Joe Biden has rushed out a $1.7 trillion taxpayer funded energy plan to catch up with his rivals on the climate change front. Elizabeth Warren has an even more expensive $2 trillion taxpayer funded plan.
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Yet despite their grandiose promises of net zero emissions, both plans show quite clearly that the authors don’t have a grasp of the subject. These plans also fail to understand why the United States is leading the world’s industrialized nations in reducing greenhouse gas emissions; the emergence of the cleanest burning fossil fuel, natural gas.
Natural gas is a major electricity generator that is replacing coal, leading to our best hope of reducing global greenhouse emissions in a meaningful and economical way. That is unless you go to nuclear power, something that these plans and the world don’t seem to have the appetite for.
The U.S. petroleum industry made the natural gas revolution happen with a technological breakthrough, now known as the shale oil and gas revolution. Biden and Warren clearly don’t recognize that the countries that control the production and distribution of the world’s most important energy source, Liquified Natural Gas (LNG), will be the real economic powerhouses in the new energy era.
There are so many problems with Biden’s and Warren’s plans. They would base our economic and energy future on hopes and dreams -- and not energy reality. Both plans have an overreliance on wind, solar and electric cars but fail to realize that to meet the demand of a growing economy, these sources are not nearly scalable enough.
Even if we put a wind turbine on every square mile of the earth, it would fail to meet the minimum energy demand growth for a globe that will have to sustain 9 billion people by the year 2040. It also underestimates the amount of greenhouse gas emissions it will take to build wind turbines, pipelines and solar panels that will be needed to make a serious dent in energy demand.
Even with the trillions of dollars spent on green energy, alternatives only account for a very small percentage of global demand. The International Energy Agency said world energy demand increased by 2.3 percent last year, the fastest pace in this decade, driven by a strong global economy and the rise in heating and cooling load.
Natural gas accounted for 45 percent of the rise in consumption. Fossil fuels met almost 70 percent of the new demand, which led to a 1.7 percent increase in global carbon emissions. Renewables, including hydropower, increased by 4 percent last year, and now account for almost 25 percent of global power output — second after coal. While coal's overall place in the energy mix continues to decline, demand for coal has risen slightly for the last two years.
If Biden’s and Warren’s plans seem to be farfetched, they are outmatched by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is on a mission to get rid of all of our nation’s coal plants by the year 2030. But I have to give Mr. Bloomberg credit because at least he plans to spend his own money ($500 million!) to achieve his impossible green dream. Biden and Warren, on the other hand, want to spend your money.
Phil Flynn is senior energy analyst at The PRICE Futures Group and a Fox Business Network contributor. He is one of the world's leading market analysts, providing individual investors, professional traders, and institutions with up-to-the-minute investment and risk management insight into global petroleum, gasoline, and energy markets. His precise and timely forecasts have come to be in great demand by industry and media worldwide and his impressive career goes back almost three decades, gaining attention with his market calls and energetic personality as writer of The Energy Report. You can contact Phil by phone at (888) 264-5665 or by email at email@example.com.