By Dr. Jay Lehr & Tom Harris
We had better hope that Joe Biden, the presumptive president-elect, never actually tries to carry out his plans to end our fossil fuel use. Doing so would be a recipe for disaster for every single American. It would bankrupt the nation for no environmental benefit.
Fossil fuels provide 80% of U.S. energy, and, in 2018, accounted for 7.4 billion megawatt-hours used to create our electricity and power factories, emergency power systems, and furnaces, ovens, stoves and hot water heaters in restaurants and homes, not to mention automobiles, buses, trucks, bulldozers, tractors and other vehicles. Replacing all this with renewable sources like wind and solar cannot happen in the real world. It would require literally millions of industrial wind turbines (IWTs) and billions of solar panels and backup storage batteries. Millions of vehicle charging stations would also be needed, not to mention tens of billions of tons of concrete, steel, copper, plastic, cobalt and rare earth elements.
Energy and environment expert Paul Driessen, senior policy advisor for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT), explains that, along the way, families, factories, hospitals, schools and business accustomed to paying 7 to 11 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for electricity will be paying 22 cents per kWh as they already do in our liberal green states and eventually 35 cents per kWh as they already have done in Germany where they committed to wind and solar nearly two decades ago. Gasoline and natural gas prices will also skyrocket until fully banished by the Biden administration.
Driessen and independent analyst Dr. David Wojick pointed out in their Aug 21 CFACT article that the Biden-Harris-AOC-Democrat Green New Deal:
“would force every American to replace their gasoline and diesel cars and trucks with expensive short-haul electric vehicles; their gas furnaces and stoves with electric systems; their home, local and state electrical and transmission systems with expensive upgrades that can handle a totally electric economy. They’ll see their landscapes, coastlines and wildlife habitats blanketed with wind turbines, solar panels, transmission lines and warehouses filled with thousands of half-ton batteries. Virtually every component of this GND nation would be manufactured in China and other faraway places.”
The cost of this complete overhaul of our economic and energy system? Driessen and Wojick say it would easily reach $10 trillion: $30,000 per person or $120,000 per family, not to mention the skyrocketing electricity prices.
The former vice-president refers to these renewable energy sources as “clean energy” no less than 49 times in “The Biden Plan for a Clean Energy Revolution and Environmental Justice.” Yet they are anything but clean. Michael Moore’s new documentary PLANET OF THE HUMANS demonstrates that wind and solar projects are, in fact, dirtier than fossil fuels. The film shows that the materials required to build IWTs and solar collectors produce huge amounts of toxic waste.
Biden’s new plans should require companies to go through extensive environmental reviews and demand compliance with the Endangered Species Act, the Bald & Golden Eagle Protection Act, and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. After all, wind turbines are bird blenders. The American Bird Conservancy forecasts these machines will potentially kill at least one million birds per year by 2030 if 20% of the nation’s electricity is generated by wind power.
And apparently, birds do not get used to the turbines and so do not learn to avoid them. As reported in a study of avian collision mortalities by De Lucas, Janss, Whitfield and Ferrer published in the Journal of Applied Ecology, for the period 1993 – 2003 in Spain, “No indication of a change in mortality rates across the study period was found, suggesting that there were no long‐term temporal changes in birds’ reactions to the wind farms (e.g., habituation).”
And what about other laws that have been strictly enforced for decades for other industrial activities? It seems apparent that, under a Biden administration, they will claim that IWTs, solar installations and associated power lines supposedly needed to save the planet from climate change are exempt from these regulations. After all, it was in the last month of the Obama/Biden administration that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released a final rule which allowed wind-energy companies to apply for thirty-year “incidental-take” permits. This exempted the companies from prosecution under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act for killing eagles, up to a maximum number each year.
Biden also tells us that he will engage in:
“Accelerating the deployment of electric vehicles…[and] develop rigorous new fuel economy standards aimed at ensuring 100% of new sales for light- and medium-duty vehicles will be electrified.”
There is no way we will have enough power plants to support a huge increase in electric cars. And average people cannot afford to spend thousands of dollars more for a new electric car, so many more Americans will keep their old vehicles beyond their safe life.
But then Joe Biden’s promise of such a costly, dangerous and impractical “clean energy revolution” may have been merely an election ploy to temporarily appease climate extremists. Let’s hope so.
Ohio-based Dr. Jay Lehr is Senior Policy Advisor to the Ottawa, Canada-based International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC). Tom Harris is Executive Director of ICSC.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Citizens Journal
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