Tag Archive for: green energy

Biden’s Signature Climate Law Has A Major Achilles’ Heel — And Dems Are Making It Worse

President Joe Biden’s landmark climate bill is being held back by a lack of comprehensive permitting reform, the absence of which enables environmentalist lawsuits that impede green energy projects subsidized by the legislation.

The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) contained hundreds of billions of dollars to subsidize green energy projects nationwide, but the bill did not include significant reform to the permitting process that would expedite construction timelines and insulate developments from environmental legal challenges. Unless Congressional Democrats can negotiate a permitting reform package with Republicans in an election year, these problems will continue to dog the IRA’s implementation, energy policy experts and stakeholders told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

After solar and wind developments have been built, they need to be connected to the grid via transmission lines to feed power into the grid. Permitting reform would speed up the lengthy paperwork process for that transmission, as well as provide developers an additional layer of protection against environmental lawsuits that also disrupt the construction of green energy developments.

However, that reform has not happened yet, thanks in part to Congressional Democrats’ inability to agree among themselves on what that reform should look like to counter Republican proposals, according to E&E News.

“I think that not having any transmission reform is a huge barrier to implementing the IRA,” Isaac Orr, a policy analyst for the Center for the American Experiment who specializes in energy policy, told the DCNF. “I think there was an understanding that permitting reform was necessary in order to implement a lot of the things Democrats wanted as soon as they got the IRA … It’s a physical reality that you need the transmission in order to incorporate all this new capacity on the grid.”

The lack of reform has left numerous green energy developments open to legal challenges filed by environmental groups, who often will pursue similar legal strategies adopted by opponents of fossil fuel infrastructure projects in the past.

For example, a coalition of tribes and environmental organizations are suing to block a massive $10 billion transmission project in Arizona, while different coalitions have taken to court to allege violations of environmental laws on the part of offshore wind developers building wind farms in waters off the coasts of Virginia and Massachusetts. Elsewhere in the country, conservation groups have continued the years long fight against Wisconsin’s Cardinal-Hickory Creek transmission line by suing the government to stop construction.

“Reforms aimed at streamlining the federal government’s permit decision-making process and discouraging frivolous litigation have the potential not only to improve regulatory efficiency but also to bring about greater certainty and predictability in the offshore wind sector,” Erik Milito, the president of the National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) told the DCNF. “Litigation, particularly around alleged National Environmental Policy Act deficiencies, has been a significant hindrance for offshore wind projects. A robust U.S. offshore wind market relies on confidence and certainty in the permitting and regulatory process, which is essential for fostering growth and ensuring the success of these projects, much like any other major infrastructure endeavor.”

Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, a leading advocate for comprehensive permitting reform, has tried to advance legislation to expedite the permitting process and minimize opportunities for litigation to gum up timelines for all kinds of energy projects.

In total, there are no fewer than ten different permitting-related bills in Congress and two major regulatory initiatives underway on the federal level, but progress on streamlining the permitting process is still very sluggish, according to Utility Dive.

“All of these things, the Clean Water Act, the way the National Environmental Policy Act is now run … you can’t get anything built because of these statutes,” Mike McKenna, a Republican strategist with extensive experience in and around the energy sector, told the DCNF about Congressional gridlock on permitting reform.

“So we are about a year into you’re what I think is going to be a seven- or eight-year process, where everyone on the Left starts figuring out, ‘Oh, my goodness, these guys were right, You can’t build any of this stuff.”

Neither the White House nor the Department of Energy responded to requests for comment.

AUTHOR

NICK POPE

Contributor.

RELATED ARTICLE: Blue States Are Stripping Rural Counties Of Ability To Prevent Green Energy Takeover Of Their Communities

EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.


All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

Liberal Foundations Poured Tens Of Millions Of Dollars Into Influential Environmental Org Tied To Chinese Government

Major U.S.-based liberal charitable foundations have donated millions of dollars to Energy Foundation China (EFC), a San Francisco-based environmental nonprofit with deep ties to the Chinese government.

U.S.-based liberal charities, such as the Hewlett Foundation and nonprofits managed by left-wing dark money consultancy Arabella Advisors, have poured over $100 million into EFC since 2020, according to a Daily Caller News Foundation review of tax filings and foundation grant databases. EFC uses those funds to bankroll U.S.-based climate activists and to support the development of clean energy in China.

EFC has close ties to the Chinese state; at least nine members of the organization’s leadership and senior staff have previously held positions in China’s government, with one described in a Tsinghua University press release as an “outstanding [Chinese] Communist Party member.”

EFC spent more than $52 million funding green projects and organizations in the United States and China in 2022, according to tax forms.

EFC funds several of the U.S.-based organizations that have played a role in influencing the Biden administration’s climate agenda. American groups funded by EFC have, among other things, opposed the development of new oil drilling sites and promoted renewable energy technologies, like solar panels.

Green Cash

Liberal foundations have poured millions into EFC over the last four years, specifically for climate and energy programs in China, tax documents and grant databases show.

EFC had been a program under the Energy Foundation before breaking off and becoming an independent legal entity in 2019, according to its website. Prior to 2019, grants from charitable foundations to EFC were made out to the Energy Foundation and earmarked for EFC.

The Packard Foundation, Hewlett Foundation and MacArthur Foundation, all major players in American environmental activism, were some of EFC’s largest donors, representing almost 40% of the over $217.1 million the group raised between 2020 and 2022.

The MacArthur Foundation and the Hewlett Foundation donated at least $6 million and $67 million to EFC, respectively, between 2020 and 2023. The Packard Foundation, meanwhile, has donated about $19.3 million to the organization since 2020, according to its grant database.

Likewise, senior employees of the MacArthur Foundation, the Packard Foundation and the Hewlett Foundation hold seats on EFC’s board of directors.

The MacArthur Foundation gave EFC $2 million between 2020 and 2021 to help “China transition to a sustainable energy future,” according to its tax filings.

The Hewlett Foundation, meanwhile, paid out grants explicitly to fund EFC’s pro-Chinese government activities.

The Energy Foundation, which housed EFC at the time, received $8.4 million from the Hewlett Foundation in 2016 in part to fund EFC’s efforts to support the “climate implementation goals for China’s 13th Five-Year Plan.”

China’s Five-Year plan is formulated by the CCP and “sets forth China’s strategic intentions and defines its major objectives” for a five year period, according to the Chinese government.

Furthermore, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund gave EFC $200,000 in 2021 to support “low carbon transportation planning in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao greater bay area.” Rockefeller Brothers spent $200,000 bankrolling a similar project in 2019.

EFC’s donors, while funding the organization’s China-based activities, also served as major backers of domestic liberal activists. The Packard, Hewlett and MacArthur foundations, for instance, have poured millions of dollars into Planned Parenthood and other pro-abortion groups, according to tax filings.

