X Close

Joe Biden’s war on fossil fuels is hurting America

Does Biden have enough energy? Credit: Getty

February 1, 2024 - 6:00pm

When Joe Biden assumed office in 2021, the progressive press hoped, as the LA Times crowed, that he would “turn America into California again”. To the great loss of America, the West and, of course, Californians, he is living up to this credo in spectacular fashion.

California’s last two large oil producers, ExxonMobil and Chevron, this week announced a combined $5 billion in write-offs of their assets in the state. 

The Golden State once boasted a giant fossil fuel industry, but climate hysteria has been the state religion for almost two decades. Not long ago, California was home to a host of top 10 energy firms — in 1970 ARCO, Getty Oil, Union Oil, Oxy and Chevron constituted the five largest industrial companies in the state. Now only Chevron, which has been reducing its headcount in northern California and is clearly shifting its emphasis to Texas, remains. 

This predicament can’t be blamed on California running out of oil and gas; some estimates of the state’s oil and gas reserves are considerably larger than those of Texas. Monterey shale, located under the state’s economically struggling midsection, holds almost two-thirds of the nation’s total supply of shale oil. Tapping this source, one USC study notes, could bring as many as 500,000 new jobs to the state in a matter of years. 

But such palatable returns do not mean much to the state’s powerful environmental lobby. California regulations have managed to cut production by more than half in less than 30 years. In the Golden State, this ban threatens to eliminate an industry that, according to a 2019 report from the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation, amounted to 152,000 direct jobs, as well as an additional 213,000 related jobs. Nearly half those jobs comprise black, Asian, or Latino workers.

California reflects the kind of mindset that has captured the Biden administration. Just two years ago the bond firm Pimco predicted that America was about to seize “energy dominance”. But White House officials are so soaked in green ideology that they have abandoned the basic logic of geopolitics, according to which energy is power. Take Biden’s decision to halt permitting new LNG ports as the latest example. The likely result won’t be so great for the planet, given that cutting off natural gas may accelerate the use of far dirtier coal, which is already happening in energy-starved Germany. The real long-term winners will not be Gaia but instead countries such as Russia, Iran and Qatar — the new natural gas hegemons.

Nor is this move a political winner. Most Americans favour, by a wide margin, the “drill baby drill” approach over Net Zero and the energy austerity being pushed by jet-setting oligarchs. One recent poll of swing state voters suggests that only 3% consider climate a key issue, far behind concerns such as the economy, crime, and immigration.

The assault on fossil fuels has left California almost totally dependent on its tech sector, particularly new IPOs. This has not proved to be a viable strategy. The Golden State now lags behind virtually every US state in terms of unemployment, while possessing the nation’s highest rates of unemployment, the highest percent living poverty, massive net outmigration and a gargantuan $68 billion budget deficit.

Also in trouble are America’s historic allies. When Russia invaded Ukraine, Europe was promised liquified natural gas by Biden; now those projects have since been cancelled. Instead, our “friends” like Germany have been left to face higher energy prices and accelerating deindustrialisation. At some point they will have to turn to regimes such as Qatar and Iran, or even start up again with Russia. 

America’s European and East Asian allies long embraced Biden as a far superior choice to the odious Trump, but those allies who once welcomed his accession may now be growing to regret it. California is just the start.


Joel Kotkin is the Hobbs Presidential Fellow in Urban Futures at Chapman University and author, most recently, of The Coming of Neo-Feudalism: A Warning to the Global Middle Class (Encounter)

joelkotkin

Join the discussion


Join like minded readers that support our journalism by becoming a paid subscriber


To join the discussion in the comments, become a paid subscriber.

Join like minded readers that support our journalism, read unlimited articles and enjoy other subscriber-only benefits.

Subscribe
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

56 Comments
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
2 months ago

You don’t have to vote Republican, but you can’t vote Democrat. Net zero will not reduce CO2 production. It will simply shift it to countries that are not blinded by ideology. It will cripple countries captured by luxury beliefs, and do nothing to reduce CO2.

Robbie K
Robbie K
2 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Net zero will not reduce CO2 production.

