Alex Newman: Declaring War on U.S. Energy and the U.S.
by Alex Newman
As President Biden works to handicap both American energy production and usage, in the name of fighting global warming, he is destroying jobs, prosperity, and freedom.
On January 20, 2021, the booming town of Midland, South Dakota, became practically a “ghost town” in an instant. In the morning, every single room at the rustic Stroppel Hotel was occupied by highly paid workers toiling away on the Keystone XL pipeline and associated operations. By evening, there was nobody left. “Our whole world turned upside down with the stroke of a pen,” explained Laurie Cox, who bought the hotel six months ago with her husband, Wally, with the understanding that the pipeline would be bringing in large numbers of guests and patrons for the foreseeable future.
Now, thanks to Joe Biden’s executive decree canceling the pipeline, the Cox family’s future is uncertain at best. “Our real money was in renting the rooms — that’s where the pipeliners came in and really helped sustain us,” Cox told The New American magazine in a phone interview from her hotel. “We had a significant amount of people in the hotel, working on the pipeline and supporting them. Now, that’s done. We’re a small community, we don’t have a lot of opportunity. This was our once-in-a-lifetime chance and now it’s gone.”
Weeks into the devastation, the situation is already a tragedy. “I’ll be honest, we’re going to struggle month to month to pay the bills, whereas before we had plenty of money coming in to re-invest and improve the hotel and even hire people,” Cox said, reading off a list of other people in the region whose lives were similarly turned upside down. “I don’t even take a wage — everything we’ve got now we’re putting back into this hotel. I had hired somebody to help us run the place, but there is just no more money to have an employee anymore.”
There is still hope thanks to the hotel’s mineral bath. “Being a small hotel in the middle of nowhere, we do have our mineral waters that bring people in, even though right now we’re not bringing in enough to keep going,” she said. “We had been planning on having the workers for at least quite a long time. And our main money would have come when the main line kicked in. But now we’re going to have to try to pull in more people for going into our mineral waters — which are really special, by the way, healing.”
Still, Cox, sounding devastated but displaying traditional American spirit and perseverance, vowed not to give up. “This hotel is part of our little community, and when we bought it in September, we became part of this community. The hotel is a resource that this town has had since 1939, for generations, and we’re going to keep trying to make it work,” Cox continued. “We’re going to do everything we can to preserve this resource that God has given us.” But it will be hard, she added.
Keystone XL & National Pain
Of course, the Cox family is just the tip of the iceberg of destruction as Biden’s unconstitutional executive orders and his war on U.S. energy destroy thousands of lives and wreak havoc on countless families nationwide. According to data from the companies involved in just this one project, the Keystone XL pipeline was supposed to directly create almost 11,000 jobs — most of them “union” jobs, too, supposedly Biden’s favorite type of jobs.
Biden Bringing Economic Harm
Many of the unions that backed Biden are now expressing outrage. “The Biden administration’s decision to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline permit on day one of his presidency is both insulting and disappointing to the thousands of hard-working LIUNA members who will lose good-paying, middle class family-supporting jobs,” said the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA), which previously endorsed Biden’s candidacy. “By blocking this 100 percent union project, and pandering to environmental extremists, a thousand union jobs will immediately vanish and 10,000 additional jobs will be foregone.”
But it gets worse. With a few strokes of Biden’s pen on a flurry of executive decrees, he managed to directly torpedo over 50,000 high-paying jobs on just his first day in office, according to estimates based on government figures. Some estimates suggest the real number may be as high as 70,000. Countless more will be lost in the years ahead as energy prices soar and firms seek out greener pastures to create wealth and manufacture products in places such as China.
While the Kremlin and dictators across the Middle East and beyond were thrilled with the killing of the Keystone XL pipeline, even America’s liberal friends and allies to the north were furious. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, for instance, blasted Biden’s executive order as a “gut punch to the Alberta and Canadian economies” and “an insult.” Despite being a fellow “green” fanatic, the far-left prime minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, expressed “disappointment” in Biden’s move.
