We have tried to ignore the silliness on the left with regards to energy with the Green New Deal and all of that. It seems to us that those were dead ideas and that is a really good thing. Now we see some of the worst of those ideas coming from a serious contender for the Democrat nomination for president. We concur with Jay Nordlinger at the NRO Corner:
Early last month, Elizabeth Warren issued a tweet that sent a chill down my spine: “On my first day as president, I will sign an executive order that puts a total moratorium on all new fossil fuel leases for drilling offshore and on public lands. And I will ban fracking — everywhere.”
Jay goes on to discuss the impact of such ideas on the Saudis and our allies. We”d like to discuss why seeing Elizabeth’s tweet sent a chill down our spine and it should send one down your spine too. It makes us glad we are not on Twitter.
We would like to look at the two sentences individually. In the first she has a method, executive order, and a goal, no NEW leases offshore or on public lands, that seems consistent with the method. It is a really, really bad idea and it will probably be challenged in court but it might happen. Mark Perry at Carpe Diem consistently covers the increase in US oil output and here is an example. Our guess is that most of this output comes from private lands so Elizabeth is being foolish and engaging in some cronyism to help her friends and donors in “alternative energy” but she hasn’t proposed anything catastrophic.
Well, she hadn’t proposed anything catastrophic until the next sentence. There are three terrifying parts of the second sentence. First there is “everywhere.” Perhaps “everywhere” is just a little political overstatement but we hope she doesn’t think she can ban it globally. Second there is the unspecified process that will allow her to ban fracking. Some folks have been worried by the authoritarian impulses of The Donald and the 44th president. This would take the imperial presidency to a whole different level. And worst of all there is the banning of fracking. It is a disaster on many levels that it is impossible to create a comprehensive list but here are a few. There is all the value generated by fracking. There are all the folks and organizations that support fracking. There are all the organizations, like manufacturing, that benefit from cheap energy. There is the environmental impact of reduced CO2 from using cleaner natural gas. There are the international problems for the US and our allies of being back under the control of Russia and the Middle East.
Sidebar: The Donald is often accused of being an agent of Russia despite his actions. We think Elizabeth is just a fool but her behavior in banning fracking would support Russia’s most important goal, increasing the price of energy. End Sidebar.
An executive order to forbid new energy from public lands is ordinary political stupidity like The Donald’s trade war. Elizabeth has moved to a whole different level when she says she will ban fracking. It is astonishing that people take her seriously.