Biden's Deadly Plan for American Energy

Clarice Feldman15 Nov, 2020 5 Min Read
Marching through Georgia on the way to the White House.

It’s perfectly understandable for anyone concerned about energy production in the U.S. to be uneasy that Joe Biden appears to be winning this year’s contest for the White House. Whether he makes it to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. remains in doubt, but what is not in doubt is that, should that happen, he would have no substantial mandate.

The climate change part of the  platform--like much of his party’s platform--seems to have little purchase among other than the coastal bien pensants and the leftwing corporatists dreaming of yet another boondoggle financed by the taxpayers on the same pie in the sky swindle as was Solyndra and California’s train to nowhere. Of course, my ability to read the future is limited, but let me explain why I think much of what Biden has promised the far left of his party to secure the nomination and their support, is unlikely to take shape.

At the moment the election in six states is still either still being counted, being challenged in court, or subject to recount. Excluding those states, President Trump leads Biden 232 to 227 in the Electoral Vote totals. (270 electoral votes of 538  are needed to win the electoral college vote in January).

It is impossible in this fast changing circumstance to keep track of all the litigation challenging in the various state run elections. So far this compendium by OSU seems the most accurate. I’ve seen some of the complaints filed or about to be in Michigan and Pennsylvania and they include numerous credible affidavits documenting substantial illegality. If the Supreme Court meant it when they said this twenty years ago in Bush v. Gore, 531 U.S. 98, 105 (2000), I have to believe that the counts in both those  states simply to not meet the constitutional standard in Gore.

It must be remembered that "the right of suffrage can be denied by a debasement or dilution of the weight of a citizen's vote just as effectively as by wholly prohibiting the free exercise of the franchise." Reynolds v. Sims, 377 U. S. 533, 555 (1964).

If these recounts and challenges are not resolved by the December 14 cut off dat-, the House of Representatives can choose the interim president and the Senate the interim vice president until they results are certified by the states. In the House, the vote is by state and the Republicans hold the majority there, as they do in the Senate. If the matter is not resolved to the satisfaction of the state legislatures, they may under the constitution select their own slate of electors. Republicans hold the majority in the legislatures of Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Michigan, the three states with the most electoral votes among the still disputed contests.

Given the uncertain outcomes, at this time it is preposterous to call Biden “president-elect.”

I was elected to what?

Nevertheless, there certainly is reason for concern in the Democratic platform Biden ran on. The platform reads like a prose version of the Russian film “Battleship Potemkin” substituting only the film’s motif of all forces of the population joining hands in revolution with everyone joining hands to keep the climate from changing. (It misses only scenes of fracking and gas rigs shooting at wounded veterans and orphans.) Among the specifics are these:

  • A pledge to achieve "zero-net greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible, and no later than 2050.”
  • Eliminating “carbon pollution from power plants through technology-neutral standards for clean energy and energy efficiency.
  • “Dramatically” expanding solar and wind energy deployment.”

The program specifics are even more sophomoric and fanciful, involving retrofitting buildings, setting even higher emissions standards for cars and trucks, including 500,000 school buses, and more in a program “to ensure racial and socioeconomic equity in federal climate, energy, and infrastructure programs.”

(My guess is this was written somewhere else besides California which the document says should  again be allowed to set its own vehicle emission standards. I say that because rolling blackouts related to a similar set of juvenile energy policies  in that state’s programs would seem to put something of a leash on these overweening goals.)

Biden also has pledged to kill the Keystone pipeline. On that score, Alberta Premier Jason Kennery indicates confidence he can change Biden’s mind, and perhaps he would be successful -- pledges from Biden do seem to have a short life span. He promised during the debates that he would not claim victory until all the state contests were certified. He already has done so  when we are far from that point. 

He’s also promised  to crack down on “climate cheats” whoever they are; push the world on climate change, and invest $1.7 trillion to reduce global warming. At the same time his team is advocating further coronavirus  lockdowns and payouts to those unemployed because of them.

Now I could be wrong. He could have a secret invention to generate trillions of new dollars and is keeping it secret along with a never-revealed way to fuel this economy without fossil fuels, but I’m suspicious of the ability to fund these grandiose plans or carry the platform’s promises  out. 

Even if he were crazy enough to try it, he will do so without a great deal of support. At the moment the Democrats are hanging on to an even thinner majority in the House, having lost a number of seats they expected to win, and jeopardized more who in these weird times are labeled “moderates”.

The party is splintered and recriminations against the left are legion. It seems increasingly likely that the Blue Wave the media promised didn’t materialize and in fact a Red Wave washed a lot of the Democrats out to sea. There will be at least 50 Republican Senators in the Senate with the likely prospect of two more once the Georgia runoffs are complete in January.

Without a majority in the Senate Biden can’t revoke the industry-friendly fuel tax; he can’t restore or expand the federal tax credit for purchases of electric vehicles, he can’t repeal the Halliburton provision permitting fracking in Safe Drinking Water Act  he can’t amend the renewable fuel standard post-2022, he can’t alter the Jones Act, and he can’t change the the carbon price, etc.

Have they called a lid yet? It's past my bed-time.

Some have suggested he can  achieve these goals simply through executive orders, and there are a few things he can achieve via this route, beginning with an area in which he has the freest hand -- rejoining the Paris climate agreement. Some of the others, more troublesome to be sure, are regulatory actions like blocking oil and gas drilling on federal lands, allowing California to set independent standards for auto emissions and fuel economy, restricting access to low-cost capital for the fossil fuel industry, and setting fuel economy standards. For these,  judicial and public resistance are greater checks on his authority. 

Chief Justice Roberts has displayed a penchant for fine-tooth-combing executive orders and rejecting them . The public  -- reeling from the devastation of the lockdowns, pleased with lower gas prices and anticipating a continued v- shaped recovery -- are likely to find Biden's extremism unwanted and make their opposition known.

Biden may squeak out an election victory. If so, it will have been a Pyrrhic one.

Clarice Feldman is a retired attorney living in Washington, D.C. During her legal career she represented the late labor leader Joseph ("Jock") Yablonski and the reform mine workers against Tony Boyle. She served as an attorney with the Department of Justice Office of Special Investigations, in which role she prosecuted those who aided the Nazis in World War II. She has written for The Weekly Standard and is a regular contributor to American Thinker.


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5 comments on “Biden's Deadly Plan for American Energy”

  1. Clarice, I've called the climate and energy alarm a 'Precious Conceit of a Western Elite' but both 'Precious' and 'Conceit' are used in an archaic sense.
    There is no question though that China has been the prime mover in climate alarmism, though exempting themselves from any proposed mechanisms for decreasing the release of anthropogenic CO2.
    I frequently asked, when he was alive, if Maurice Strong was in China rightly advising them or being advised of his rights.

  2. The 'Social Cost of Carbon' needs to be re-examined. Present regulation counts anthropogenic release of CO2 as a cost,
    and that is grievously wrong.
    Man's release with its consequent mild warming will be net beneficial to human society and the whole biome.
    Man's release with it's consequent major greening will be very beneficial to the whole biome and to human society.
    The use of cheap fossil energy has contributed, still contributes and will, for a long time, contribute to building, sustaining, and improving human life and society in manifold ways.

  3. So called renewable energy sources have two so far insolvable obstacles.
    One is intermittency and the other is low power density.
    Inrtermittency is potentially solvable with storage, but storage implies energy losses from converting back and forth through different forms of energy.
    Intermittency and variability make 'renewable' sources undispatchable economically.
    Poor power density is insolvable.

  4. Anthropogenic warming will be net beneficiàl,
    And anthropogenic greening is c9rnucopic.

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