You haven’t grasped the wider picture. Organisations and consumers will not buy into dirty products and dirty production – there is a sea change happening and for good reason.

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
2 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

Where is the evidence that people are rejecting so called dirty products and dirty production? Where is the evidence that people are willing to pay more for climate friendly products? The increase in prices brought on by inflation and the immediate backlash is, to me, a better indicator of how far public support for prioritizing the environment over people is likely to go.

I have absolutely no doubt the relatively wealthy, affluent populations of urban professionals who can afford to pay fifteen dollars for a gallon of milk will embrace higher prices for ‘green’ products. I am less convinced anybody else, including the poor urban minorities who make up a significant portion of the Democratic base, will agree.

I respect your concern for the environment, and I’m not going to argue the facts with you because I know you’re way better informed on these issues. My contention though has nothing to do with environmental science and everything to do with human nature, which is not in your, or anyone else’s, power to change. People are not that altruistic, particularly regarding things they don’t understand all that well. The only way to control emissions is going to end up being the same command economies that didn’t work last century and still won’t work now. . Any scheme that relies on optional sacrifice is going to fail just like communism did. Any scheme based on forced sacrifice is going to also be undemocratic just like communism was. Even if it happens in one country or the entirety of western civilization, Jim is right. It would just drive the emissions elsewhere to people who were more concerned with wealth. Global regulations would by definition require global authority, and there is none. In any realistic scenario to control CO2 emissions, step one is to take over the world. I just don’t understand how anyone can think this is gonna work.

With all respect, if you want to save the world, a good start would be taking a harder, more realistic look at what you’re actually trying to save. Life will adapt to higher temperatures and whatever adapts to this new environment will not be better or worse than what came before it. Nature does not make such judgements. Humans may or may not survive, but if you truly care about nature alone, that’s also irrelevant. If you accept that we’re all really prioritizing human survival and prosperity for different reasons and in different ways, the logical thing to do is take the most pragmatic approach to limiting environmental damage, including climate change, within designated, realistic political and economic possibilities balancing costs and benefits as best we can based on the real economic and social data. If climate change is truly going to kill us all, I’d suggest the best strategy is not to waste time trying to do the impossible and rather use wisely the time we have remaining.

Martin M
Martin M
2 months ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

Good points, well made!

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
2 months ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

Well said. I believe that reducing human impact on the earth’s climate and ecosystems would require reducing humans themselves, both in numbers and standard of living. The true price of “saving the planet” is far higher than most people presume and will for most people require giving up airconditioning, Amazon-next-day consumerism, out-of season fruit and produce shipped from the 4 corners of the world at the grocery, cruise ship vacations, affordable air transportation, accoutrements of fashion and leisure, and hundreds of other things that are taken for granted. Were we to actually produce sufficient green energy to maintain the standard of living of the developed world (not to mention the simultaneous imperative of progressives to extending that same standard of living to the undeveloped world) without checking the kind of population growth I’ve observed in my lifetime, the demands for water and arable land for food production would necessarily bring the extinction of most of the world’s natural flora and fauna just through habitat loss. The middle classes would disappear leaving a tiny remnant of uber-wealthy and a preponderance of extremely poor, who would pillage what was left of nature. I also concede that climatologists are likely correct but, as you point out, humans will not accept the costs and sacrifices that will be required.

Carlos Danger
Carlos Danger
2 months ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

Your arguments are well thought out and well expressed. But I disagree on the fundamental point you make. I think people are concerned about the climate and the environment. In my view, as we as a society get richer, we spend more (both together and individually) on conservation, not less.
That’s why I oppose all the top-down measures being imposed on us by technocrats (who hypocritically use ridiculous amounts of energy themselves). The Paris climate accords and Net Zero make sense only in the abstract and are, practically speaking, nonsense. Let things happen from the bottom-up. That’s how all complex problems are solved. (Although solved may not be the best word. As Thomas Sowell teaches, there are no solutions, only tradeoffs.)
We saw the power of bottom-up during the pandemic. Instead of letting people and their doctors try different things to fight the virus, experimenting so we could see what worked and do more of it, the experts insisted that they knew what to do. Top-down won out over bottom-up. We now see how well that worked. It didn’t.
People don’t want to get sick, or to die. You don’t need to force them to take precautions for their own safety, and for the safety of their families and community. And people want to live in a fruitful and natural environment. You don’t need to force them to improve the world around them.
There are exceptions, of course, and things are not as simple as I make them out to be. We face complex problems, and there are no easy answers. But we need to learn from history that the power of the market is much better for everyone than the power of edicts of an elite.

