Trump ends the War on Fossil Fuels and we all come out winners

For eight long years, President Obama waged a relentless war on the fossil fuels that provide us with the abundant, affordable and efficient energy that makes modern American life possible. One of President Trump’s greatest accomplishments has been to end that ill-advised war, and now his actions are bringing about a peace dividend that will benefit us all. 

By terminating President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, Clean Power Plan, biased climate research and other programs, as well as withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement, President Trump will save the American people billions of dollars.

Already, the fossil fuels peace dividend is creating growing employment, a resurgent economy and rising wages. America’s ingenuity and muscle are once again being unleashed, after being shackled for years by the Big Government regulators of the Obama administration.

Moreover, we are realizing these gains without losing significant health and environmental protections. Many Obama administration environmental regulations were based on phony or exaggerated claims that downplayed their costs and hyped their benefits.

During the Obama years, America was rapidly heading down the same dangerous and extremist environmental path that Germany has chosen. Germany’s obsession with climate change and renewable energy forces its families to pay 35 cents per kilowatt-hour for electricity, and requires its businesses to pay 18 cents for the same amount of energy.

That cost of electricity for a family in Germany is nearly twice what families already pay for electricity in ultra-expensive California. And German electricity prices are nearly three times as high as what families pay for electricity in states like Indiana, Kentucky and Virginia, where electricity is produced by coal, natural gas and nuclear power plants.

Ask yourself: Are you angry that you monthly electricity bill is too low?

The impact on businesses of rising electricity prices would be even more severe if we continued on the Obama path of overregulation of U.S. energy production.

The United States as a whole uses 3.5 billion megawatt-hours of electricity annually. At 8 cents per kilowatt hour, our collective national electricity bill is $280 billion annually. At German or California business and industry rates, that electricity would cost us $630 billion a year. At German rates for families, the cost would be $1.2 trillion!

So right there, we have $350 billion to $945 billion in annual potential savings – compared to what we’d pay if the War on Fossil Fuels had continued.

That means millions more workers will be employed, instead of laid off; collect good wages, instead of unemployment and welfare payments; and pay taxes, instead of draining local, state and federal treasuries. Reduced welfare and social service costs will save federal, state and local governments billions of dollars each year. 

Lower electricity prices mean families will not be driven into energy poverty. Elderly people will not die prematurely because they can’t afford to heat their homes properly in winter.

Oil and natural gas leasing and production revenues plummeted during the Obama years, from $24 billion in 2008 to less than $6 billion in 2016. This was partly because the fracking revolution halved petroleum prices. But it was also because Obama administration regulators resolutely resisted leasing and drilling.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is now expanding leasing, drilling and mining. And he is reducing excessive regulatory delays and costs – without endangering the environment, health or safety.

Adjusted for today’s energy prices, Institute for Energy Research calculations put the value of federally controlled, technically recoverable oil and gas resources at an astounding $60 trillion.

Congressional Budget Office estimates indicate that producing just a portion of those vital resources could generate $70 billion in state and federal revenues over a 10-year period from bonuses, rents, royalties and taxes.

Finding and producing that oil and gas would generate jobs, energy, raw materials for petrochemicals, and oil and gas for exports.

Unfortunately, far too many legislators, regulators and agitators are wedded to campaigns that demonize fossil fuels and subsidize alternatives. They galvanize lobbyists, activists and crony capitalists to defend these programs, and marginalize, ostracize and even criminalize anyone who stands in their way. They make big campaign contributions to get helpful politicians elected.

These folks exaggerate and fabricate manmade climate and weather chaos – conjured up by clever computer models – and then rush forward to “protect” us from hypothetical horrors decades from now, by imposing edicts that harm our livelihoods and lower our living standards today.

President Trump will need to conduct mop-up operations for years to come. But because of his actions, we will not be compelled to spend as many trillions of dollars building massive industrial facilities that would be needed to replace fossil fuels with pseudo-renewable, pseudo-sustainable and pseudo-climate-friendly wind, solar and biofuel industrial sites.

President Trump’s critics say he hasn’t accomplished much. But on the energy front – where he can act without the need for congressional action – he has accomplished an enormous amount for the American people. 

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow and author of “Eco-Imperialism: Green Power, Black Death” and other books on the environment.