to alternative energy sources is to make all fossil fuels unaffordable and unavailable. Opponents of fossil fuels consider unaffordable gasoline to be a success, despite the across-the-board impacts and the obvious gap in their plans to have an affordable and reliable alternative source of energy at our beck and command. That is, the technology today doesn’t exist to replace all gas stations with charging stations. Neither does the grid have enough power nor distributive capacity to charge electric vehicles at home from existing continuously reliable sources, let alone intermittent wind and solar sources.
The war on fossil fuels is a total war against all aspects of financing, exploration, transport, production, refining and all forms of use. The industry is thereby daunted and stalled by way of regulatory fiats and uncertainties in making vital and timely investments, meaning there is going to be even more hell to pay in days and decades to come.
Regarding finance, the left is pressuring and cajoling Wall Street to boycott and divest from fossil fuels, thereby robbing the industry of the money it needs to keep investing, developing and producing assets.
With respect to exploration, Presidents Barack Obama and Biden have shut off areas for exploration and production, including massive resources in Alaska and on federal lands. Moreover, they shut down the Keystone XL pipeline, which would have brought another 700,000 barrels a day into our energy portfolio.
The obstacles to transport are myriad. For instance, San Luis Obispo County prohibited delivery of oil by rail to the Nipomo refinery that needed this throughput for economies of scale. It is now permanently closing. ExxonMobil was forced to file a lawsuit against Santa Barbara County supervisors because they refused to allow the company to truck oil while a pipeline that ruptured, some six years ago (through no fault of Exxon’s), runs through a forbidding and never-ending permit process to rebuild.
In addition to eliminating our use of coal, the lefties in the Pacific Northwest ensured we could not build the ports needed to export coal either.
Finally, there is the ability and wherewithal to produce and use the more than 6,000 finished products and derivatives of fossil fuels.
California itself initiated an emission credit auction that requires manufacturers and refineries to bid on credits to use fuel in their processes. Each subsequent auction includes fewer and fewer credits available for purchase. Hence, the cost to produce goes up every year.
Moreover, California is also shutting down so-called natural gas “peaker plants” that create additional energy supplies during peak electricity-demand periods.
Gov. Gavin Newsom has also unilaterally declared California will cease selling new cars and trucks that run on fossil fuels. And local jurisdictions are banning natural gas hookups for stoves, cooktops and water heaters in new construction. Meanwhile, California Attorney General Rob Bonta is suing oil companies for manufacturing plastic over dubious claims having to do with its life cycle in landfills.
These actions portend nothing less than economic suicide.
Andy Caldwell is the COLAB executive director and host of “The Andy Caldwell Show,” airing 3 to 5 p.m. weekdays on KZSB AM 1290, the News-Press radio station.