The Energy Foundation’s activities in China also attracted significant support from entities tied to the Democratic Party.

The Heising-Simons Foundation, a California-based family charity founded by Democratic megadonors Liz Simons and Mark Heising. The foundation gave $925,000 to the Energy Foundation for its Chinese operations in 2017 and about $2.3 million in 2018, when EFC was still part of the Energy Foundation, according to tax forms.

Simons and Heising have donated nearly $10 million to Democrats and members of Congress who caucus with the Democrats since 2020, campaign finance records show.

Windward Fund and Hopewell Fund, nonprofits managed by the Democrat-aligned consultancy Arabella Advisors, supported EFC to the tune of nearly $2.5 million between 2020 and 2022, according to tax filings.

Several of the funds managed by Arabella Advisors are “dark money” organizations that are not required to disclose their donors and direct the bulk of their grants to left-wing and Democrat-aligned groups. Hopewell and Windward disclose their donors, however Hopewll received funds from Sixteen Thirty Fund, an organization in Arabella’s network that does not disclose donors, according to tax forms.

“Windward Fund recognizes that the climate crisis is a global challenge,” the organization said in a statement to the DCNF.

The Packard Foundation, Heising Simons Foundation, Hopewell Fund, MacArthur Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund and Hewlett Foundation did not respond to the DCNF’s requests for comment.

The China Connection

Former Chinese government officials have an outsized presence among EFC’s leadership and senior staff.

Zhang Hongjun, who is on EFC’s board of directors, was an official in China’s National Environmental Protection Agency and a legislative director in China’s National People’s Congress, focusing on environmental laws, according to EFC’s website.

The National People’s Congress (NPC) is “the highest organ of State power in China,” according to its website. The NPC operates under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and leaders of the NPC’s standing committee, a powerful subset of the NPC, are “invariably influential members of the CCP and leaders of major mass organizations,” according to the Congressional-Executive Commission on China.

He Kebin, another board member, was a representative in the Beijing Municipal People’s Congress in 2018, according to Sina, a Chinese-language media outlet. The Beijing Municipal People’s Congress works under the direct leadership of the CCP in implementing policy and providing services in China’s capital city, according to a report published by the mayor of Beijing in January 2023.

A group of universities in Beijing awarded Kebin the title of “outstanding member of the [Chinese] communist party” at a celebration marking the 99th anniversary of the CCP, according to a press release from Tsinghua University.

Several board members, including Kebin and Hongjun, are listed as council members on the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development’s (CCICED) website. CCICED was founded in 1992 with the approval of the Chinese government and advises the Chinese government on environmental policy and development, according to the organization’s website.

CCICED reports to the Chinese government’s State Council and its executive committee is staffed by several high-ranking Chinese government officials, according to the organization’s website.

CCICED Chairman Ding Xuexiang is the top-ranking vice premier of the People’s Republic of China and a member of the CCP’s Politburo Standing Committee, a seven-person Chinese government body headed by General Secretary Xi Jinping.

Other EFC board members are listed as special advisors for CCICED, including Shenyu BelskyHongpeng Lei and EFC President Zou Ji.

Zou Ji formerly served as deputy director general of China’s state-run National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation, and he was a key player in China’s delegation to the Paris Climate Accords in 2015, according to his bio on EFC’s website.

EFC paid Ji almost $500,000 in 2021 for his work as the group’s president and CEO, according to the organization’s 2021 tax filing. Board members Kebin and Hongjun drew compensation of $6,000 and $4,500, respectively, according to the 2021 filing.

EFC’s Senior Program Director of Strategic Communications Hui Jing formerly worked at the state-run National Natural Science Foundation of China, and Lan Yu, a program officer for EFC’s Low Carbon Economic Growth initiative, previously served in China’s finance and environmental ministries, according to their respective bios on EFC’s website.

Xin Liu, who leads EFC’s environmental management division, formerly served as a senior official in the Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau, and Ping He, who is the program director of EFC’s industry program, worked at the state-run Chinese Academy of Sciences for almost a decade, according to EFC’s website.

While the organization’s tax forms say it’s based in San Francisco, EFC also has an office in Beijing, which, according to the group’s website, is “registered with the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau and supervised by the National Development and Reform Commission of China.”

The National Development and Reform Commission of China (NDRC) is a Chinese government agency that exists to “formulate and implement strategies on national economic and social development” and create “strategies, plans and policies for utilizing foreign capital,” according to the NDRC’s website. The commission also is involved with the Chinese military as it “undertake[s] specific tasks of the National Defense Mobilization Committee,” according to its website.

Additionally, EFC disclosed a payment of nearly $400,000 for “consulting services” to the state-run China News Service on its 2020 tax forms.

The State Department designated China News Service as a foreign mission in 2020, meaning that it was found to be effectively controlled by the Chinese government.

‘China’s Ambitious Climate Vision’

Among other things, EFC says its goals are to improve China’s transportation system, to help the communist country achieve clean economic growth and to promote “China’s ambitious climate vision.” EFC aimed to assist China in becoming “the world leader in clean energy production, consumption, and investment, by 2030,” according to an archived version of the organization’s webpage

“Communist China is our enemy, and their ‘green energy’ policies are based on slave and child labor, government subsidies and trade abuses,” Florida Republican Senator Rick Scott told the DCNF.

EFC has also funneled large sums of money into influential, left-of-center environmental groups in the U.S.

Domestic climate groups, like the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), received millions from EFC between 2020 and 2022.

RMI, a nonprofit dedicated to “working to accelerate the clean energy transition,” was behind a study cited by Consumer Product Safety Commissioner Richard Trumka Jr.’s decision to consider a ban on gas stoves, which attracted significant controversy.

The Colorado-based organization also partnered with the Chinese government to produce a report advising a transition away from oil and gas. EFC was also involved in producing that report.

White House officials have met privately with leaders of RMI, Fox News Digital reported.

EFC gave about $1.8 million to RMI between 2020 and 2022, tax forms show.

NRDC, meanwhile, received about $700,000 from EFC between 2020 and 2022, according to tax forms.

NRDC describes itself as the “first national environmental advocacy group to focus on legal action.” NRDC has opposed expanded oil drilling in the United States, power plants that run on coalmining projects and the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

NRDC also has close ties to the Biden administration.

Gina McCarthy, NRDC’s former president, served as the White House’s national climate advisor from 2021 to 2022, Fox reported. The organization’s current president, Manish Bapna, has attended at least two White House meetings and the NRDC regularly communicates with Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry’s office, Fox reported.

“There are those, foremost among them, John Kerry, but there are many others who believe the existential challenge of our time … is climate change, and therefore we must have a more cooperative relationship with China,” House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party Chairman Mike Gallagher told the DCNF.

