West must wake up on energy

By Mississippi Center for Public Policy
March 9, 2022

Only a few weeks ago, Joe Biden and other Western leaders gathered in Glasgow, Scotland to outcompete each other with bold commitment to eliminate the use of hydrocarbon fuels.  

How silly and self-indulgent that looks today.

Pulling the plug on the Keystone pipeline, as Biden did, looks ridiculous when gas prices start to soar. Legislating to ban the sale of internal combustion engines, as Britain began to do, looks really dumb when you might have to start rationing gas / petrol for cars.

When Britain and Europe set targets to eliminate the use of oil, coal and gas, what they ended up doing was to simply offshore their production.  Having banned fracking across much of Europe, European governments are now desperate to get their hands on liquified natural gas from the United States, produced by …. well …. fracking.

Germany might have invested heavily in renewable energy.  But since solar and wind power are unreliable, you need a great deal of storage capacity – something Germany does not have.  To make up the short fall, Germany has had to depend on supplies from Russia.  Turns out that isn’t really reliable either.  

Despite having been energy idiotic for years, it looks as if Western leaders might at last have woken up to reality.  Hydrocarbon fuels are, and will remain, for the foreseeable future the cheapest source of energy.  

Reducing dependency on hydrocarbon fuels comes at a price – and it might now prove to be an economic and geopolitical price we are unwilling to pay.

To his credit, the new German Chancellor has made some dramatic changes in policy.  Without wanting to admit it, it looks as if British ministers are about to backtrack on fracking.

With gas prices soaring across the US, expect to see Joe Biden allow new oil and gas exploration.

A cheap and plentiful energy supply underpins our prosperity.  The sooner we ditch the eco indulgences the better.

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