Robbie K
RK
Robbie K
2 months ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

Certainly some good points, but a little dramatic in picturing the end of humanity. The reality of climate change is far more tedious, with 2023 giving us an insight to what the future holds – which is growing numbers of migrants and refugees, international conflicts, fires, droughts and floods.
But to try and keep this on topic to the article, there is certainly a growing trend to reject products and organisations with poor environmental credentials – no one likes a polluter, or those that use modern sweatshops and this is the same. Clean up your act or become a pariah.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
2 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

The migration problem is much more a consequence of the geopolitical policies of the Blairs and Clinton’s than it is of anything to do with climate.

And that is in itself perhaps the biggest problem with the climate agenda: the grandiose plans of narcissistic politicians make things worse as often – probably more often – than they make them better.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
2 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

Robbie. The world isn’t California. 1.4 billion Chinese for one care very little for this western obsession. The EU is simultaneously trying to force Europeans to buy EVs (which are inferior in most respects to ICE vehicles) while also imposing eye watering bureaucratic restrictions on the import of lithium ion batteries!

Far from the West or their (for now!) affluent consumers dictating how things will go, these measures, along with unrestricted immigration will bring about the final reduction of Europe to a geopolitical pygmy of little relevance. The fact that a stupid set of ideas and policies are currently prestigious among our progressive elite does not make them less stupid or self defeating. No government ever told people to stop buying horses and carts and buy internal combustion engined vehicles instead! (And actually there were several competing technologies of self propelled vehicles including steam and, yes, petrol electric).

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
2 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

I was speaking hypothetically mostly. I know you’re not dumb enough to believe climate change will destroy all life but far too many people do. It’s interesting that you mention sweatshops because I think the same solution applies to both sweatshops and emissions. Corporations can’t pollute indiscriminately or pay workers a dollar a day in the USA. Why should they be able to do it in Bangladesh and then import the products at no additional costs. Tariffs are a way to account for differences between nations to level the playing field for workers and discourage corporate misbehavior, and they’ll end up being far more effective than any consumer driven boycotts.

Martin M
Martin M
2 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

They are happy to buy into them if they happen in other countries.

Douglas Proudfoot
Douglas Proudfoot
2 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

If consumers won’t buy “dirty” products, then salvation wouldn’t require subsidies and strict regulations, only truth in labeling. The lack of sales for all electric cars and trucks shows exactly the opposite. The manufacturers are cutting EV production because of poor sales. EV performance is inferior to IC cars.

If global warming were real, past temperatures wouldn’t require constant adjustment downward. However, these adjustments happen routinely, without much justification.

If man made global warming was real science, the models showing it would have statistical significance. They don’t.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
2 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

You are completely deluded. There is no sea change happening at all. The world will be dependent on fossil fuels for decades to come. The West is full of middle class virtue signalling hypocrites, it is true, buying an EVs in addition to their ICE cars they already own!

Have you any answer at all to the fact that Russia, the Middle East and others will continue to produce the oil and gas the rest of the world needs and there is absolutely nothing the West can do to prevent it?

The world is warming – we will adapt. Not many Dutch people are drowning – not even Bangladeshis.

James Love
James Love
2 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Canada bought into net zero and we are in worse shape than the USA.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
2 months ago
Reply to  James Love

Unfortunately, this is correct.

Robbie K
Robbie K
2 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Congratulations on having your positive and supportive comment of the article avoid the mysterious Ministry of Truth black hole.

