At the G20 conference this month, President Biden stated that “the only existential threat humanity faces even more frightening than a – than a nuclear war is global warming going above 1.5 degrees in the next 20 – 10 years. We’re – that’d be real trouble.”
This isn’t the first time President Biden has made this concerning comparison. However, the “real trouble” is the Biden Administration’s commitment to using this apocalyptic narrative to justify its ongoing war on American energy, which jeopardizes our national security.
Cries of “existential threat” work to drown out dissenting voices, as these prophets of doom are beset by contradictions – both in their extreme premise and radical policy prescriptions. Take President Biden’s warning that, somewhere in the 10- to 20-year range, the world will be set to be obliterated in a manner worse than nuclear war. He followed with an assertion that those who don’t see “the light” on global warming are “lying, dog-faced pony soldiers.”
Yet, despite pushing a rapid end to fossil fuels based on this narrative, President Biden himself acknowledged in February that America will “need oil for at least another decade … and beyond that.” Even the head of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, famous for its dire predictions, has admitted that “the world won’t end if it warms by more than 1.5 degrees.”
However, “emergency” remains a convenient way to justify expansion of government control and policies that fail cost-benefit analysis. Unfortunately, climate myopia has produced policies so ill-considered that they fail to pass muster even if one fully accepts the apocalyptic premise. It is no wonder that former Biden Administration climate advisor Gina McCarthy hoped that tech companies would “jump in” to stifle all debate, decrying criticism of climate change policy prescriptions as “equally dangerous to denial because we have to move fast.”
Take electric vehicles. Not content with limiting consumer choice with massive taxpayer subsidies and job-killing de facto EV mandates for civilians, the Biden Administration continues to push electrification for the US military. This follows President Biden’s pledge that the US will spend “billions of dollars” to ensure “every vehicle in the United States military” is “climate-friendly.” Meanwhile, the US Energy Secretary recently faced charging issues on a short trip in an EV from Charlotte to Memphis.
Instead of prioritizing military readiness or market-driven innovation, billions of dollars fall into politically connected pockets as American families face inflation and increasing regulatory intrusions into their daily lives. Unfortunately, these intrusions now range from cars to water heaters – all while policies consistently fail to meet climate goals. One would laugh at the absurdity if our futures weren’t at stake.
Or take energy leasing. Earlier this month, the Biden Administration announced the cancellation of all remaining oil and gas leases issued in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and moved to ban any new oil drilling on 10.6 million acres of the National Petroleum Reserve. This comes as Russia pursues ambitious plans for drilling in the Arctic and OPEC+ promises production cuts.
Now a barrel of oil heads toward $100, and Americans face gas prices nearing $4. And with policies discouraging US production, America is ill-positioned to respond. Today, our Nation remains well below projected production had it retained the last administration’s pro-energy policies. As prices rise and Putin lines his pockets, Americans and our allies are deprived of the economic benefits of American energy.
Further, the Biden Administration’s promised transition to EVs and mineral-heavy renewables is pushing the US into further dependence on Chinese-dominated supply chains and accompanying human rights and environmental abuses. China’s greenhouse gas emissions exceed the developed world combined and continue to rise.
Instead of real environmental progress, much less stopping the promised apocalypse, the war on American energy is driving reliance on foreign nations that refuse to adopt our commitment to self-inflicted energy wounds.
We must end the war on American energy and make best use of our nation’s vast resources. We must enable all energy sources to compete on a level playing field, allowing the market to drive innovation. We have the blueprint for success: the pro-growth policies of the last administration built on the technological advances of the shale revolution, which made the US a net energy exporter while leading the world in carbon emission reductions.
Abundant, affordable American energy can power a prosperous future, drive innovation and environmental progress, bolster our national security, and strengthen our allies. It’s time to ditch the apocalyptic posturing and embrace American energy as foundational to a brighter, more secure future for generations to come.
Carla Sands is Vice Chair of the Center for Energy & Environment at the America First Policy Institute. She previously served as US Ambassador to the Kingdom of Denmark