“That’s nonsense. We need to get realistic before it’s too late. Thinking that Xi Jinping cares about the documents that are signed at [the United Nations Climate Change Conference] is naïve, utopian nonsense. It reflects a profound misunderstanding of how the geopolitical world works.”

NRDC and RMI both have offices in China.

EFC has provided funding to RMI and NRDC’s Chinese programs, though grants to those organizations on EFC’s most recent publicly-available tax forms are earmarked for “education and analysis” operations with no mention of China.

RMI employs a number of former Chinese government officials through its China program. Ting LiMinhui GaoKaidi GuoQiyu Liu and Qian Sun are among the RMI staffers who formerly held posts in the Chinese government.

EFC did not respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.

AUTHORS

ROBERT SCHMAD AND PHILIP LENCZYCKI

Contributors.

RELATED ARTICLE: Biden Admin Doubles Down On Climate Cooperation With China As Xi’s Economy Goes On Coal Binge

EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.


All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

New York City’s Climate Policies Could Make Life Even More ‘Unaffordable’ For The Middle Class

New York City is moving forward with several climate policies which are likely to make everyday life even more costly for the middle class in one of the country’s most expensive cities.

The city is aiming to slash its greenhouse gas emissions by 80% come 2050, push a sweeping building electrification mandate known as Local Law 97 and impose an automobile traffic congestion fee, each of which will increase the costs of living or working in the nation’s largest city, especially for the middle class, energy and New York policy experts told the Daily Caller News Foundation. Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan each already rank within the 15 most expensive places to live in the U.S., according to an analysis conducted by CNBC.

“The city is wealthy because, somewhere out there, people are producing energy, food, clothing and so on, and people are trading all of that in New York,” Dan Kish, a senior fellow for the Institute for Energy Research, told the DCNF. The city’s emissions target “will make things more expensive and drive people away to places like Florida,” he added.

That flight of capital would shrink the tax base, thereby straining the city’s finances further, Kish told the DCNF. “People without the means, working people, do not have the opportunity to just pack up and leave,” Kish told the DCNF. “But it’s easy if you’re Mike Bloomberg.”

Local Law 97, meanwhile, is poised to impose emissions standards that approximately 50,000 buildings in New York City will have to meet starting in 2024, with additional restrictions imposed starting in 2030, according to The New York Times.

Some buildings are easier to retrofit with the appropriate wiring and equipment necessary to comply than others, and a large share of the high costs incurred by landlords and building owners for coming into compliance will almost certainly be passed on to residents, Jane Menton, a mother who lives in a Queens co-op and has led a grassroots effort to fight against Local Law 97, told the DCNF.

“Progressives in Queens, Manhattan and Brooklyn are so afraid to go against the narrative that this rule is a climate solution… but it’s unaffordable to convert buildings to electric so they won’t convert to comply with the rule, they will just pay fines which will then allow the city to use the money to plug gaps in the budget,” Menton told the DCNF. “The same politicians and advocates who claim to care about the city’s working class wrote a law that will push them out of their homes… functionally, this law is just a carbon tax on the middle class.”

Notably, other cities, such as Boston, have pushed for similar building electrification policies to fight climate change, and the Biden administration has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to help state and municipal governments pursue policies that “decarbonize” buildings as well.

The New York City congestion pricing tax is promulgated by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), which is technically not an agency operating under the auspices of the municipal government.

Congestion pricing is meant to reduce emissions and air pollution by charging drivers fees to enter certain sections of the city. Specifically, the MTA has proposed to charge passenger cars $15 and trucks as much as $36 to be able to enter a large swath of Manhattan, according to local outlet NBC 4.

However, the proposal may not significantly reduce the amount of traffic that piles up on the city’s roadways, potentially even increasing the amount of congestion in areas like the Bronx, according to the New York Post. Qualifying low-income drivers who register with the appropriate authorities could also receive a 50% discount on the charges after their first ten trips into the relevant area of Manhattan, according to local digital news outlet northjersey.com

“Congestion pricing should be viewed primarily as a revenue action to cover the MTA’s indefensibly high capital costs,” Ken Girardin, director of research for the Empire Center, a New York-focused think tank, told the DCNF. “As to congestion itself, policymakers have declined to do basic things like enforce parking rules or dial back the parking permits given to public employees or other policy changes that would take cars off lower Manhattan roads because those aren’t things you can borrow money against.”

The policy would also make life more expensive for people who do not live in the city but make the commute each day to go to work, according to Politico. Notably, politicians in London, the U.K’s largest metropolis, have attempted a similar scheme, which Republican New York City Councilman Joseph Borelli of Staten Island described as “a complete disaster” and an “abject failure” when discussing New York’s forthcoming version of the scheme in January.

“If all of New York state went ‘net-zero’ today, United Nations climate modeling indicates that a mere 0.0023° F of global warming would be avoided by 2050. That is far from measurable, much less significant. So nothing would be accomplished,” Steve Milloy, a senior legal fellow for the Energy and Environment Legal Institute, told the DCNF. Businesses will stay in NYC and play along with the climate agenda, including high taxes, as long as costs can be passed on to locals. When profitability stops, businesses will leave… The costs of the climate agenda are regressive. Poorer people will feel them first.”

The offices of Democratic New York City Mayor Eric Adams and the MTA did not respond immediately to the DCNF’s request for comment.

AUTHOR

NICK POPE

Contributor.

RELATED ARTICLES:

This Populous Blue State Has A Green Energy Mandate. Experts Say It Threatens Grid Reliability

Fresh Off Their Alaska Failure, The Eco-Left Has Its Sights Set On A New Gas Project

EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.


All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

DAVID BLACKMON: Biden Admin’s Latest Offshore Lease Proves The Political Class Shouldn’t Make Energy Decisions For Us

Barely a week after its representatives committed the United States to a COP28 agreement pledging to “transition away” from fossil fuels – oil, natural gas and coal – the Biden government held its first significant auction of offshore leases in the Gulf of Mexico Wednesday. It was not just any old lease sale, mind you, but the most massive one since 2015 with more than 72 million acres up for lease.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) reports that the government collected a total of $382 million in lease bonuses from an array of “big oil” companies, including Chevron, Shell, Hess (soon to become Chevron via merger), Anadarko (already a part of Oxy via a 2019 merger), Equinor and Repsol. Obviously, the Biden administration’s long refusal to hold a real lease sale in the Gulf had resulted in pent-up demand for new development acreage among the large, well-capitalized companies that are capable of investing billions of dollars in exploration for new deep-sea resources.