Jim Veenbaas
JV
Jim Veenbaas
2 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

I detest the censorious thugs here as much as you do. I find it profoundly irritating, I cancelled my subscription because of it, but came back.

J Bryant
J Bryant
2 months ago

So at what point does reality assert itself? I was a California resident for a few years two decades ago. Even then I heard a chorus of doomsayers about the Californian economy and the state’s increasingly hard-left policies. Yet California rumbles on and, incredibly, although many people have left, the majority remain and seem to just shrug their shoulders about the dysfunction (and re-elect “progressive” leaders at state and local level).
Is California the equivalent of what engineers call a catastrophic failure: everything looks pretty good until the moment it collapses?

Right-Wing Hippie
Right-Wing Hippie
2 months ago
Reply to  J Bryant

As Adam Smith put it, there’s a lot of ruin in a nation. Both in the sense that its ruin can take a long time, and that the total devastation can be enormous.

Flibberti Gibbet
Flibberti Gibbet
2 months ago
Reply to  J Bryant

The past two decades have seen all the wealth creation in Silicon Valley, has that propped up the regional economy? Will it last.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
2 months ago
Reply to  J Bryant

To an extent, reality has exerted itself. Productive people are leaving, schools have worsened, crime is up as is homelessness. People whose wealth makes them immune to the affects of the policies they support don’t see its affects.

Steve Jolly
SJ
Steve Jolly
2 months ago
Reply to  J Bryant

States, like people, are not equal. Some are blessed with more natural advantages than others. California has a lot of natural advantages, rivers, farmland, minerals, etc., and they built up even more advantages during the pre-stupid era from 1850-1975. It takes a lot of bad policy, decades in fact, to offset so much natural advantage and undo so much economic dynamism. I liken it to a lake being emptied with buckets. The lake can hold so much water, but no matter how large the lake, if more water is being taken out than is going in, it will eventually run out. How long depends on the size of the lake and the bucket. California started with a huge lake but the bucket keeps getting bigger and the lake keeps getting lower. A boat on the water could see the size of the lake shrinking and probably recognize something is wrong, but it won’t truly founder until it hits the bottom and there’s nothing left.

Stephen Walsh
Stephen Walsh
2 months ago

The more the Democrats run California into the ground, the more Californians vote for them. Presumably Biden hopes the same electoral strategy will work nationally.

Carlos Danger
Carlos Danger
2 months ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

It’s crazy here. I’ve lived here for 30 years, and it’s always been bad, but never like this. I’m stunned, but others shrug it off. It’s crazy.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
2 months ago

The title reflects Team Biden’s goals. Some years ago, his former boss talked of “fundamental transformation” coming to America. What did people think that would look like when applied to the world’s largest economy and its lone (at the time) superpower? Everything this bunch has done, from energy to the border to colluding with tech and media to silence dissent is designed to hurt America.

El Uro
El Uro
2 months ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

I would prefer the title “Joe Biden’s war on America…”

Buena Vista
Buena Vista
2 months ago

I am curious as to why Kotkin didn’t write this piece two years ago, when the facts he presented here were already obvious.
He’s quite late to the party,

J Bryant
J Bryant
2 months ago
Reply to  Buena Vista

In fairness, he’s been sounding the alarm about California here on Unherd for a couple of years.

Philip May
Philip May
2 months ago
Reply to  Buena Vista

Perhaps he’s been too busy writing books. Neo-Feudalism for example.

Robbie K
Robbie K
2 months ago

This article reads like some kind of parody from the early eighties. It’s really quite spectacularly ignorant that some people are still in denial of human caused climate change, but this author is certainly a regular. Along with the constant anti-lockdown dogma it seems Unherd has been captured by a ridiculous motivation to feed the swivel eyed loons on the extreme far right with the conspiratorial nonsense they actually believe. It’s a blight on what is otherwise an excellent site.

Steven Carr
Steven Carr
2 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

So you are in favour of Europe switching from American gas to German and Polish coal, as American gas is cut back under the Democrats?

