Editorial:

Climate policymakers should live by their own policies

Posted 2/11/21

Right out of the gate, President Joe Biden has signaled that his administration will be no friend to hydrocarbon energy and its associated industries. Biden recommitted the United States to the Paris …

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Editorial:

Climate policymakers should live by their own policies

Posted

Right out of the gate, President Joe Biden has signaled that his administration will be no friend to hydrocarbon energy and its associated industries. Biden recommitted the United States to the Paris Agreement, which is a pledge to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Few countries who signed onto it are actually meeting their goals.

Biden also placed a moratorium on federal oil and gas leases and blocked the XL Keystone Pipeline, which will decimate Wyoming’s energy sector and kill jobs across the country. He also pledged to create a carbon-free electrical grid by 2035, which is estimated to cost about $1.7 trillion. 

It would be a gargantuan effort of unbelievable proportions for the government to re-engineer the entire nation’s energy grid. It’s hard to see the federal government pulling this off without massive cost overruns and a slew of unintended consequences, such as soaring energy costs. 

Whatever hardships these policies create, the policymakers will be sure to make exceptions for themselves. 

Consider Biden’s recently appointed climate czar, John Kerry, and his love of private jets. In 2019, Kerry received the Climate Circle award for being a climate leader and pressuring American policymakers to tackle environmental matters. Kerry gave an interesting interview that didn’t get reported in the American media until FOX News recently reported on it. 

Kerry was quite honored by the recognition and flew all the way to Iceland to receive his award — in a private jet. 

An Icelandic reporter at the time confronted Kerry over the hypocrisy of flying a private jet, which emits as much as 40 times more carbon per passenger than a commercial flight, to receive an award for his leadership in curbing climate change. 

Kerry said, “It’s the only choice for somebody like me who is traveling the world to win this battle.” He then proceeded to list out all he had done as a leader in the fight against climate change. 

“I can’t sail across the ocean. I have to fly, meet with people and get things done,” Kerry told the reporter. 

He apparently couldn’t be bothered to explain why he wouldn’t fly commercial, which would at least show some willingness to live by the restrictions he and those like him are so eager to impose upon the rest of us. 

Firebrand climate activist Greta Thunberg, to her credit, did actually take a sailboat across the Atlantic, to attend a 2019 United Nations climate conference. Most other attendees took carbon-spewing aircraft to this gathering in New York City, where they listened to speeches on the evils of fossil fuels. 

Thunberg’s transatlantic journey took five weeks round trip. It’s pretty easy for a teenager who is not in school to set aside several weeks to cross the Atlantic to shame people for not adopting the policies she insists are necessary to deal with climate change, but if the rest of us lived by such standards, international business — and the economy — would be thrown back more than a century. 

While Kerry’s actions are quite hypocritical, he’s not wrong. It would be impossible for him to carry out his international efforts if he were to be deprived of the power of fossil fuels. However, many of us are doing important work in our own lives, such as running farms, feeding our families, or growing our businesses. Kerry apparently doesn’t feel that work is as important as his own. 

As we look for solutions to climate change, it would be a good first step for policymakers to be required to live by any law they propose for the rest of us. 

If Biden really believes we can power the U.S. on wind and solar alone, he should prove it. Start by requiring the entire federal government to operate solely by energy from the wind and sun. If the feds can’t do their business that way, how could they ever expect the rest of the country to do ours? 

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