by Robert Romano
Former Vice President Joe Biden is promising to implement the Green New Deal, setting a national target for 2035 to cut carbon emissions in half in a move that would end the fossil fuel industry for transportation and electricity as we know it. That means no more oil. No more coal. And no more natural gas.
But in the same breath, Biden is attempting to persuade voters in states like Pennsylvania that he is not going to end hydraulic fracturing that makes it possible to extract petroleum and natural gas from geologic shale formations.
In Pittsburgh on Aug. 31, Biden said, “I am not banning fracking. Let me say that again. I am not banning fracking. No matter how many times Donald Trump lies about me.”
But in the July 2019 debate on CNN, Biden said “We would make sure it’s eliminated,” in response to a question about whether his administration would find any place for “fossil fuels, including coal and fracking”.
And in the March 2020 one-on-one debate with Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (D-Vt.), Biden responded to Sanders’ statement that “I’m talking about stopping fracking as soon as we possibly can” with “No more — no new fracking.”
Now, Biden is saying he means only on federal lands. He told WGAL in Harrisburg that “What I said was I would not permit more fracking on federal lands. The fracking that’s taking place now I would not stop at all.”
Biden cannot have it both ways. Either he wants to eliminate carbon emissions including fracking, or he doesn’t. It’s a complete contradiction.
Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning said Biden brought the confusion on himself, and says he believes the Biden that would implement the Green New Deal, stating, “Here’s Joe’s problem: He can’t win Pennsylvania, and support ending hydraulic fracturing. The Green New Deal destroys that Pennsylvania’s economy just as surely the Obama-Biden war on coal destroyed West Virginia’s. Joe has made a deal with the devil, Bernie and AOC, and in his own great tradition, he’s lying in a desperate attempt to revive his floundering campaign.”
Making matters worse, Biden is not leveling with the American people about what his Green New Deal will mean for the economy. It will have to be entirely transformed.
The U.S. emits about 5.1 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide every year as of 2017, according to the U.S. Energy Information Agency: 45 percent from petroleum, 29 percent from natural gas and 26 percent from coal.
Of the portion of emissions devoted to natural gas, 1.47 billion metric tons a year, only 506 million is from electricity generation.
So, right off the bat, 62.7 percent of the electric grid — natural gas and coal — would need to be replaced. Biden says he’ll do it with solar and wind, which currently only comprise 9.1 percent of the electric grid.
All consumption of natural gas and petroleum for home heating in the winter and making hot water would have to end and all homes would have to somehow be refitted with electric heat generation and boilers.
Every building in America would have to be “upgrade[d] or replace[d]” to be net-zero carbon emitting.
Every car and truck in America that runs on petroleum would have to be replaced with electric vehicles. The internal combustion engine would have to be banned.
All airlines would have to be grounded.
It would be the end of the industrial revolution, which the world has benefitted from with the explosion of the human population. Right now it is possible to sustain billions of people. Will that still be true under the Green New Deal without conventional energy?
The rest of the world also emits another 30 billion metric tons a year or so of carbon emissions will similarly need to cut in half or eliminated. What if China and Russia won’t comply?
Making matters worse, switching over to solar electricity would make the U.S. largely dependent on China, where with its rare earth mineral monopoly about 60 percent of solar panels are made, according to the International Energy Agency.
In short, Biden’s Green New Deal is nothing more than a Trojan horse to destroy the economy and make the U.S. beholden to China — which has no intention of instituting similar measures — and who we’ll depend on just to keep the lights on. Why would the American people sign up for that?
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Robert Romano is the Vice President of Public Policy at Americans for Limited Government.