The Joe Biden-Kamala Harris team, if elected, will implement radical changes to energy policy increasing government oversight, and spending an estimated $2 trillion to eliminate the usage of crude oil, natural gas and coal.
Biden, who served as Vice President under President Obama, outlined in July his controversial energy program in a 23-page paper, which closely parallels the Green New Deal introduced by left-wing Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). Also, Sen. Harris introduced the Climate Equity Act this year, which is co-sponsored by Rep. Ocasio-Cortez.
Neither proposal addresses the problems created by trying to rid the country from using fossil fuels, which currently provide 80 percent of the nation’s energy.
A recent study by the American Petroleum Institute estimated U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) would fall by a cumulative $700 billion through 2030, and U.S. oil imports would increase by 2 million barrel per day if Biden’s energy programs were implemented.
During his campaign for the Democrat Presidential nomination, Biden stated on his web page he will issue executive orders, seek legislative remedies, establish “enforcement mechanisms,” and make “historic investment in clean energy.” Those enforcement mechanisms include “action against fossil fuel companies and other polluters who put profit over people.” He said the cost of these enforcement mechanisms could be as much as $1.7 trillion over ten years.
Biden was asked by the moderator during one of the Democrat candidate debates if there would be “any place for fossil fuels, including coal and fracking” in his administration and he replied “no.”
After receiving the party’s nomination, Biden told an audience in Pennsylvania, which has become a major producer of natural gas because of the advancements in hydraulic fracturing (fracking): “I am not banning fracking.”
Even though hydraulic fracturing is an important component of the surge in oil and natural gas production in recent years, it is only one component of the advances the industry has made in bringing nations closer to energy independence. Because of the increase in oil and natural gas production, imports have declined and exports have increased making the U.S. a net exporter for the first time.
Biden’s comments seem contradictory and puzzling. Is he using the term “fracking” for “drilling?” Fracking is just one technique used in the drilling process. Will he attempt to outlaw drilling in the U.S., or just the fracking process, or nothing? Some think he is not talking about operations on private land, but he will put restrictions on activities on federal lands, onshore and offshore.
Many believe that a President would not have the authority to ban fracking with the stroke of a pen. Congress would have to pass legislation and signed by the President.
However, the President does have the power of the federal agencies, which do have the authority to pass regulations to prohibit key components of the exploration process. The Obama-Biden administration used the regulatory agencies on many occasions to make it more expensive and difficult to extract fossil fuels.
If the Biden-Harris team wins the election, expect more restrictions on the oil and natural gas industry, declines in U.S. production, and more dependence on imports. Will wind and solar be able to fill the energy gap? It’s a high-stakes gamble that will impact everyone.
Alex Mills is the former President of the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers.
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