Biden’s energy & climate incompetence on full display

Guest essay by Larry Hamlin

On his very first day in office Biden killed the TC Energy Keystone pipeline project as reported upon by the Wall Street Journal thereby demonstrating his and the Democratic Party’s colossal incompetence and ignorance of energy and climate realities at home and abroad.

His idiotic decision to revoke the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline was noted by the WSJ article as being “a slap at Canada” demonstrating that under his administration “investors that play by U.S. rules” will be subject to arbitrary political whims that represent nothing but Democrats pushing climate alarmism hype in the name of “fighting climate change” with these schemes always being irrelevant to the continuing global CO2 emissions upward climb driven exclusively by the world’s developing nations led by China and India.  

As addressed in the Wall Street Journal article the Keystone pipeline project would have provided for moving up to 830,000 barrels of crude oil per day from Alberta oil sands to U.S. refineries on the Gulf Coast. This long environmentally reviewed project has no material impact on greenhouse gas emissions since this crude will still be extracted in any event whether for U.S. benefit or benefit to other global purchasers that are adversarial to U.S. energy interests.

Shipping this crude using rail or tanker would increase CO2 transportation emissions by between 28% to 42% and with higher leak likelihood. Killing Keystone will strand billions of dollars in Canadian investment alienating a key ally and kill thousands of U.S. jobs including 10,000 American union construction jobs, steel pipe made in the U.S., a 10 million Green Job Training Fund, $500 million for indigenous suppliers and jobs and 100% renewable power to operate the pipeline.

This absurd purely political hand waving action by Biden clearly signals that his administration intends to promote economically damaging energy and climate actions driven completely by irrational claims based upon scientifically unsupported “climate emergency” propaganda. 

Unaddressed by Biden and the Democratic Party in pursuing politically motivated and unjustified energy and climate schemes such as killing the Keystone pipeline project is any discussion of these schemes actual data regarding energy use and emissions impacts that when revealed demonstrates such actions as being climate irrelevant as is clearly addressed in the WSJ article regarding the Keystone project.

British Petroleum’s extensively detailed year 2020 Statistical Review of World Energy report provides both summaries and Excel spreadsheets presenting energy and emissions data covering the period 1965 through 2019 addressing all global countries use of fuels by year including oil, natural gas, coal, nuclear, hydro and renewables in addition to annual emissions of CO2.

One of the most important aspects about detailed evaluations of global energy and emissions data is that such analyses provide insights regarding climate impacts that are unequivocally clear in defining how the world is using energy and how that use is related to climate emissions outcomes. Reviewers of this data don’t have to struggle with differing scientific views about how climate models are developed and utilized, what assumptions are in play or how to interpret the results. The data clearly shows what countries are using what types of energy and what are the resulting climate related emissions. 

The summary table presented below (the reports Excel spreadsheets are much more detailed) from the BP report shows global CO2 emissions by year and country covering the years 2009 through 2019 that identifies which countries are causing the majority of global CO2 emissions as a result of their energy use.

This BP data clearly establishes that the world’s developing nations led by China and India are responsible for and dominate global CO2 emissions with 65% of total global CO2 emissions contributed solely by these nations. This unequivocally clear outcome is concealed by Biden and the Democratic Party.

Most significantly the BP energy and emissions data shows that for more than a decade the U.S. has been leading the world in reducing CO2 emissions more than any other nation with reductions of over 15% since its peak emissions year of 2007 amounting to about 1 billion metric tons of CO2 decreases per year with further reductions yet to come if increased use of natural gas is allowed to continue. 

This huge emissions decrease was achieved by using increased amounts of lower cost natural gas obtained through fracking technology and using this gas to replace much higher emission coal fuel power plants with very high efficiency and lower emissions combined cycle gas turbine power plants. During this period the U.S. decreased use of coal fuel by about 50% and increased use of natural gas by about 36% achieving significantly reduced emissions and lower energy costs with these extraordinary results concealed by Biden, the Democratic Party and their propaganda mainstream media manipulators.

While the U.S. was leading this more than decade long global CO2 emissions reductions effort the BP data reveals that the world’s developing nations (which have all signed the Paris Climate Agreement) led by China and India were hugely increasing use of coal fueled power plants and increasing global CO2 emissions by over 5.7 billion metric tons of CO2 per year an amount that greatly exceeds total U.S. CO2 annual emissions. 

The BP data establishes that the developing nations have dominated global CO2 emissions for 15 years now and as of 2019 they completely control and are accountable for 65% of all global CO2 emissions up from 53% since they first reached dominance in global CO2 emissions outcome levels. 