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
2 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

One can debate climate change policy without denying the science of climate change. One can debate whether the complete elimination of fossil fuels is realistic or possible. One possible conclusion is that eliminating fossil fuels would cause such dire social and economic upheavals that it would end up being no better than doing nothing at all, and that a future of totalitarianism, constant internal conflict, war, and poverty is no better than a world of environmental disaster, mass migration, and also poverty. There’s a fatalist side of me that basically says if your side is correct, we’re screwed because while your climate science may be completely sound, your understanding of human nature is hopelessly deluded. At any rate, you’re wasting your time trying to convince everyone to voluntarily sacrifice for the planet. You’ll fail and probably just make yourself furious in the process. You could go to another site where everyone agrees with your point of view, but it won’t really be reflective of everyone, will it? That’s the problem. People have been trying to unify the world under one ideology, one religion, since ever, and nobody has. They will gather themselves up, divide based on ideology and eventually separate themselves by geography, then fight others so that they won’t have to bow to other ideologies. Whether any of the ideologies are factually or scientifically correct in whole or in part, doesn’t actually matter.
I don’t have a good answer for you. Sometimes there are no good answers. Sometimes there are no answers at all. Clinging to the impossible dream of all humanity to suddenly agreeing on something as difficult to understand as climate change and voluntarily submitting themselves to some collectivist scheme to stop it seems like denial to me. Better to just face the ugly truth that some things are just not within our power to change, and we just have to accept whatever comes, and adjust as best we can. I don’t believe humans can stop climate change for the same reasons I don’t believe in unicorns, fire breathing dragons, or Santa Claus.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
2 months ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

Well said.
“Better to just face the ugly truth that some things are just not within our power to change,”
Such as the global climate, which has changed drastically and profoundly all by itself since the earth was created.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
2 months ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

100% Steve Jolly! I for one am not willing to give up freedom of mobility or modern comforts and to live under a totalitarian state in order to combat “climate change “. Better to use our technological powers for mitigation. For example, why is there not a Manhattan Project scale effort to develop an affordable way to pull CO2 from the atmosphere? Imagine a future where every household had such an extraction device on their rooftop next to their solar panels. They could sell the carbon the devices gathered to the state for use in building and repairing roads and hundreds of other uses. That would be a win-win.

Carlos Danger
Carlos Danger
2 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

This article makes a lot of sense to me, and I’m not extreme far right. In fact, it’s hard to call me far right, or even right. I’m pretty much in the middle.
Joel Kotkin isn’t denying climate change, nor do I. Those who call us “deniers”, and call our arguments against some of the measures being taken “conspiratorial nonsense”, add insult to injury.
The same thing happened during the pandemic. California governor Gavin Newsom claimed that he was following the science as he imposed ridiculous lockdowns, mask and vaccine mandates, school closures, and business regulations. It got so bad enough people signed a petition for a recall election. By then, though, the pandemic was over, and the voters had moved on.
Voters here are a herd of sheep. They vote for people like Gavin Newsom, Kamala Harris, and Nancy Pelosi who are good politicians but terrible statesmen. They don’t know what they are doing, and we all suffer for it.
But all voters do is bleat about it. We need to unherd here in California, and UnHerd helps to do that.

Robbie K
Robbie K
2 months ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

Kotkin consistently produces these kind of sceptic and denial articles.
Its a subject that needs to be written about and discussed, I just implore Unherd to publish something a little more intellectual and balanced.

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
2 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

Kotkin is pretty far to the right, I’ll grant, but he’s about the furthest right of any author who appears regularly on Unherd. This isn’t his best work either. He has a point about how California’s policy is probably hurting their economic competitiveness, but he comes across as telling California voters how stupid they are. I don’t usually support that sort of negativity applied to a broad swath of people. If hard left policy is what California voters want, well, that’s the democratic process at work. I can’t very well tell the Saudis what to do with their oil. Why should anybody get to dictate to California what to do with theirs? If people don’t like California politics, there are forty-nine other states to live in running the gamut from nearly as liberal as California to the opposite extreme. The differences between states are healthy. I’d rather states given greater latitude to make their own policies, not less. Federalism is the easiest solution to polarization.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
2 months ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

Carlos Danger 100%! I am a moderate like you, though my family and friends are lifelong Democrats (some much further left than that, actually!) In the past five years or so it has become impossible for me to ignore the extremism of the left – especially Newsom’s dictator-like behavior in response to Covid. Thank God for the recall effort, I think it did reign him in somewhat even though it was not successful. But I share your despair over people here voting for the same failed policies over and over. There is an unreasonable hatred of Republicans that has sadly turned us into something very close to a one-party state. Sheep indeed.

