President Joe Biden is willing to throw away America’s energy independence to chase an unattainable goal of having 100 percent renewable energy sources powering the country, according to a group of self-described “climate realists” who say the science doesn’t match the rhetoric.
“The week Biden was inaugurated was the first week since 1985 the U.S. did not import one barrel of oil from Saudi Arabia,” said Gregory Wrightstone, executive director of the CO2 Coalition.
Wrightstone, a geologist by training, took part in a webinar hosted by The Heartland Institute in advance of the White House’s Global Climate Summit during which the administration negotiated climate deals with some of the planet’s most egregious greenhouse gas emitters.
Those agreements, though, won’t be worth the paper on which they’re printed, said the experts.
The White House hosted a climate summit with more than three dozen world leaders, including some of the world’s biggest polluters. Biden committed to spending the next decade cutting U.S. emissions to at least half of their 2005 levels. China said it would “strive to peak carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060.”
On coal consumption, President Xi Jinping said China might “phase it down” during its 15th Five Year Plan, which runs from 2025 through 2030. He also said his country, which is responsible for nearly one-third of the world’s emissions, would strictly control coal power projects in the years ahead.
Myron Ebell, director of the Center for Energy and Environment at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, scoffed at China’s pledge to reduce emissions, noting the country continues building coal-fired power plants “at a very fast clip” as does India.
He noted that China’s emissions have been soaring since the 1970s and are now larger than the U.S. and Europe combined.
“China and India are pursuing realistic policies to benefit their people, which is odd for a communist country,” Ebell said. “Whereas the American republic is going to embark on a course of energy poverty and economic devastation.”
The trade association representing U.S. coal interests pointed out the additions China is making to its coal fleet are already larger than coal operations in the U.S.
“As things stand right now, China will be able to increase its emissions over the next 10 years while the U.S. cuts its emissions by half,” said one energy insider. “That will harm the ability of the U.S. to compete with China.”
Meanwhile, experts say Biden’s emissions commitment is not grounded in scientific reality.
“That’s not an attainable goal,” said Heartland Institute president James Taylor. “Politicians today can make all these commitments and pledges and speeches to curry favor with their base knowing full-well their successors in office will never be able to meet them.”
Since taking control of Congress and the White House, Democrats have pushed for aggressive action on climate change that includes shutting down so-called dirty energy sources. Coal production and coal-fired power plants were the victims of environmental policies under the Obama administration.
Proponents of natural gas bankrolled activists to push for shutting down coal plants, despite being warned they would be the next targets for campaigns to reducing emission, Taylor said. Indeed, New York and other states have been looking at policies or speaking out in favor of lawsuits to shut down natural gas pipelines.
As the Biden administration and congressional Democrats advocate for more aggressive climate actions, authority over large swaths of the economy appear to be coalescing under Gina McCarthy, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency administrator under Obama and Biden’s National Climate Advisor.
McCarthy was reported to be responsible for the climate components of the White House’s $2 trillion infrastructure bill that Republicans have heavily criticized for barely focusing on infrastructure with less 6 percent of the measure would be spend on bridges, highways, and roads.
Ebell said the rush of executive orders signed by Biden in his first weeks in the White House puts McCarthy essentially in charge of the American economy. Biden’s infrastructure proposal contains a mandate requiring all electricity in the U.S. to be 100 percent carbon-free by 2035.
“Officials are told they must report to McCarthy,” Ebell said, adding she has been “smug” in interviews regarding her authority.
Tied in with McCarthy’s role are the efforts by congressional Democrats to bring back legislation enacting the Green New Deal.
In 2019, the chief of staff to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez admitted the real goal of the measure was to reform the “entire economy.” During a meeting with Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee’s climate director, chief of staff Saikat Chakrabarti said, “The interesting thing about the Green New Deal, is it wasn’t originally a climate thing at all.”
Biden’s infrastructure plan is an extension of Democrats’ plan to control the economy, said JunkScience.com Founder Steve Milloy.
“It’s not about the environment,” he said. “They are about political power, and everything is geared toward that. That’s what Biden’s infrastructure plan is all about – it’s really a campaign contribution to Democrats that will be spent over the next four elections to maintain their increased political power.”