American lawmakers were outraged, too. “President Biden’s executive order will rob both American and Canadian workers of good-paying jobs,” said Senator John Barrasso (Wy.), who is the top Republican on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. “President Biden’s actions will not end our need for oil from our strongest ally, Canada. Instead, it will cost jobs, result in more shipments of oil by rail and make America even more vulnerable to OPEC and foreign adversaries, like Russia.”
Fact checkers promptly sprang into action to silence critics of Biden’s killing of the pipeline. Their primary line of attack was the notion that, while it was true that Biden was destroying tens of thousands of high-paying jobs, he planned to create even more jobs in “green” energy at some point in the future. Basically, all those laid-off oil and gas workers could simply learn how to make solar panels, batteries, and those giant wind turbines strewn across large swaths of Texas and the American plains.
In other words, oil workers are being asked to give up high-paying jobs in exchange for jobs that usually pay less, in technical fields that can’t absorb the numbers of workers being shed by the oil patch, and that usually require retraining and that will mainly end after the big wind and solar projects are installed. Perhaps Biden could “create jobs” by borrowing money from China to pay people to smash big rocks into little rocks, too. At least it would not be as destructive.
Then mid-February’s bone-chilling cold hit. The very same wind turbines that were supposed to save humanity from alleged man-made global warming ended up freezing amid devastatingly cold temperatures, contributing to plunging millions into electrical blackouts as temperatures dropped below zero. (It’s noteworthy that there is a record of such cold snaps occurring in Texas since the 1890s.) The irony was not lost on the people of Texas — America’s largest energy producer — as some five million victims of government “green energy” schemes wondered if they might freeze to death before power returned. A number of people died, including an 11-year-old boy.
Other Assaults on U.S. Energy & Jobs
The war on American energy — and America itself — goes far beyond just the Keystone XL pipeline. Under President Trump, in 2019, America became “energy independent” for the first time in more than six decades. With his pen and phone, however, following in the footsteps of Barack Obama before him, Biden reversed much of that progress in just a matter of weeks. Biden’s actions will be a boon to Middle Eastern tyrants, Russia, Venezuela, and other regimes awash in oil. But the costs will be devastating to America, and to some of its most vulnerable communities.
It is not just energy and transportation that depend on “fossil fuels” and hydrocarbons. According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s own website, oil and natural gas are needed in the manufacturing of over 6,000 everyday products and high-tech devices. These include tires, heart valves, toothbrushes, helmets, laptops, phones, wind-turbine blades, hearing aids, life jackets, and countless other essential goods without which modern life would come to a screeching halt. Producing these goods in the United States under the sort of regime envisioned by Biden would become difficult, if not impossible.
One of Biden’s major changes was an indefinite freeze on drilling and exploration for energy on federal lands. In just the state of New Mexico — one of the nation’s poorest states — Biden’s executive order halting oil and gas leases and drilling on federal lands is set to cost over 60,000 jobs, representing almost seven percent of the state’s entire workforce. New Mexico, a Democratic state, is also expected to lose more than $1 billion in tax revenue in the first year, an economic impact study by the American Petroleum Institute (API) suggests. Because half of New Mexico’s energy extraction happens on federal lands, and the feds own more than a third of the state’s land, that state will be particularly hard hit.
Other states set to be devastated by Biden’s decrees include Wyoming, North Dakota, Colorado, Oklahoma, and more. In Louisiana, API data suggest, the state’s Gulf Coast region could lose 50,000 jobs and almost $100 million in tax revenue just by next year as a result of Biden’s imperial decrees against American energy production. It could get worse, too, as the offshore drilling industry in Louisiana supports hundreds of thousands of jobs and contributes almost $7 billion to the state’s tax revenues each year.
“It’s devastatingly simple,” explained Representative Yvette Herrell (R-N.M.) and House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) in an op-ed for Fox News. “When Washington radicals ban drilling on federal lands, Americans lose their jobs, investment flows overseas, and communities across America lose a primary source of revenue for schools, health care, and conservation efforts…. Our friends and neighbors rely upon these jobs to pay rent, put food on the table, and keep the lights on.”
