by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Harnessing the United State’s abundant natural resources has provided the public with reliable and affordable energy for decades while also helping make us the most prosperous nation in the world. But this stability is now threatened by a green agenda that aims to stop the production of fossil fuels altogether and forcibly replace them with the Left’s preferred “clean” alternatives.
The result of this agenda, which is being executed by President Joe Biden’s administration through regulations, federal subsidies, and executive orders, is uncertainty in America’s energy future. Though we are pumping more crude oil than ever before, oil and gas companies cannot be confident that their drilling permits or pipeline projects will not be blocked for ideological reasons. Nuclear facilities, which generate clean and uninterrupted electricity for about 20% of the country, are unsure whether they’ll be allowed to keep operating as the Nuclear Regulatory Commission weighs whether to extend their licenses. Even those parts of the country that have embraced greener forms of energy, such as wind and solar, have acknowledged that frequent blackouts are a possibility as they attempt to make an energy transition for which they are not prepared.
One of the most tangible costs of this uncertainty is higher energy prices both at home and abroad. In 2022, energy prices increased by 10.7% for domestic consumers — the sharpest inflation registered since the beginning of the century. And the costs will undoubtedly continue to climb if Biden succeeds in compelling power plants to install expensive carbon capture technology.
Abroad, OPEC and our adversaries who pump oil cheaply and not nearly as cleanly continue to try and push oil prices higher by cutting production, knowing full well that the Biden administration’s policies will eventually leave us at their mercy.