Stephen Moore: Why Has Biden Declared War on Natural Gas?
The perspectives and thoughts expressed in this op-ed are the exclusive purview of the author.
Natural gas is the world’s wonder fuel: cheap, abundant, made in America, reliable AND clean burning.
So why are the Biden administration and environmental groups against it? There’s really no good answer.
What makes the Left’s war against natural gas inexplicable is that the single biggest factor in reducing carbon emissions into the atmosphere has been the increased reliance on natural gas for electric power generation as we transition slowly away from coal. (By the way, emissions from coal plants have been dramatically reduced as well, which is one reason why the air that we breathe today is much cleaner than the air 20 or 50 or 100 years ago.)
No country produces more natural gas than America. Latest reserve forecasts predict we have nearly 100 years of natural gas with existing drilling technologies, and hundreds of years of potential supply. We’re not running out. We are the Saudi Arabia of natural gas.
The two innovations that spurred the natural gas shale revolution of the last 15 years were horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. These drilling technologies tripled our supply and output almost overnight.
No single person is more responsible for this energy revolution than Harold Hamm of Continental Resources. His new book “Game Changer” documents how drilling in places like the Bakken Shale in North Dakota and the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania and West Virginia helped triple U.S. oil and gas supplies while lowering the price we pay for energy.
He tells me that “U.S. natural gas price has fallen by more than half while the rest of the world has seen their prices double or triple.” This means that our energy costs are a fraction of the costs that Europe and Asia pay. That is an immeasurable economic and geopolitical advantage America has.
All we need to be the world energy superpower is liquefied natural gas terminals, pipelines and drilling permits. We also need states to redefine natural gas as a “clean” and “net zero” form of energy so that utilities can use it. Why isn’t this happening?
The main reason is radical environmentalists want to end all natural gas and oil production, and force utilities and consumers to get our power and transportation fuels from unreliable and expensive wind and solar power. In pursuing this agenda, and moving away from the Trump pro-drilling policies, they are killing one of the cleanest forms of energy and costing the U.S. over $150 billion a year. For that amount of money, we could modernize every school in America.
Biden’s strategy appears to put America last. This explains why gas prices are back up to $4 a gallon.
If we don’t get smart and soon, those prices will be rising even more. Who benefits the most? Vladimir Putin and the Saudi oil sheikhs.
Stephen Moore is a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation and an economist with FreedomWorks. He served as an economic adviser to Donald Trump.
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