“The Biden administration is attacking their livelihoods and jeopardizing America’s energy security,” the two lawmakers continued, adding that America is a global leader in producing and using energy in a clean, environmentally responsible manner while the regimes that will benefit do not adhere to proper environmental standards. “President Biden either doesn’t understand the damage he is doing to our communities or he doesn’t care.”
Gunning Americans down: Using executive orders, Biden has destroyed untold numbers of high-paying jobs producing energy domestically and made America more dependent on hostile foreigners. Perhaps even more significant than the economic damage inflicted on Americans is the national-security threat these decrees pose. “When the United States became the single largest oil and gas producer in the world, we were protected from market manipulation by OPEC and rogue actors,” the representatives said. “By undermining our energy dominance, Biden once again puts us at the mercy of foreign regimes, many of whom use those new-found billions of dollars against America and our allies.”
West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey was fuming over what he described as Biden’s “destructive” policies. “What we’re seeing in the first week of the Biden administration is that the president is really taking a wrecking ball to many of the states that have oil, gas, coal, manufacturing jobs — that’s gonna have a real detrimental impact, especially as the American economy is coming out of COVID-19, a pandemic,” he declared, noting that Biden was going even further than Obama in his “green” scheming. “I think he’s really kicking the American people when they’re down economically and it’s not a message of unity that he’s been talking about.”
Producers, too, are sounding the alarm, even as apologists try to soothe concerns. Speaking of the drilling “moratorium,” Dan Naatz with the Independent Petroleum Association of America suggested this was likely to be significant and long-term. “Do not be fooled, this is a ban,” he explained. “The Biden administration’s plan to obliterate the jobs of American oil and gas explorers and producers has been on clear display.” Experts such as investment legend Felix Zulauf are predicting almost a doubling in the price of oil during Biden’s first term due to the anti-energy policies being pursued.
Green Energy Fraud
The notion that America can simply replace all of its lost energy from hydrocarbons with windmills and solar panels is plainly preposterous. Perhaps nobody explained it more beautifully and succinctly than Mark Mills, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, in a powerful five-minute video for PragerU exposing the “wind and solar” racket being used to dupe Americans into destroying their energy production.
Consider, among the countless problems, that the technology is simply not capable of supplying the power needed for an advanced civilization. After decades of governments showering billions of dollars in subsidies on their cronies behind the “green” wind and solar interests — think the scandal-plagued, Obama-backed solar panel company Solyndra, for instance, which flushed half-a-billion tax dollars down the drain when it declared bankruptcy — wind and solar power accounts for less than three percent of the world’s energy supply.
Aside from the economic absurdity of it all, the environmental devastation that would result from more widespread use of wind, solar, and battery power is hard to fathom. “Like all machines, they are built from non-renewable materials,” explained Mills. For instance, producing just one single electric-car battery requires digging up and processing over 250 tons of earth. Producing one wind farm, meanwhile, requires 30,000 tons of iron ore and 50,000 tons of concrete — not to mention nearly 1,000 tons of plastic. To get the same amount of power from solar would take 150 percent more resources.
In short, to continue pursuing the tax-funded solar and wind fantasies of central planners will require digging up millions of acres of pristine areas. All of that mining will consume an unfathomable amount of hydrocarbon energy, too, as will the industrial processes needed to refine the materials. And if that “green” power is stored in batteries, it will cost orders of magnitude more than traditional sources of electricity.
Those enormous numbers do not even factor in the massive mining operations that would be needed to get the rare-earth metals necessary to produce the batteries, wind turbines, and solar panels. For a number of reasons, almost none of that mining is taking place in America now, and it will not in the future either — especially as the Biden administration and the federal government frantically work to destroy U.S. mining operations. Instead, much of the mining will take place in China and Russia and other hostile nations. Ironically, a great deal of it is being mined by children in some of the areas environmentalists say they most want to protect — in Central Africa and the Amazon region of South America.
