Ever since the world began slowly reopening from pandemic lockdowns, climate activists have been calling for a “green” rebuilding of our economies. They would like to dramatically change the way we live in order to reduce carbon emissions. But ironically, these very policies have placed us in the situation we’re now in: turning to coal to solve our energy problems.
Europe is in a crisis as less wind power was produced than expected and Russia won’t ramp up their natural gas imports to the EU. As a result, European countries are subsidizing skyrocketing energy costs for their citizens and practically begging Russia to give them coal.
In the U.S., thanks to the Biden administration’s policies aimed at reducing fracking in the country, our President is also now begging OPEC+ for more oil to no avail and Americans are being warned that their winter heating bills may be double or triple what they would normally expect to pay. With oil and natural gas in short supply and renewables not up to the job, coal is coming to the rescue in America too: According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), “electricity by coal-fired plants is expected to jump by 22% in 2021 over last year’s levels for the first year-over-year increase since 2014.” (emphasis added).
Coal is the dirtiest-burning of fossil fuels, despite technology that has helped us “clean up” this traditional power source. In the last two decades, thanks in large part to the fracking boom of the early 2000s, natural gas has largely replaced coal in providing reliable, and much cleaner, energy for Americans. This has led to a large reduction in carbon emissions and a major improvement in air quality. But the Biden administration and other “climate champions” throughout the world have demonized natural gas and worked to reduce its production. This has contributed to the crisis we face today. Other factors have contributed to the crisis — the dramatic changes in demand thanks to pandemic lockdowns and reopening have created a difficult situation — but the Biden administration’s policies have exacerbated the problem.
If the Biden administration wants to pull our country through the cold winter ahead without real hardship particularly for low-income families (inflation can’t be solved quickly folks), it needs to encourage a ramp up of domestic natural gas production while also ensuring that we are fully utilizing our nuclear power capabilities. Renewable energy isn’t able to pull the world out of this energy crisis. Over reliance on these intermittent energy sources is what put us in this situation in the first place and which now threatens to take us backward in terms of emissions. We need to turn to our reliable, affordable energy sources to get us through the winter.