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2020-11-03 e

The “Transition from Oil” and Other Fairy Tales

Politicians promising a painless switch to renewables are deluding themselves—or more likely you.

In the last presidential debate, Joe Biden made waves by suggesting that he would “transition” away from oil as a major American energy source. The comment was especially controversial given the importance of the issue to voters in the battleground state of Pennsylvania, who have traditionally been suspicious, to say the least, of such proposals. But the issue matters well beyond the Keystone State. Indeed, of all the issues that Americans vote on today, energy policy ranks among the most important.

Americans generally don’t give much thought to energy policy, except when they stop at the local gas station for a fill-up. But if state and federal leaders who want to ban fracking and “transition” away from oil prevail, that complacency will change quickly.

You may not think about energy policy, but it thinks about you. Energy is the foundation of society. Everything—food, clothing, shelter, your iPhone, you name it—requires energy to produce. When it costs more to supply that energy, the cost of everything else increases. The OPEC oil embargoes in the 1970s, for example, ushered in an era of double-digit inflation.

Some environmentalists like the idea of high-cost energy. They view humans as a plague on the planet and want us to minimize our environmental footprint by living like ascetics.
Politicians and policymakers cannot overturn the laws of physics. But green energy advocates want you to believe that we can painlessly abandon fossil fuels in favor of wind and solar power.

Don’t believe the hype. Sure, those positioned to capitalize from subsidized green energy will benefit. But for the rest of us, it will mean higher prices for everything, a hamstrung economy, and more poverty. (read more)


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