As Mills also points out, the life of wind and solar equipment is typically half the lifespan of conventional energy machines such as gas turbines. The International Renewable Energy Agency estimates that by 2050, solar-panel waste in need of disposal will be double the tonnage of the plastic waste produced today. And that does not include worn-out batteries or wind turbines. Adding insult to injury, storing one barrel of oil costs about 50 cents, while storing the equivalent amount of energy generated by wind turbines in batteries will take $200 of batteries, Mills explained.
In short, the true cost of all this “green” energy scheming — both economic and environmental — is astronomical.
Green New Deal & Sustainable Development
But there is a method to the madness. Indeed, it is all part of a broader and more destructive plan. Even before winning the dubious 2020 election, which was marred by countless credible allegations of voter fraud, Biden was quietly but firmly peddling the Green New Deal. “Biden believes the Green New Deal is a crucial framework for meeting the climate challenges we face,” explained the Biden-Harris campaign website outlining a “plan for a clean energy revolution and environmental justice.”
On January 27, just one week into his presidency, following dozens of executive decrees, Biden held a press conference at the White House to unveil what sounded suspiciously like the Green New Deal floated by extremists and socialists in Congress in recent years. In his Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad, signed amid the confab, Biden even called for “conserving 30 percent of our lands and waters by 2030.” In other words, almost one-third of all the land and water in America would be made virtually off-limits to man. Also in the order was a new “Civilian Climate Corps.”
Adding insult to injury, he promised to “create jobs” by finishing off the energy-extraction infrastructure. “We’re also going to create more than a quarter million jobs to do things like plug the millions of abandoned oil and gas wells that pose an ongoing threat to the health and safety of our communities,” he said before parroting the UN-created slogan about “building our economy back better,” a derivative of the UN slogan “Build Back Better” that Biden ripped off for his campaign. “It’s a whole-of-government approach to put climate change at the center of our domestic, national security, and foreign policy.”
The public first got a taste of the “Green New Deal” agenda in 2019, when H.R. 109 was introduced in Congress by a coalition of 67 radical communist and socialist Democrats led by U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.). Among other absurdities, the effort would seek to eliminate air travel, the eating of steaks, the use of hydrocarbons, and more. It would aim to completely end all emissions of CO2 — an essential gas exhaled by every living person and required by plants — over the coming decade. An FAQ released with the bill even touted “paying people who are unwilling to work.” Seriously.
But even serious environmentalists ridiculed the Green New Deal. Calling it a “recipe for mass suicide” and the “most ridiculous scenario I ever heard,” in an interview with The New American, Greenpeace co-founder Patrick Moore blasted the “deal” as “completely preposterous.” He warned that if the scheme were actually implemented, people could be forced to turn to cannibalism to avoid starvation — and they still would not survive. All the trees on Earth would be chopped down, too, as people scrambled for energy to cook and warm their families with, he said.
That horrifying scenario would seem to fit quite nicely with the plans of the Club of Rome, an establishment powerhouse bringing together a diverse group of totalitarian characters from around the world, ranging from climate guru Al Gore to Bill Gates, George Soros, and Bill Clinton, to the late New World Order kingpin David Rockefeller and former Soviet dictator Mikhail Gorbachev. In its 1991 report, this group of powerful billionaires and policymakers indicated that with the Cold War officially in the rear-view mirror, a new target was needed to justify globalism and Big Government.
“The common enemy of humanity is man,” the club said in its report, The First Global Revolution. “In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill. All these dangers are caused by human intervention, and it is only through changed attitudes and behavior that they can be overcome. The real enemy then, is humanity itself.” In short, you and your family are the enemy — and your ability to sustain yourself, especially the energy needed to sustain life and civilization, is now officially in the cross hairs.