In a statement, Erik Milito, president of the National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA), emphasized the importance of maintaining an active program for offshore lease sales in U.S. waters. “Today signifies a critical point in American energy policy,” Milito said. “The U.S. offshore oil and gas industry is stepping up and making the investments vital to enhance our energy, economic, and national security for decades to come. However, the offshore industry’s commitment to American energy security and affordability comes at a time of significant and unnecessary uncertainty. Without Congressional intervention, this is the final lease sale until at least 2025.”

Of course, 2025 will be the year in which the next presidential administration begins. If it is a continuation of the Biden presidency – or that of another Democrat – then we can anticipate the new 5-year plan for offshore leasing introduced on December 15 will reign. That plan envisions the holding of just three offshore lease sales from 2024 through 2029. That is fewer sales than Barack Obama’s administration held in any single year, and a tiny fraction of the 47 sales envisioned by the 5-year plan adopted during the Trump administration.

Milito and NOIA clearly view the Biden plan as wholly inadequate to sustain a vital and healthy offshore industry into the future. “In our forward-thinking industry, securing new lease blocks is vital for exploring and developing resources crucial to the U.S. economy,” Milito said. “Additional offshore acreage is necessary to sustain and expand energy production in a region known for among the lowest carbon intensity barrels globally.”

That last point about carbon intensity should be a major consideration in any U.S. administration that is concerned about emissions. Despite all the grand fantasies discussed at global conferences like COP28 and the annual World Economic Forum meetings, the reality is that the world is going to need more and more oil and natural gas in the coming decades to sustain a modern society. That oil can either be produced in places like the U.S., with its strong regulatory system limiting carbon and methane emissions, or in places like the west coast of Africa or other developing regions with comparatively primitive regulatory structures.

Sadly, though, the politics surrounding climate alarmism, in which well-funded climate activist groups pour billions into Democratic political campaigns, dictate that any Democratic presidency must assume a hostile public posture toward industries that produce or use fossil fuels. Wednesday’s lease sale in fact happened only thanks to a series of court orders forcing the Biden Interior Department’s hand. Otherwise, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, herself a lifelong opponent of oil and gas drilling, would have without any doubt continued to find ways to delay it through at least the end of Biden’s first term.

The just-adopted plan to hold just three additional sales across the coming six years is absurd on its face and would inevitably result in a shrinking U.S. offshore energy sector. “Without annual opportunities for investment here in the U.S., the investment necessary to fuel the U.S. and global economies will simply shift to other parts of the world, including regions with potentially lower environmental standards and higher emissions,” Milito said.

This is all about hardcore partisan politics, and it exemplifies one more reason why the political class is the very worst class in any society to be put in charge of making energy-related decisions for the rest of us.

AUTHOR

DAVID BLACKMON

David Blackmon is an energy writer and consultant based in Texas. He spent 40 years in the oil and gas business, where he specialized in public policy and communications.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.

RELATED ARTICLE:DAVID BLACKMON: This Agency Is Scrambling To Adjust Its Absurd ‘Peak Oil’ Predictions

POST ON X:

EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.


All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

Another Green Energy Co. Failing after Getting Millions from U.S. Government

Reminiscent of the hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars Obama dispersed to failed green energy ventures, a struggling solar energy company that received millions from the Biden administration is about to fold. The northern California firm is called SunPower and it is dedicated to energy storage and solar power. Last summer the Department of Energy (DOE) gave it a $6.7 million grant and earlier this year it received a $1.4 million contract from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). This week SunPower shares are down sharply following a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing warning of “substantial doubt” about its ability to continue operating.

Public funds poured into its coffers as part of an aggressive—and costly—plan to make America green. It began when Biden was vice president and, though the Trump administration halted funding such dubious projects, the money resumed flowing under Biden despite documented failures that have fleeced the American public out of huge sums. They include bankrupt solar panel manufacturer Solyndra, among the most marked failures in the Obama-Biden administration’s effort to force costly alternative energy on consumers. The northern California company received an outlandish $529 million from the government despite the “serious concerns” of U.S. Treasury officials about the risky investment. The controversial deal was suspiciously rushed through for a politically connected entrepreneur that raised large amounts for Obama’s campaign. Judicial Watch investigated the Solyndra scandal and sued both the Obama and Biden administrations for records involving the costly back door deals that led to the loss of hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars.

A number of other green energy endeavors also failed to take off after receiving hefty investments from Uncle Sam. Among them is Fisker Automotive, a southern California startup that went under after getting nearly $200 million of the $528.7 million that the Obama-Biden administration promised it. The electric car company assured that thousands of jobs would be created in the region hit hard by unemployment and touted innovative plans to develop two lines of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles that could go up to 300 miles on a rechargeable Lithium-ion battery. When the government’s multi-million-dollar allocation was announced Biden, then vice president, put the company on a pedestal, saying “the story of Fisker is a story of ingenuity of an American company, a commitment to innovation by the U.S. government and the perseverance of the American auto industry.” Obama Energy Secretary Steven Chu guaranteed Fisker would “save hundreds of millions of gallons of gasoline and offset millions of tons of greenhouse gas emissions…” It never materialized.

Another green business that went under after receiving generous government funding under the Obama-Biden administration is ECOtality, another California company that was supposed to make charging stations for electric cars. After getting nearly $100 million from Uncle Sam, it collapsed. A startup called Vehicle Production Group (VPG) went bankrupt after losing $50 million in taxpayer funds awarded under Obama-Biden. VPG was supposed to create special vans for the disabled that run on compressed natural gas. Here is how the Obama administration justified funding the experiment with public dollars: “This project invests in a socially and environmentally responsible product that will create new jobs, promote the use of alternative fuels, and help the U.S. maintain its competitive edge in the automotive industry.” The DOE eventually took the page down, but the wording is straight from the agency’s announcement promoting VPG. Another scandal-plagued green auto program known as Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) received tens of millions of dollars under Obama-Biden with no results.

The Obama administration also launched a multi-million-dollar program to create “green jobs” that will never exist. Back in 2013 a federal audit revealed that the government has blown half a billion dollars to train workers for the fantasy positions to fulfill Obama’s promise of creating 5 million green jobs over the next decade, which predictably has not materialized.

EDITORS NOTE: This Judicial Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Blue States Are Stripping Rural Counties Of Ability To Prevent Green Energy Takeover Of Their Communities

Several blue states have deprived rural counties of the ability to reject the massive green energy projects that corporations want to site in their communities, while green industrial interests and environmentalist groups have poured money into state capitals.

