Commentary: Shifting Natural Gas and Oil Jobs to the Renewables Sector Isn’t So Simple

Within hours of taking office on January 20, 2021, President Joe Biden signed an executive order cancelling the cross-border permit for the Keystone XL pipeline as part of a plan to phase out natural gas and oil, eliminating thousands of family-sustaining jobs. At the same time, the Biden administration promised plenty of “good-paying” positions would be available in the renewable energy sector.

But the reality is that natural gas and oil jobs don’t easily transfer to the renewables sector, as a new analysis by Cicero, in coordination with North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU) and American Petroleum Institute (API), shows.

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Top Republican Pushes Probes Into Biden Administration Ties to Green Energy Interests

The top House Republican on a key oversight subcommittee has pushed a series of conflict-of-interest probes into the Biden administration over its ties to the renewable energy industry.

Republican South Carolina Rep. Ralph Norman, the ranking member on the Oversight Subcommittee on Environment, has probed leadership in the White House, Department of Energy (DOE) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), demanding accountability for potential conflicts of interests since President Joe Biden took office more than a year ago. While committee Democrats haven’t cooperated with the investigations, Norman and Oversight Ranking Member James Comer have forged ahead.

“The people in the administrations have no regard for the office that they hold,” Norman told the Daily Caller News Foundation in an interview.

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MidAmerican Energy Files $3.9B Renewable Energy Project with Iowa Utilities Board

Field of wind turbines

MidAmerican Energy announced Wednesday it filed plans with the Iowa Utilities Board to build a $3.9 billion renewable energy project in Iowa.

Wind PRIME would add 2,042 megawatts of wind generation and 50 megawatts of solar generation, a news release from the Des Moines-headquartered company claims.

MidAmerican estimates the project will create more than 1,100 full-time jobs during construction and another 125 ongoing full-time positions for operations and maintenance, along with $24 million in local property tax payments on wind turbines and solar facilities and $21 million in annual landowner easement payments. The company plans to complete construction by the end of 2024, if it receives IUB approval.

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‘A Mad Scramble’: One Rare Mineral May Spell Doom for Electric Vehicle Market

Lithium — a mineral that is key for electric car batteries — continues to rise in price, jeopardizing the ongoing transition to renewable energy outlined by Western governments.

The cost of lithium has skyrocketed more than 250% over the last 12 months, hitting its highest level ever, according to an industry index from Benchmark Mineral Intelligence. While the cost of manufacturing a lithium-ion battery for an electric vehicle (EV) has fallen sharply over the last decade, the decline has slowed in recent months due to rising lithium costs.

The average cost of an EV battery pack fell to $157 per kilowatt hour, a measure of energy capacity, in 2021, the Department of Energy said in October. That means a typical EV battery is between $6,000 and $7,000, a BloombergNEF analysis showed.

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Environmentalists Are Blocking the U.S. from Controlling Its Renewable Energy Future, Experts Say

Regulations pushed by environmentalists for decades have hamstrung the American mining industry, making the U.S. renewable energy needs increasingly dependent on foreign adversaries, experts told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Extensive permitting processes under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) make it extremely difficult to open mining projects in less than a decade, according to experts. The nation’s weakness in producing minerals required for technologies such as solar panels, electric vehicles and wind turbines has set it far behind the likes of China and Russia which have secured burgeoning green energy supply chains.

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Big Oil CEOs Thumb Nose at Green Energy Transition, Say Fossil Fuels Still Have ‘Essential Role’

Mike Worth, Darren Woods and Amin Nasser

Executives of major oil companies slammed the aggressive global push to renewable forms of energy and warned that such policies could crash economies.

Crude oil and natural gas continue to be key to the world economy’s health and cannot be discounted, CEOs of ExxonMobil, Chevron, Halliburton and Saudi Aramco said during the ongoing World Petroleum Congress in Texas on Monday. The executives agreed that climate change should be addressed, but not to the detriment of current energy needs.

“I understand that publicly admitting that oil and gas will play an essential and significant role during the transition and beyond will be hard for some,” Saudi Aramco CEO Amin Nasser said during his remarks at the summit, the Financial Times reported.  People “assume that the right transition strategy is in place. It’s not,” Nasser said, Reuters reported. “Energy security, economic development and affordability are clearly not receiving enough attention.”

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Analysis: Many Environmentalists Oppose Nuclear Energy Despite Its Reliability, Carbon-Free Footprint

Expanding U.S. nuclear power — an energy source that many environmentalists and lawmakers oppose — could be the most reliable way to achieve a carbon-free electricity grid, according to experts.