War on the United States, and Fighting Back
The war on America’s energy is actually a war on America itself, and the American people, by enemies foreign and domestic. As to the involvement of foreign interests, while most critics have seen the benefits to the Kremlin and other regimes as an unintended consequence, there is actually more to the story. As The New American magazine has been reporting for years, members of Congress discovered that Russian-government energy interests were funding U.S. “green” groups through a shell corporation in Bermuda called Klein Ltd. It was sending money to the Sea Change Foundation. From there, the money was distributed to a broad network of extremist “environmental” organizations such as the Sierra Club, the League of Conservation Voters, and the Climate Action Network that are all seeking to destroy America’s energy industry.
Also, not only were Communist China’s agents deeply involved in promoting the Obama administration’s “green” policies, but China is a major beneficiary of Biden’s policies (see article on page 17). As American companies become uncompetitive due to surging energy prices, and Communist China continues building coal-fired power plants, America’s productive capacity and its jobs will be quickly shipped off to China. And all those “green energy” jobs and technologies? They will be in Beijing’s interest, too.
“What they’re talking about is exchanging [our former] dependence on the Middle East and OPEC, which was at one point close to 50% of our energy, for almost total dependence or twice as much dependency on China,” American Energy Alliance Senior Vice President Dan Kish explained regarding the expected hard shift into wind and solar power, pointing to Communist China’s dominance in the “green” energy sector. “I’ve got friends who are geologists who are saying, ‘Why are we doing this? This is crazy.’”
There are also powerful domestic forces hostile to American interests who are pushing for — and profiting from — the misery they are imposing on America. In 2014, the tip of the iceberg surfaced when the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee dropped its bombshell report headlined “The Chain of Environmental Command: How a Club of Billionaires and Their Foundations Control the Environmental Movement and Obama’s EPA.”
This shadowy network identified as the “Billionaires Club” was exposed showering huge amounts of funds on the environmentalist “green movement.” And with all that money, the billionaires had come to dominate policy making, fleece taxpayers, and more — often in violation of federal laws. Numerous billionaires involved in the Club of Rome, such as the late David Rockefeller and Bill Gates, were key players.
This war on energy inspired by hostile foreign powers and anti-American billionaires in bed with Beijing has known consequences — and those responsible have openly admitted it. As Obama put it in 2008, under his plan, “electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.” And when power prices skyrocket, businesses will rocket out of the United States and into other countries — China, for example. In countries where power prices are not skyrocketing and where companies need not even worry about pollution, there’s the extra benefit of slave labor. Biden and his handlers are not fools. Like Obama, they fully understand the consequences of their actions. And that is the point.
But from the flyover country and state capitols to the halls of Congress, opposition is growing quickly. And effective ways to resist are already being explored. Consider the example set by Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt. Noting that Biden’s decrees targeting energy are “in contravention of Article II Section 2 and the 10th Amendment of the United States Constitution,” in addition to the threat they pose to his state, the Republican governor ordered state agencies to resist.
Specifically, Stitt directed that state officials “utilize all civil methods and lawful powers to protect [Oklahoma’s] 10th Amendment powers and challenge any actions by the federal government that would seek to diminish or destroy Oklahoma’s ability to encourage job growth and the responsible development of our natural resources within the energy industry.” Other governors may follow suit.
Every state in the union can use the power of nullification. For the last four years, Democrats used it unconstitutionally to block immigration laws and constitutional Trump policies. By contrast, Republicans at the state and local level can and should use it, constitutionally, to stop federal overreach into the energy sector, where the government has no constitutional authority.
America’s Founding Fathers viewed nullification as “the rightful remedy” to lawless usurpation of power by the feds. When there’s a case such as Biden’s, wherein an apparently almost-senile puppet is carrying out the instructions of power-mad billionaires and hostile foreign powers to reduce the United States to poverty and despotic rule, it is not just the right of the states and the people under the Constitution to resist — it is their duty.
Alex Newman is a correspondent for The New American, covering economics, education, politics, and more. He can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @ALEXNEWMAN_JOU or on Facebook