Michigan, California, New York and Illinois have all passed legislation that consolidates authority over land use issues and rules with state-level bureaucrats at the expense of local governments that could have altered their own zoning codes to stem the tide of industrial green projects like solar and wind farms. These policies deprive rural residents in these states of their freedom and local autonomy, while also benefiting the corporate interests that line the pockets of the states’ Democratic governors, state policy experts and lawmakers told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

“Much of the renewables business and movement has been co-opted by big corporations,” which “are spending millions” on politics “because this is a matter of billions for them,” Edward Ring, a senior fellow for the California Policy Institute and the organization’s co-founder, told the DCNF. “What we are seeing, for example, with the ‘Inflation Reduction Act,’ is one of the biggest gifts of money to corporations that we have ever seen in this country,” Ring told the DCNF, referring to the IRA’s subsidies facilitating the rise of green energy.

Since 2020, there have been about 350 local restrictions or rejections of solar and wind projects across the country, according to energy expert Robert Bryce’s Renewable Rejection Database.

Michigan

Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer recently enacted her state’s green energy mandate, which sets a target for 100% green energy generation by 2040. The legislation has the state poised to significantly ramp up construction of solar and wind developments, as well as carbon capture pipelines that will be needed for the state’s natural gas plants to continue to operate in the future.

One of the bills Whitmer signed into law as part of the package, H.B. 5120, specifically allows the Michigan Public Services Commission, the state’s utility regulatory body overseen by officials appointed by the governor, to exercise permitting authority for large green energy projects rather than leaving zoning discretion to the municipal governments. Several local opposition campaigns in more rural locales across the state were able to hinder major green energy developments in their communities, but the new law could make similar grassroots success in the future effectively impossible.

Whitmer’s green energy package and the siting bill “very clearly advance the interests of monopoly utilities, big wind and solar developers and extreme environmental groups over the interests of local communities and rural Michiganders,” Jason Hayes, the director of energy and environmental policy for the Mackinac Center, a Michigan-based think tank, told the DCNF. “Put another way, these bills protect the profits of politically favored and heavily subsidized wind and solar developers, while sacrificing the rights and interests of the communities that will have to endure the wind turbines and solar arrays developers want to build… rural Michiganders will have to endure both the rising costs and the intrusions into their lives and environment as massive increases in wind and solar development begin to occur.”

A nonprofit organization linked to DTE Energy, a major utility company that Hayes told the DCNF stands to gain from the state’s green energy mandate, shelled out $2 million to help Michigan Democrats in 2022, according to The Detroit News. DTE Energy also gave $400,185 to organizations that spent, directly or indirectly, on Whitmer’s behalf before and after her victory in the 2018 gubernatorial race, according to the Michigan Capitol Confidential.

While DTE Energy also gives money to Republicans, Democrats received substantially more from the company in 2018 and 2022, according to the Michigan Capitol Confidential and The Detroit News.

Additionally, since 2021, Whitmer-affiliated political funds have raked in more than $100,000 in campaign cash from environmentalist organizations that support the green energy transition, like 314 Action and the Michigan League of Conservation Voters’ political action committee, according to state campaign finance records.

“Gov. Whitmer and Lansing Democrats are ignoring the concerns of Michigan families and forcibly imposing massive wind and solar projects on communities who have clearly stated that they do not want them,” Republican Michigan State Rep. Jaime Green, who represents a rural district and serves in Michigan’s House Energy, Communications and Technology Committee, told the DCNF. “Gov. Whitmer has sent a clear message: If there’s a disagreement between what local people want and what the environmental lobby wants, she’s siding with the lobbyists.”

While not directly related to the state’s consolidation of siting and permitting authority, the reaction of locals in rural Green Charter Township to a China-tied electric vehicle battery component manufacturer’s plans to set up shop in their community shows that local residents and state officials do not always agree on what is best for a given community. Whitmer, fellow Democrats and green energy advocates hailed Gotion’s plans to build subsidized facilities in the area as a major step forward for Michigan’s green economy, but many locals did not approve of the company because of its extensive connections to the Chinese Communist Party via its parent company, Gotion High-Tech.

Voters punished local officials who had supported the company in November at the ballot box, ousting five members of the township’s council, the township’s clerk and the township’s treasurer. Those officials had overseen and facilitated Gotion’s plans to operate in the area before their removal.

California

California, another state dominated by the Democratic Party, passed a law in June 2022 that enables state bureaucrats to bypass local restrictions in order to permit large-scale green energy projects. Similar to Michigan’s newly-enacted statute, the California law is specifically designed to facilitate the state’s pursuit of 100% zero-carbon energy generation by 2045.

“The Democratic lawmakers themselves, along with a lot of Republicans even in red states, are just getting so much money from these companies,” Ring told the DCNF regarding the green energy lobby’s influence in politics. “There is a reason we have eminent domain for some purposes, such as building pipelines and streets. Now, we have an abuse of eminent domain, and also an overriding of zoning—the problem is when you use it for something that relies on hype, without a proven and compelling public interest,” like fast-tracking solar and wind projects that often harm the environment while providing unreliable, intermittent power, Ring added.

Like Whitmer, Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a self-proclaimed environmentalist, has received considerable financial support from interests that ostensibly stand to benefit from a rapid buildout of green energy projects in the state. Between his 2018 and 2022 gubernatorial campaigns, Newsom received more than $340,000 from green energy trade groups, political action committees and executives, according to state campaign finance records reviewed by the DCNF.

“There is nothing wrong with being an environmentalist, per se. The issue is that the environmentalist movement has been hijacked by corporate interests,” Ring told the DCNF.

New York

New York state established the Office for Renewable Energy Siting (ORES) in April 2020, when former Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo was still in office before he resigned amid sexual harassment and COVID-19 scandals. ORES has the ability to not apply “any local law or ordinance” that is “unreasonably burdensome” for a proposed green energy facility in view of the state’s aggressive green energy goals or the perceived environmental benefits associated with a given project, according to the enabling statute’s text.

The bulk of new solar and wind projects are sited in upstate New York, a more rural region of the state that already receives most of its energy from carbon-free generation sources, Ken Girardin, the New York-based Empire Center’s research director, told the DCNF, citing data from the New York Independent System Operator.

“New York’s land-use policies and practices are far from perfect, but these are projects that wouldn’t be coming to areas if it weren’t for considerable public subsidies,” Girardin told the DCNF.

Cuomo and his successor, Democratic New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, each received considerable contributions from interest groups that ostensibly stand to gain from a green energy transition in the state. Green energy companies, trade groups and executives, as well as relevant unions and their political action committees, have contributed about $270,000 combined to the two politicians since 2018, according to state campaign finance records reviewed by the DCNF.

Unions are a major political force in the state, and they ostensibly could benefit from the scale of the many projects that will need to be built in order to meet the state’s longer-term green energy targets, Girardin told the DCNF.

Illinois

In February, Democratic Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker enacted H.B. 4412, which “prevents counties from enacting preemptive local ordinances that outright ban local wind and solar projects, hindering the state’s new climate goals.” Illinois is aiming to reach 100% green energy generation by 2050, and will need to build out a significant network of new solar and wind projects to get there.

