It is a national disgrace. Access to cheap and abundant energy is the hallmark of a free society. Just look at a satellite photo of the Korean Peninsula at night. In the background, free and democratic South Korea is awash in light, while North Korea is in almost complete darkness, except for a hint of light in Pyongyang. Both countries share the same people and natural resources, yet one shines with the light of freedom, while the other is shrouded in the darkness of human misery.
How did the United States get to the point where whole swaths of our country could look like North Korea this summer?
The left will be quick to blame extreme weather precipitated by climate change. But according to Steven E. Koonin, former Department of Energy Undersecretary for Science and a research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, writing in his book “Unsettled: What Climate Science Tells Us, What It Doesn’t, and Why it Matters,” U.S. government data shows that “heat waves in the U.S. are no more common today than they were in 1900, and the hottest temperatures in the U.S. have not increased over the past fifty years as proof that we need to redouble our efforts to accelerate the transition to renewable energy.
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But it is precisely its forced transition to renewable energy that precipitates blackouts. The Post reports that a “major reason” for the coming shortages is the early shutdown of fossil fuel power plants – particularly coal – which are needed to meet increased summer electricity demand. “Some of the coal-fired power plants that regulators say would continue to operate for another year or two are instead being taken out of service” because “plant operators choose to shut down rather than invest in upgrades for power plants coal”. As Jim Robb, CEO of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), tells the Post, “Coal plant operators say ‘uncle.’ ”
Who made them cry uncle? Biden and his war on fossil fuels. Speaking at the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland, climate envoy John F. Kerry openly said that the Biden administration plans to put the coal industry out of business within eight year. “By 2030 in the United States, we will be coal free. We won’t have coal plants,” Kerry said. When you announce that you intend to kill an industry, people don’t invest in it. And when you try to end fossil fuels before renewable energy infrastructure exists to replace them, the result is power shortages and blackouts.
According to the US Energy Information Administration, the shutdown of coal-fired power plants will account for 85% of all power generation capacity retirements this year, taking a whopping 12.6 gigawatts of capacity offline. And the remaining coal plants are “struggling to get fuel”, according to a recent NERC report, due to “mine closures, rail transportation limitations and increased coal exports” – which further reduces our ability to generate electricity this summer.
These coal-fired power plant and coal mine closures are intentional — they’re part of the administration’s plan to “decarbonize” electricity generation in the United States. The problem is that renewables are not yet ready to compensate for the loss of coal capacity, because the batteries needed to store wind and solar energy are not yet commercially available. Thus, when there is neither wind nor sun, there is no electricity.
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The result will not only be power outages, but also soaring energy prices. As demand increases while supply is limited, the The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission predicts electricity prices could rise as much as 233% from last summer’s electricity prices. This will eclipse the rise in gas prices that has taken place since Biden took office.
So what is Biden doing about it? The president has just announced that he is invoking the Defense Production Law to accelerate domestic production of solar panels, while removing tariffs on solar panel imports from China‘s state-subsidized solar industry. . How about using the law to retrofit the coal-fired power plants needed to keep American homes powered and cooled this summer? Or better yet, how about just suspending the war on coal?
This is an impending disaster for the Biden administration. Unlike the baby formula shortage, which only affects parents with newborns, power shortages will affect everyone – turning off air conditioners in the middle of the summer heat and plunging entire communities into darkness , just months before the midterm elections. Then Americans will have a chance to go to the polls. And when they do, bans will be on the ballot.