With the national average gas price at $4.59 per gallon and multiple states paying over $5 per gallon, the media attention has rightfully been focused on pain at the pump. It’s even harder for U.S. farmers and truck drivers that are paying all-time highs for diesel. A recent, unprecedented surge has made it increasingly difficult to break even, much less make some semblance of a living.
Unfortunately, there is another, equally disastrous energy problem that has yet to hit the headlines. A recent report from NERC, the agency charged with assessing our nation’s grid reliability, has warned that over two-thirds of Americans are at high or elevated risks of power outages this summer. In other words, some regions are one hot summer day away from completely losing power.
Before Democrat politicians and maybe even President Biden approach a podium to assign blame, the most likely of which is “climate change,” here are three important facts to keep in mind:
1.) This situation is the result of poor policy choices. Politically-guided government intervention in energy markets has prioritized the deployment of wind and solar despite their unreliable nature and high costs (without the subsidies). This, coupled with regulations aimed at curbing the use of coal and nuclear, has undercut energy providers’ ability to maintain an adequate base of energy which is important for reliability and affordability.
2.) We know how to fix it. Engineers know how to address the inherent mismatch between renewable energy supply and consumer demand. A famous graph referred to as the “duck curve” highlights how the wind blows strongest and the sun shines brightest thereby generating the most energy when energy users least need it. Technical experts, including those at the National Renewable Energy Lab know how to address this, which includes integrating more advanced coal and natural gas power into the grid and keeping important baseload generation like nuclear power. Unfortunately, these solutions do not align with anti-fossil, anti-development philosophies embraced by current Democrat leadership.
3.) Politics, not our changing climate, is making it worse. From day one, President Biden has used the power of the federal government to deter development and investment in traditional energy sources. Biden administration officials have also imposed new red tape making it virtually impossible for energy providers to build out the type of energy projects we know we need to keep the lights on.
This state of energy vulnerability is completely preventable and unnecessary. We know how to grow the economy, produce low cost, affordable energy and improve the environment. It includes setting aside the wants of the environmental left and embracing policies that will actually help Americans keep their tanks full and lights on—an all-of-the-above approach to energy whereby engineering analyses are prioritized over politics.
While President Biden thinks high gas prices and power outages are aiw necessary part of the “incredible transition,” they are nothing more than bad ideas with serious consequences.