“These new energy companies, many of which are owned by large, out-of-state venture capital firms receiving massive tax breaks, are now able to remove local control against the wishes of the community,” Republican Illinois State Sen. Terri Bryant told the DCNF about the policy. “This bill is especially dangerous in heavily agriculture counties that have limited zoning and large spaces of land used for crops… removing local control in favor of new energy companies, many of which are out of state and out of the country, is not just a threat to property rights, but to our national security and food supply chain.”

In his two terms as governor, Pritzker has pursued left-wing policies in numerous policy arenas, including imposing tight gun control measures, a $15 minimum wage and eliminating cash bail requirements for suspected criminals. These policies align with the left-wing agenda promulgated by other members of his family, one of the wealthiest in the country, according to the New York Post.

The offices of Whitmer, Newsom, Hochul and Pritzker did not respond immediately to requests for comment.

AUTHOR

NICK POPE

Contributor.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Grid Watchdog Warns That Dems’ Climate Agenda Could Put Large Swaths Of US At ‘Elevated Risk’ For Blackouts

‘Made-Up Numbers’: Whitmer Misstates Key Stat From Study While Selling Her Green Energy Legislation

This Populous Blue State Has A Green Energy Mandate. Experts Say It Threatens Grid Reliability

EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.


All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

President Of UN Climate Confab Says There’s ‘No Science’ Behind Push To Phase Out Fossil Fuels

Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, the president of this year’s United Nations (UN) climate summit, said that there is “no science” behind calls to eliminate fossil fuels to counter global warming, according to The Guardian.

Al Jaber also said that getting rid of fossil fuels would not allow for sustainable economic growth “unless you want to take the world back into caves,” according to The Guardian. He made the remarks during an exchange with Mary Robinson, the chair of the Elders group and a former UN special envoy for climate change, during a virtual event held on Nov. 21.

“There is no science out there, or no scenario out there, that says the phase-out of fossil fuel is what’s going to achieve 1.5,” Al Jaber told Robinson, referencing the 1.5 degrees Celsius threshold for increase in global average temperatures that many scientists and activists point to as critical to stay below, according to The Guardian.

“Please help me, show me the roadmap for a phase-out of fossil fuel that will allow for sustainable socioeconomic development, unless you want to take the world back into caves,” Al Jaber told Robinson, according to The Guardian.

Al Jaber’s comments drew the ire of other UN officials, including UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, and climate activists, who advocate for a much stronger international effort to abandon fossil fuels and switch the world’s economy to relying on green energy generation, according to The Guardian.

Al Jaber’s presidency has also generated other controversies, as he runs the Emirati state-owned renewable firm and the state-owned oil and gas giant. Leaked documents showed that Emirati officials planned to use COP28-related meetings to discuss potential business dealings related to the two firms with foreign officials, and separate documents revealed how the companies viewed Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry as a key player in efforts to secure their future financial success.

Despite Al Jaber’s comments and the appearances of potential conflicts of interest, the conference he is overseeing has resulted in several major developments. For example, several of the world’s developed countries, including the U.S., pledged hundreds of millions of dollars combined to a de facto international “climate reparations” fund, and American officials approved a new set of methane emissions regulations that could severely impact the domestic oil and gas industry.

The UN did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

AUTHOR

NICK POPE

Contributor.

RELATED ARTICLES:

White House Deploys Kamala Harris To Represent US At Elite Climate Summit: ‘It’s Only Fitting’

Biden Could Jack Up Food Prices, Wreak Environmental Havoc With ‘Sustainable’ Jet Fuel Subsidies

EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.


All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

‘Obvious Violation Of Federal Law’: Forthcoming Litigation Could Gum Up America’s Largest-Ever Offshore Wind Farm

  • Legal proceedings against the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) could threaten to disrupt the timelines for the construction of the largest offshore wind farm in U.S. waters to date, Dominion Energy’s Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) project.
  • The Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) and The Heartland Institute requested that BOEM and the NMFS begin to revise an allegedly inadequate environmental review and associated North Atlantic Right Whale harassment authorizations within the next 60 days, or the organizations will go to court to challenge the agencies’ actions, an outcome which could possibly disrupt CVOW’s timeline.
  • “This letter officially puts BOEM on notice that CFACT is prepared to file suit in order to expose the agency’s clear violation of federal law in failing to protect the North Atlantic right whale,” Craig Rucker, CFACT’s president, said of his organization’s filing and its implications.

Pending legal challenges against the Biden administration could disrupt the timeline for construction of a Virginia offshore wind farm poised to be the largest in the U.S.

The Heartland Institute and the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) filed a 60 day notice of intent to sue the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), a subagency of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), on Monday, citing an allegedly deficient biological review underlying the agencies’ authorizations for construction teams to legally harass a number critically-endangered North Atlantic Right Whales. The two groups request that the agencies rescind the allegedly deficient review, known as a “biological opinion,” within 60 days and issue a revised number of harassment authorizations.

If the agencies choose to disregard the request and do not rework the number of authorized whale disturbances to align with a new assessment, the organizations will take to the courts to challenge the biological opinion, according to the notice’s text. The notice and the possibility of expensive, time-consuming litigation adds to the risks that Dominion Energy’s Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) project faces, according to CFACT.

“This letter officially puts BOEM on notice that CFACT is prepared to file suit in order to expose the agency’s clear violation of federal law in failing to protect the North Atlantic right whale. By refusing to consider the cumulative impact of the dozens of industrial offshore wind facilities, consisting of several thousand individual turbines planned for the East Coast, it adopted a piecemeal approach, which only considered each individual offshore wind project in isolation,” Craig Rucker, CFACT’s president, said of his organization’s filing and its implications. “This is clearly a ploy to artificially reduce the total impact of these projects on the North Atlantic Right Whale. This obvious violation of federal law was ignored by the oversight agencies but will not be tolerated by the courts.”

The notice asserts that the CVOW project’s biological opinion, issued by NMFS and adopted by BOEM, runs afoul of the Endangered Species Act primarily because the assessment does not adequately consider the cumulative impacts that other East Coast offshore wind projects will have on migrating North Atlantic Right Whales that travel near the other developments in addition to CVOW, according to its text.

The Biden administration announced that it had greenlit CVOW development on Oct. 31, setting the project on course to become the largest offshore wind farm in U.S. waters. The administration’s approval followed months of speculation that the offshore wind industry is driving a massive spike in North Atlantic Right Whale deaths along the East Coast.

A considerable uptick in baleen whale deaths has coincided with the 2016 beginning of East Coast developments, a timeline which generally aligns with NOAA’s declarations of “unusual mortality events” for North Atlantic Right and Humpback Whales in 2017 and 2016, respectively, according to its website.

