Is it a cyberattack on an East Coast pipeline? Or, is it President Biden’s climate change initiatives and his administration’s hostility toward American energy independence?
David Kreutzer, a senior economist with the Institute for Energy Research (IER), makes a persuasive case that Biden’s decision in January to shutdown the Keystone XL pipeline will have far greater consequences for businesses and consumers in the years ahead than the cyberattack that shutdown an essential gasoline pipeline on U.S. East Coast in the middle of May.
Colonial Pipeline Company, which operates the 5,500-mile conduit transporting gasoline, diesel and other refined products from Texas to New Jersey, has already restored its normal daily operations. The cyberattack was disruptive for sure, especially for motorists and gas stations in southern states, which had fewer fuel sources than the northeast. But it was also temporal. The same cannot be said of Biden’s assault on accessible and reliable sources of energy.
While the impact of the cyberattack is immediately evident, the fallout from the cancellation of the Keystone Pipeline, which would have transported hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil per day from Canada to the U.S. Gulf Coast, is not yet as palpable to energy consumers.
Kreutzer explains why this is so.
“President Biden’s revocation of the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline means there is no hope of quickly regaining its capacity,” Kreutzer says in a blog post. “Since that final part of Keystone XL had yet to be finished, that capacity was already met by trucks, trains, and simply doing without. Though very real, for the most part the costs of the permit revocation were invisible. Consumers and businesses were already paying the higher costs of the less efficient, less safe, and more expensive alternatives to pipeline transportation.”
It took a cyberattack to make clear how integral pipelines are to making the most of abundant natural resources that are available domestically and in a friendly, neighboring country. Unfortunately, Biden’s cancellation of the permit for the Keystone Pipeline is just the beginning as it has set the stage for a broader assault on the oil and gas industry throughout the U.S. that works to the advantage of hostile foreign powers. How do we know?
American energy independence is “inconsistent” with the Biden administration’s climate change agenda, according to a secretarial order from the Interior Department issued in April. The order explicitly points to the Trump administration’s pursuit of energy independence as one of several “obstacles” standing in the way of Biden’s efforts to “create jobs through a growing clean energy economy; and to bolster resilience to the impacts of climate change.”
In this same order, Team Biden proceeds to dilute the Interior Department’s energy portfolio by restricting oil and gas development on federal lands while also halting petroleum production from the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska. By suppressing America’s domestic energy sources, the administration has put the country back on a path toward drawing in more imports from foreign nations and from here it gets worse. Along the way toward achieving “net zero emissions” by 2050, Biden is promoting wind, solar and battery storage strategies that will make America more dependent on China. That’s because the components that go into renewable energy are largely manufactured in China. Since the entire Biden plan appears to be crafted toward abandoning America’s natural resources in exchange for Chinese imports, Biden is once again poised to cause more long-term damage to the country than any single cyberattack.
Bonner Cohen, a senior fellow with the National Center for Public Policy Research, debunks the climate alarmism sitting at the center of Biden’s policy prescriptions.
“In subordinating American energy independence to a quixotic effort to micromanage the planet’s climate, the Biden administration is engaging in a folly of breathtaking proportions,” he said. “Nothing they are proposing will have any measurable effect on the climate. Nor should it. The climate is doing quite well, thank you. We are living in an interglacial period, which is far preferable to the alternative: a new Ice Age. Today’s higher levels of atmospheric CO2 are highly beneficial, especially to plant life and agriculture. Abandoning fossil fuels, of which the U.S. has an abundance, and embracing intermittent wind and solar power, which are dependent on China for most of their materials and back-up batteries, is geopolitical suicide. We haven’t seen this kind of poor judgment since the summer of 1914 when European leaders decided that a quick, short war would solve all their problems.”
Not so long ago, the benefits of American energy independence were celebrated and recognized across party lines. In fact, it was only back in 2019 that the U.S. became energy independent for the first time in 62 years, meaning the U.S. energy production was higher than energy consumption. “One can thank the oil and gas industry and its use of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling for that milestone as production in those industries increased a combined 11 percent in 2019, according to a press release from IER. “Total U.S. energy production increased by 5.7 percent in 2019 while U.S. energy demand decreased by 0.9 percent,” the release says.
Posterity will have good reason to view career politicians as more damaging than cyberattacks.