Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro recently remarked that “I have made climate one of my top priorities since the first day I came into office.” Credit: U.S. Navy. Public domain.
By: James Simpson | Capital Research Center
The Greatest Heist in World History
Summary: President Joe Biden has enlisted all federal agencies in pushing his climate agenda as a top priority. As a result, the United States will slowly abandon its vast conventional energy infrastructure. Energy costs will skyrocket, crippling the economy, and when government subsidies run out, the entire green energy infrastructure will collapse, just as it did under President Obama’s Green Energy program. But this time there will be nothing to fall back upon because we will have left our carbon-based energy infrastructure fallow. Without reliable energy, our nation will be crippled.
While imposing this new, expensive, inefficient energy regime, the Left is opening the spigots of government spending once again to finance an unsustainable activity. To compete, companies are being forced to invest in the political market rather than their own markets and products. In essence, the Left is incentivizing corruption, luring private companies away from free market capitalism to crony socialism, and literally threatening the continued viability of our market economy, our standard of living, and perhaps even our survival.
Executive Order 13990
In one of his first acts as president, President Joe Biden signed Executive Order 13990, which ordered all agencies to review any relevant regulation promulgated under President Donald Trump and rescinded those actions that enabled our nation to become energy independent for the first time since the 1970s. Following a lawsuit by many Republican-led states, a federal judge recently blocked implementation of Executive Order 13990.
But they have not relented. Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro recently remarked that “I have made climate one of my top priorities since the first day I came into office.”
All federal agencies have been enlisted in pushing this agenda as a top priority. The end-of-the-world prediction by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) (D-NY) is now the basis for public policy, and the Biden administration has taken it to heart. The hilariously misnamed Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and so-called infrastructure bill both include many elements of AOC’s multi-trillion-dollar Green New Deal.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that Biden’s IRA includes $370 billion to transition the U.S. economy away from carbon-based energy. However, the CBO often wildly underestimates costs, as with its cost estimate for Obamacare. The actual cost of Biden’s IRA will likely be closer to $1.2 trillion, according to Goldman Sachs.
In any event, the IRA includes many tax credits for wind energy. The Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit, for example, provides a tax credit of 2.6 cents per kilowatt-hour (kwh) for 10 years. This significantly cuts the direct cost of wind energy to consumers, which still far exceeds the cost of traditional energy sources. A recent study by the Institute for Energy Research found that the cost per kwh for existing coal, natural gas, nuclear and hydroelectric plants was significantly less than the cost for new wind and solar plants: coal ($0.041), gas ($0.036), nuclear ($0.033), hydroelectric ($0.038), new wind ($0.09), and new solar ($0.089).
Offshore wind is extremely expensive. Constructing massive towers miles out to sea in deep water, with long cables to deliver electricity to the shore, requires a huge infrastructure investment. According to a Manhattan Institute report, the Energy Information Administration has estimated that the levelized cost of offshore wind (the lifetime cost when all investment factors are included), ranges from $0.102 to $0.155 per kwh, with an average of $0.122 per kwh for wind farms operational in 2025. Supposedly costs will decline in the future, but the Manhattan report is skeptical that it will decline as much as forecast.
That skepticism is warranted. The massive turbines being planned are as high as 853 feet, with turbine blades longer than a football field. Construction of these behemoths at sea requires special ships, of which there are only 12 at present out of a total fleet of 32. Rental costs for the smaller ships are $180,000 per day, and purchase price is $100 million or more. Claire Richer, director of federal affairs at American Clean Power Association, says, “It’s pretty insane.”
It is truly insane. According to the International Energy Agency, offshore wind currently provides 0.3 percent of world energy needs. That is expected to increase 15 times by 2040. In other words, for spending multiple trillions over decades to create an industry that would never, ever have even been contemplated without massive government subsidies, by 2040, offshore wind will contribute just 4.5 percent of energy needs.
Offshore wind turbines present hazards to shipping and aircraft, face threats from heavy weather, and incur astronomical maintenance and repair costs. Wind turbines may also have serious consequences for the environment. Wind turbines kill over 1 million birds per year according to the American Bird Conservancy, although others are quick to point out that cats and cell towers kill more. Grim comfort. Fishermen along the East Coast are afraid these wind farms will destroy their way of life, calling it “a matter of survival.” They have partnered with industry associations and others to sue multiple federal agencies, which they claim, authorized these wind farms illegally.
In the next installment, offshore wind companies have made extensive payments to environmental organizations.