While critics of offshore wind have suggested that offshore wind-related sonar activity could be disorienting the whales and their sensitive hearing, which in turn makes them far more likely to transit dangerous areas or struggle to find food in ways they otherwise would not, government agencies and several major eco-activism organizations maintain that there is no available science demonstrating that there is a link between offshore wind and whale mortality. The government’s current position is that climate change and vessel strikes are primarily responsible for the increase in mortalities rather than ocean industrialization.

Offshore wind is a key aspect of the Biden administration’s overall green energy agenda, which aims to have the U.S. power sector reach net-zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2035 and net-zero for the entire U.S. economy by 2050. The administration is striving to have offshore wind generate enough power to satisfy the demand of 10 million American homes by 2030, but concerns over the industry’s ecological impact and its substantial economic struggles have put that target in jeopardy.

Representatives for BOEM and NMFS declined to comment, stating that they are unable to comment on matters of litigation. Dominion Energy and the White House did not respond immediately to requests for comment.

AUTHOR

NICK POPE

Contributor.

RELATED ARTICLE: Biden Admin To Green Light Another Massive Offshore Wind Farm Amid Industry Troubles, Mounting Whale Deaths

EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.


All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

The Green Energy Industry Just Had An Absolutely Brutal Week

The past week has been marked by worrying developments for the state of the green energy industry, suggesting that President Joe Biden’s sweeping climate agenda could be imperiled.

Offshore wind companies are cancelling projects and executives are sounding the alarm on the state of the industry, while solar companies and indexes have seen their value continue a months-long slide that has resulted in diminished earnings forecasts and a solar-oriented loan provider’s bankruptcy. These developments suggest that Biden’s sweeping green energy plans could be in trouble, especially given the intractable nature of some of the crucial economic problems plaguing the industries.

“Boosters for this energy transition bet the farm on three rent-seeking industries: wind, solar and electric vehicles. Two legs of that three-legged stool are now showing signs of financial distress despite massive subsidies they’ve already received from multiple levels of government,” David Blackmon, a 40-year veteran of the oil and gas industry who now writes and consults extensively on energy, told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “American consumers, who are paying the price for this in the form of skyrocketing costs of all forms of energy, should demand their representatives hang up the phone when the calls come in from wind and automaker executives asking for even more.”

Orsted, a Danish offshore wind company, announced on Tuesday that it cancelled two major developments off the coast of New Jersey. Company executives blamed factors like inflation, interest rates and supply chain woes, saying that the problems had left the firm little choice but to walk away from the major projects.

Since the cancellations, the company’s stock price has fallen even further and S&P has indicated that it is considering downgrading the company’s credit rating. But Orsted is not the only offshore wind company showing signs that the industry may be in an extremely precarious position.

The U.S. offshore wind industry appears to be “fundamentally broken” due to problems with permitting and rising costs, Anja-Isabel Dotzenrath, the head of gas and low carbon energy for British Petroleum (BP), said at a conference on Wednesday, according to Bloomberg News. “There’s a fundamental reset needed,” she said, suggesting that there could be solutions and that her company is working with its partner to assess “options for their U.S. offshore wind projects to mitigate the effect of inflationary pressures and permitting delays.”

Under Biden’s leadership, the federal government has heavily subsidized the offshore wind developments, primarily via the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), in a bid to have the industry provide enough power to source electricity for 10 million American homes by 2030. The state of the industry is so dire that numerous energy market experts told the DCNF that a government bailout for the industry may be just around the corner.

The offshore wind goal is just one slice of the administration’s efforts to decarbonize the American energy sector by 2035 and then have the entire U.S. economy reach net-zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050.

Like offshore wind, the administration is counting on solar power to emerge in the coming years as a replacement for the energy generated by fossil fuel infrastructure. Solar power is also similar to wind power in that it is intermittent and currently more expensive than power sourced by natural gas and other fossil fuels, according to Peter Grossman, an emeritus professor of economics for Butler University.

Solar companies have generally had a rough 2023 so far, and this past week has been no different: while stocks are down for several leading solar producers, Sunlight Financing, a company which provided loans to consumers to buy residential solar systems, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Monday. Several leading home system installers pared back their outlooks for the year this week as well, as higher interest rates and inflation have cooled consumer demand, according to Bloomberg News.

“The green industry makes products that are both very expensive and mostly ineffective,” Larry Behrens, the communications director for Power The Future, told the DCNF. “Yet, instead of admitting reality, we have an administration in Washington that is doubling-down and working overtime to force these terrible products into our lives,” he continued, adding that “thanks to the laughably-named Inflation Reduction Act, Joe Biden has a $369 billion dollar green slush fund and he’s put a political operative in charge of it… Joe Biden knows that when the green agenda fails, his legacy will sink even further, so there will be no dollar amount too high to keep green boondoggles afloat for as long as possible.”

The White House, Orsted, BP and Sunlight Financing all did not respond immediately to requests for comment.

AUTHOR

NICK POPE

Contributor.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Blue State Taxpayers May Pay The Price For Dems’ Wind Power Gamble

Dems’ Own Banking Rules Could Strangle Green Energy Investment

Berkshire Hathaway Reports $12.8 Billion Loss Amid Falling Investments

EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.


All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

The Climate Lobby Is Openly Plotting To Steal Our Freedom

During her May 15 speech to The Beyond Growth Conference held by the European Parliament, European Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen, citing a 1970s de-growth plan published by the Club of Rome, made reference to the European Union’s “social market economy” five times in a span of less than 150 words.

A “social market economy,” of course, is a reference to the sort of central economic planning engaged in by authoritarian socialist governments throughout history. “And this is exactly why we put forward our European Green Deal,” Von Der Leyen told the conference. “Building a 21st century clean-energy circular economy is one of the most significant economic challenges of our times.”

The agenda of the Beyond Growth Conference focused on devising plans to manage the destruction of economic growth that is a centerpiece of the real agenda of the energy transition. Limitations on energy minerals and other resources required by wind, solar and electric vehicles, and on the ability to continue printing trillions of debt-funded dollars and Euros in a vain attempt to subsidize them to the scale required to displace fossil fuels inevitably means the forcing of common citizens in the Western world to scale down their standards of living and limit their mobility to meet the net-zero by 2050 goals being dictated at the global level. Thus, the need for the EU to move “beyond growth” and back to a more primitive mode of living.

