Guest essay by Larry Hamlin
In his first week in office Biden and his Democrats ordered the suspension of leases for fossil fuel development on federal lands and offshore waters and a “rigorous review” of leasing and permitting practices. He also created a civilian “climate corps”, directed federal agencies to procure American-made zero-emissions vehicles for their fleets, and scrapped a permit for the Keystone XL oil pipeline. Biden asked Congress to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies.
The opposition in states such as Texas and New Mexico presages what is likely to be a big issue in the 2022 midterm elections, where Democrats will have to defend or contest seats in moderate congressional districts that rely on oil and gas.
In September 2020 the Energy Information Administration released a report largely ignored by the climate alarmist main-stream media titled U.S. Energy-Related Carbon Dioxide Emissions, 2019 presenting an analysis of the nation’s CO2 emissions from 1990 marking the 30 years that have passed since the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change benchmark year.
The data showed that U.S. CO2 emissions for year 2019 were down 2.8% from year 2018 or 150 million metric tons (MMmt) with changes in electricity fuel mix being the most important factor resulting in coal-related CO2 emissions declining by 15% or 184 MMmt.
The most significant fuel mix contribution to this CO2 emissions reduction result was the continued increased use of lower emission higher efficiency natural gas in replacing coal fueled electricity generation followed by increased use of non-carbon CO2 emissions reductions.
Most significantly the report showed that in the period 1990 through 2007 U.S. CO2 emissions had been growing at an average rate of 1.0% per year but that since then growth of CO2 emissions have been declining at a rate averaging 1.3% per year.
Since peaking in 2007 at 6,003 MMmt U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions have declined by 14.5% or 873 MMmt.
The decline in CO2 emissions from coal fuel use driven by the electricity fuel mix change to natural gas dominated the decline since 2007.
U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions from coal declined by more than 50% from 2007 to 2019, more than a billion metric tons.
Increased use of natural gas in replacing coal power generation significantly reduces CO2 emissions because for the same energy generated lower emissions higher efficiency natural gas reduces CO2 emissions by about 60% compared to coal
The increasing use of non-carbon electricity generation also contributed to the U.S. reduced CO2 emissions since 2007 but not to the same degree as increased use of natural gas.
The EIA report highlighted the extraordinary fact that between 2005 and 2019 the cumulative U.S. CO2 emissions reductions from fuel shifts in electricity generation most significantly from coal to natural gas and also from non-carbon generation totaled 5,475 MMmt.
Of this total amount 3,351 MMmt of CO2 reductions (61.2%) resulted from decreased use of coal and increased use of natural gas and 2,125 MMmt of CO2 reductions (38.8%) resulted from decreased use of coal and increased use of non-carbon generation resources.
The increased availability of lower cost, higher efficiency and lower emission natural gas was largely achieved through fracking technology that has been incompetently attacked by Biden and his Democrats. These energy ignorant politicians have denigrated the initiative and skill of the nation’s energy producers who have successfully achieved increased natural gas production that allowed huge decreases and economically beneficially CO2 emissions reductions to be achieved.
Biden and his Democrats along with their media enablers have dishonestly concealed from the American people the fact that the increased use of natural gas created 3.4 billion metric tons of CO2 emission reductions, 60% greater reductions than achieved through Government mandated costly renewables during this same period, with these extraordinary benefits achieved while lowering energy costs to consumers.
Biden and his climate alarmist Democrats have initiated a grossly misguided purely political war against natural gas that will deprive the American people of a clean, efficient and cost-effective energy resource that can and should be used to further reduce the use of coal in the future and bring about even greater reductions of CO2 without damaging the economy through ill-advised government mandated use of high-cost unreliable renewables.
California has been pursuing its climate alarmist campaign of reducing CO2 emissions since 2006 by mandating the use of high-cost unreliable renewables while implementing a plan to eliminate the use of all fossil fuels in electricity generation. In 2019 renewable energy accounted for about 32% of the California’s electricity while renewables accounted for about 11.1% of total U.S. electricity generation.
In the last decade California average residential electricity rates have risen at 3 times the rate of U.S. average residential electricity rates with present California rates being about 50% greater than the U.S. average.
Additionally California has now reached the point where the excessive use of renewables has created electric grid reliability and blackout problems which plagued the state last summer.
The electric grid reliability problems associated with large use of unreliable renewables also plague EU countries that have foolishly mandated excessive renewable energy use.
Biden, Democrats and their media cabal have concealed from the American people the facts that global CO2 emissions and energy use are completely dominated and controlled by the world’s developing nations that now account for over 65% of the present level of global CO2 emissions with China and India both undertaking huge increases in coal and other fossil fuel use both now and in the future.
Biden’s cabal has concealed from the American people that during the 15 year period addressed in this September 2020 EIA report from 2005 through 2019 the world’s developing nations have increased global CO2 emissions by more than 7.5 billion metric tons (1.5 times total U.S. CO2 emissions) with China’s contribution to this increase being 3.7 billion metric tons.
Also concealed from the American people is the fact that the world’s developed nations including the U.S. and EU have reduced global CO2 emissions by 1.55 billion metric tons during this same period with these reductions unable to stop the ever-increasing climb of global CO2 emissions controlled solely by the world’s developing nations.
Additionally, they have concealed from the American people that the U.S. leads all the world’s nations in reducing global CO2 emissions during this period with over 900 million metric tons of CO2 reductions with these reductions achieved most prominently from the increased use of natural gas obtained from fracking technology.
If Biden and his Democrats continue on their flawed course of mandated high-cost unreliable renewables while trying to destroy the availability of lower cost, higher efficiency and lower emissions natural gas that can effectively and efficiently replace coal fuel the end result will be economically damaging increased costs of electricity for the U.S. while degrading the reliability of the U.S. electric grid and destroying economically productive and necessary energy related jobs.