The developed nations including the EU and U.S. can do nothing to prevent the continuing increase in global CO2 emissions by the world’s developing nations that already dominate global energy use and emissions. These nations have no commitments toward emissions reductions under the Paris Climate Agreement in the coming decade. 

Biden and the Democratic Party are hiding the fact that their proposed energy and climate policies are allowing the world’s developing nations to further increase their peak levels of CO2 emissions each year over the coming decade and at the same time dishonestly concealing the fact that the U.S. and EU reached their peak CO2 levels a decade or more ago and have since then been consistently reducing total CO2 emissions levels. But most significantly these past and future emissions reductions by the developed nations are being hugely overwhelmed by emission increases from the developing nations because their globally dominating energy needs and resulting emissions can only be met using coal and other fossil fuels.     

China has been increasing its production of coal fuel since it signed the Paris Climate Agreement with these increases now amounting to over 12 percent of year 2016 levels (the first year the Paris Agreement was in effect) with year 2019 production levels now at about 3.9 billion tons which is the highest coal production in the world that dominates the coal production of the entire Asia Pacific region.

The BP data exposes that China’s year 2019 total energy use relied upon fossil fuels to provide more than 85% of its total energy needs. China’s use of solar and wind energy amounted to only about 4 % of its total year 2019 total energy consumption compared to China’s use of fossil fuels to meet its energy needs with 57% from coal, 20% from oil and 8% from natural gas. The U.S. in 2019 relied upon coal fuel for only 12% of its total energy needs with that number declining in the future while 6.5% of the U.S. total energy needs in 2019 were met by renewables.

The Democratic Party falsely champions China as a leader of renewable energy use and emissions reductions particularly here in California while concealing from the American public the huge benefits in CO2 emissions reductions and lower energy costs that the U.S. has achieved through use of lower cost high efficiency natural gas obtained through fracking.

Instead of further enhancing this successful progress which benefits energy consumers and the economy while reducing CO2 emissions Biden and the Democratic Party are concealing these outcomes and committed to destroying this success with incompetent mandates for increased use of high cost unreliable renewables with these mandates completely ineffective at being able to stop the ever upward increasing global CO2 emissions levels driven solely by the world’s developing nations while hugely increasing U.S. future energy costs and degrading energy reliability.

In January 2021 China revealed that it is continuing to further increase both production and import of new coal to meet future energy consumption needs. These developments are of course concealed and ignored by Biden and the Democrats.

The Democrats also falsely promote Germany as an example of the success in increasing use of renewable energy but conceal the huge problems that Germany is now facing with high energy costs and poor electric grid reliability that have been caused by excessive reliance upon costly and unreliable renewables. Germany has spent more than 1 trillion Euros in mandating this change with renewables now accounting for about 40% of its electricity energy. 

Germany has the highest electricity rates in the EU with average electricity costs about 3 times higher than average electricity rates here in the U.S.

Germany’s Economics Minister Peter Altmaier presented a draft proposal planning for the rationing electricity in order to avoid blackouts because of poor grid reliability caused by excessive use of non-dispatchable renewables. The plan includes requiring customers that have more controllable loads to shut down power for 2 hours each day so blackouts can be avoided. 

Despite this decades long and costly trillion Euro government mandated renewable program Germany still relied on fossil fuels for meeting about 77% of its year 2019 total energy needs. Germanys CO2 reductions in the last decade amount to only about 125 million metric tons per year.

While Biden and the Democratic Party are trying to destroy the huge benefits of increased use of high efficiency low cost natural gas that the U.S. has achieved other nations are moving forward with efforts to increase their access and use of natural gas in the future including both Germany and India.

During the last decade the world’s developed nations including the EU and U.S. have reduced global CO2 emissions by about 1.6 billion metric tons per year while the developing nations increased global CO2 emissions by about 5.7 billion metric tons. 

All global CO2 emissions increases during the last decade are accounted for solely by the world’s developing nations led by China and India with all these nations having signed the Paris Climate Agreement which imposes no emissions reductions commitments on the world’s developing nations during the next decade. China’s annual CO2 emissions are now twice those of the U.S. and will continue to climb ever upward.

Biden is leading the U.S. down a disastrous energy and economic path through the Democratic Party’s bizarre climate alarmist politics that clearly demonstrate their incompetence and ignorance of global energy and climate realities. Biden is attempting to destroy the huge benefits of increased use of natural gas that were achieved over the last decade while other nations of the world are taking actions to increase their access to this lower cost high efficiency beneficial energy resource.

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January 29, 2021 at 08:18AM

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