Rising recognition and acceptance of these limitations, along with the success by Western governments in enforcing authoritarian edicts on their populations during the COVID-19 pandemic, is now leading to a rapid evolution in the overarching narrative and talking points related to the energy transition. The former energy transition narrative of “we will scale up renewables and EVs and you won’t even notice the difference in your daily lives” has been transformed to “we will scale everything down and you will just have to live with it” with stunning speed during 2023.

report titled “The Urban Mobility Scorecard Tool: Benchmarking the Transition to Sustainable Urban Mobility” issued by the World Economic Forum in May is another great example. Based largely upon a 2017 UC Davis report titled “3 Revolutions in Urban Transportation,” the WEF report advocates for authoritarian governments to force the reduction of the numbers of vehicles on the road from the current global estimate of 1.45 billion to just 500 million. The UC Davis report went largely unnoticed in 2017 because the climate alarmist lobby had not been sufficiently emboldened at that time to publicly discuss its real goals. But that mask is now coming off.

The authors of the WEF report claim citizens who can no longer own cars would still be allowed to move away from their planned cities of the future, but only via “shared transport,” i.e. electric buses and a new network of thousands of miles of high-speed rail. But California has clearly shown that thoughts of building a huge network of tens of thousands of miles of new high-speed rail in the western world in the next 27 years is a complete fantasy. California’s own high-speed rail boondoggle, originally proposed 27 years ago in 1996, has seen its budget blossom from $8 billion to over $130 billion, and still hasn’t managed to lay a single mile of rail.

The real world simply does not conform itself to fantasies like this plan, and everyone at the WEF is fully aware of that reality. Thus, what this plan really amounts to is a scheme to enable the speeding-up of implementation of socialist/authoritarian governments in the West to enforce the new restrictions on the lives of common citizens, an effort that began to accelerate during the COVID pandemic. Authoritarian governments always endeavor to restrict the free flow of information outside of approved propaganda, and restricting mobility is a key means of achieving that goal.

As we see the EU and the WEF now freely admitting, economic de-growth and forcing citizens of Western nations to live smaller, less prosperous lives are the real end goals of this energy transition. The narrative has officially shifted, and we would do well to take them at their word.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.

AUTHOR

DAVID BLACKMON

David Blackmon is an energy writer and consultant based in Texas. He spent 40 years in the oil and gas business, where he specialized in public policy and communications.

RELATED ARTICLES:

National Geographic Says Climate Change Is ‘Greatest Threat to Humans’ As They Fly Around The World on Private Jets

VIJAY JAYARAJ: The World Is Running Away From Unreliable Green Energy

DAVID BLACKMON: Dems Roar Right Past Gas Stove Ban For Even Bigger Goals

Green industrialization greatly increases CO2 emissions

EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.


All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

Inflation Reduction? Dems’ Climate Spending Spree Could Cost $1.2 Trillion, Analysts Say

Democrats’ Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) could cost roughly $1.2 trillion in green energy subsidies, more than four times an initial government forecast of outlays, Bloomberg reported Thursday, citing analysts from Goldman Sachs.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) initially forecast that the law, a cornerstone of President Joe Biden’s efforts to decarbonize the U.S. economy, would cost the government $370 billion to boost investments in green technology, according to Bloomberg. Goldman Sachs’ findings mirror those of analytics firm Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, which reported in February that the estimated cost of battery manufacturing tax breaks would be roughly $136 billion over the next 10 years, more than four times the $30.6 billion estimated by the CBO.

“Early analysis of the IRA relied on unrealistic expectations to keep cost estimates down,” Heritage Foundation economist E.J. Antoni told the Daily Caller News Foundation in a statement. “As time has progressed and those rosy forecasts are pushed outside the realm of possibility, the real cost is becoming increasingly clear.”

Goldman analysts estimate that private companies, spurred by government benefits, will invest an additional $3 trillion, Bloomberg reported. Biden specifically called out “every single” Republican for siding with “special interests” over the American people in opposing the bill, in remarks made after he signed it into law in August.

The IRA offers a variety of tax credits and subsidies to wind, solar and battery production and encourages U.S.-based mining by linking battery subsidies to a requirement that at least 40% of all minerals are mined domestically or from certain allies. The bill also expanded a federal  loan program to support research and development of advanced batteries to be used in vehicles.

The massive climate bill would have an effect on inflation that was “statistically indistinguishable from zero,” according to a preliminary estimate made by the University of Pennsylvania Penn Wharton Budget Model made in July. President Joe Biden last August touted a letter signed by 120 economists, including some Nobel prize winners, which alleged that the bill would put “downward pressure” on inflation, based on a CBO estimate that the bill would cut government spending by $300 billion over 10 years, the Associated Press reported contemporaneously.

Then-House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy argued at the time that the bill would spend “half-a-trillion of your money,” building on “trillions in wasteful spending that caused runaway inflation” in an August debate on the bill.

“Passing this bill today means more expensive bills for Americans tomorrow. And anyone who says otherwise isn’t telling the truth,” McCarthy said. “Your pocketbook is their plan to fund more inflationary spending.”

The White House did not immediately respond to a DCNF request for comment.

AUTHOR

JOHN HUGH DEMASTRI

Contributor.

RELATED ARTICLE: Staggering Price Tag, Logistical Hurdles Make Biden’s Climate Agenda A ‘Fool’s Errand,’ Report Says

EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.


All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

Biden Soaring Gas Prices Are Part Of Green Agenda—Gas Stations Adding Extra Digit Expecting $10 a Gallon for Gasoline

President Joe Biden suggested record gas prices were part of an incredible transition away from fossil fuels Monday in Japan.

At the press conference in Tokyo with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, a reporter asked the president if a recession in the United States was inevitable.

“When it comes to the gas prices,” the president stammered for a moment. “We’re going through an incredible transition that is taking place that God willing when it’s over we’ll be stronger, and the world will be stronger and less reliant on fossil fuels when this is over.”

Biden then mentioned his decision to ease rising gas prices by releasing 180 million barrels of oil from emergency stockpiles in late March, though he noted it hasn’t been effective.

The Biden administration canceled the three remaining offshore oil and gas lease sales last week including the Cook Inlet in Alaska, and two in the Gulf of Mexico reportedly due to factors including conflicting court rulings.

Richard Spinrad, the head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reportedly said the backlog in permitting was from a miscalculation a sub agency found, according to a late April letter obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation.

The average pump price nationwide has surged to $4.59 per gallon of regular gasoline compared to $4.11 in April, according to AAA.

AUTHOR

CHRIS BERTMAN

Contributor. Follow Chris on Twitter.

RELATED ARTICLE: Ever Wonder Why Our Leftist Government is Intent on Putting Us in Electric Cars?

RELATED VIDEOS:

Diesel prices up 100 percent…

Hawley Confronts Sec. Granholm On Exploding Gas Prices

Granholm: Gas Will Stay Above $4 for All of 2022

RELATED TWEET:

RELATED ARTICLE: Gas Stations Add Extra Digit To Pump Meters In Anticipation Of $10 Gas

EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.