Nuclear energy is considered a renewable energy source because it produces zero emissions through fission, the process of splitting uranium atoms, according to the Department of Energy. Currently, nuclear accounts for about 9% of total U.S. energy consumption, slightly less than all other renewable energy sources combined and coal, government data showed.

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Environmentalists Are Making Putin Stronger Than Ever

U.S. environmental policies pushed by the Biden administration and aimed at dramatically curbing domestic fossil fuel production have given Russian President Vladimir Putin more power on the world stage.

Since taking office, President Joe Biden has blocked domestic pipelines, ditched drilling projects, proposed sweeping regulations on the fossil fuel industry and attempted to ban oil and gas leases on federal lands while pledging to decarbonize the grid by 2035. But Biden has also turned to the Middle Eastern oil cartel the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russia, asking the countries to increase their production of oil and natural gas respectively.

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Commentary: America Should Put More Resources into Nuclear Power

Nuclear and solar power energy

Recent news in the energy world has not been encouraging. Prices are rising rapidly due to a supply crunch coupled with blistering, post-pandemic demand. Renewables like wind and solar are faltering in an unprepared electrical grid. Coal burning is set to spike to make up for energy supply shortfalls at a time when the world needs to aggressively decarbonize.

Some of this hardship might have been avoided if, over the past couple of decades, policy makers had the guts to support the safest, most reliable form of energy, which also happens to be carbon-free: nuclear. Instead, Germany is taking its nuclear fleet offline and replacing it with fossil fuels, as the country’s already exorbitant electricity prices soar. California is shutting down its last nuclear plant, further imperiling its notoriously fragile grid. All the while, Americans remain divided on nuclear power.

Again, the data is clear: despite nuclear’s damaged reputation, clouded by a few high-profile accidents, nuclear power kills fewer people per electricity produced than any other energy source. It is also the most reliable. Nuclear’s capacity factor, a measure of how often a power plant is producing energy at full capacity over a certain period of time, is the highest by far – almost double that of coal and more than triple that of solar. And nuclear is clean, producing no carbon emissions. Though its radioactive waste often attracts negative press, coal plants actually create more. Moreover, all of the waste that America’s nuclear power plants have collectively produced in a half-century could fit on one football field. This is because nuclear is incredibly efficient. In the U.S., just 55 nuclear power plants produce 20% of the country’s electricity! It takes nearly 2,000 natural gas plants to produce 40 percent.

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Democrats Laden $3.5 Trillion Budget Bill with ‘Green New Deal’ Handouts

Field of sunflowers with several wind turbines in the distance

Democrats have inserted numerous provisions and subsidy programs into their $3.5 trillion budget that would benefit green energy companies and speed the transition to renewables.

The Build Back Better Act would invest an estimated $295 billion of taxpayer money into a variety of clean energy programs in what would amount to the most sweeping climate effort passed by Congress, according to a House Committee on Energy and Commerce report. That price tag doesn’t factor in the other costly measures approved by the House Ways and Means, Agriculture, Natural Resources, Oversight and Transportation committees last month.

“This bill is crammed with green welfare subsidies, specifically for corporations and the wealthy,” House Ways and Means Ranking Member Kevin Brady told the Daily Caller News Foundation in an interview.

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Biden Administration Plans to Build Wind Farms to Power 10 Million Homes

The Biden administration laid out an ambitious plan Wednesday for government-funded wind farms along the east coast, which it said would sustain millions of Americans’ energy needs.

Multiple federal agencies are planning to collaborate on the project, which will be completed by 2030, Interior Department Secretary Deb Haaland said during a renewable energy conference in Boston on Wednesday. Overall, at least 30 gigawatts will be produced by offshore wind farms by decade’s end.

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U.S. Projects Global Emissions Will Continue to Rise Rapidly Through 2050 Despite Shift to Renewables

The federal government released its annual international energy projection Wednesday, and the projection showed global emissions will increase by about 25% over 2020 levels by 2050.

While regional policies are expected to decrease emission intensity, or the rate of pollution relative to the energy produced, emissions will continue to increase due to the growth of developing nations, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported. The 38 Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries will see a 5% growth in emissions by 2050, but non-members will produce 35% more emissions in that same time span.

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New Report Says Biden Energy Policy Is Misleading and Unattainable

Recent experiences in three states provide an insight into how problematic President Joe Biden’s push for renewable energy could be for electric customers nationwide, according to a new report from Power the Future.

The report, titled “Lights Out: How Green Mandates are Undermining the Affordability and Reliability of Electricity,” was written by Larry Behrens, western states director for Power the Future, a nonprofit trade group that speaks for oil and gas workers.

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