Martin M
Martin M
2 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

You’d struggle to find anyone commenting here who is “pro-lockdown”, although there are one or two “climate alarmists”.

Saul D
Saul D
2 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

The problem is that most of the compelled ‘solutions’ are largely half-baked nonsense that will increase scarcity and reduce living standards while not particularly helping at the scale needed. Less efficient farming. Closing carbon-free energy plants. Burning imported wood pellets. Chasing wishful solutions that as yet have no basis in technology (large-scale batteries, fusion) instead of doing something urgent with what we have, and with what works and has been proven to work at scale.
The prime example being stupidity around nuclear power – which should be an emergency priority similar to that which allowed for France to decarbonise electricity in 15 years, stripping out all the nonsense consultant costs and leaving it to the engineers.
But no.We chase bad policies that increase prices and reduce supply, while providing subsidies for technologies and audits that don’t work,and that are illogical.
For instance, the easiest way to capture carbon is to make stuff from plants that fix CO2 from the air to grow, use that stuff, and then bury it, taking the carbon into the ground, not the atmosphere. Instead we waste energy (and chemicals) on recycling cotton, wool or paper, only to end up burning it, returning all that positive capture back to the air. I could go on, but the problem needs practical, not theoretical, answers.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
2 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

Anyone who calls those who disagree with them on factual matters, “swivel eyed loons” are usually swivel eyed loons themselves.

Thor Albro
Thor Albro
2 months ago

Biden promised back in 2020, to “shut down patroleum”. He is. He also went to the Mexican border and said “come on over”. They are. Sometimes we should hear what politicians say and believe them.

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
2 months ago

There’s an argument to be made here that the results of this policy aren’t all that bad regardless of the reasons. Conservation is usually sound policy. We need fossil fuels now, and we might need them in the future. If we can get by without using California’s oil fairly easily, why shouldn’t we just leave it where it is and save it for another time of greater need. There may come a time when we need it much more than right now, and depending on technological advances, we might not need it at all. Oil reserves aren’t going anywhere. I realize that’s not the reasoning of California’s hard left politicians, but I’m more concerned with outcomes than principles. I would suggest that if sentiments and luxury beliefs are sufficient to deter drilling, we can leave it for now and come back to it later. Let California do its thing. If they run themselves into the ground, they’ll change their policy. I live in Kentucky so their oil is none of my business AFAIC.

Carlos Danger
Carlos Danger
2 months ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

I live in California, and have for over 30 years. The problem here is not conservation, but extremism. The people in charge are ideologues, with little sense of what is realistic or prudent. The technocrats at places like the California Air Resources Board have done as they pleased — forget what the voters think.
We are treated like a Soviet-style economy. Bans and mandates and taxes and regulations. No one can understand what the intent is or how things work. We just get bills that are astronomical with no choice but to pay them.
Gasoline, for example, is $4.29 a gallon at the cheapest station within 10 miles of my home near San Francisco. In Salt Lake City, Utah, where I often visit, it is $2.49. Why? Who knows.
Last week I got a notice from Pacific Gas and Electric. They warned me that my bill this month would be shockingly high. And it was. It is $500, much higher than my bill of $425 a year ago. But that’s not the shocker. This year we were out of town for 10 days during the billing period. Last year we were home the whole time.
It’s impossible to tell from my bill how much I’m being charged for electricity per kilowatt hour. My guess is 40 cents. In Utah it is 13 cents.
I’m no “climate denier”. I’ve been working on electric car technology for over 20 years now (longer than Elon Musk!) to try to improve our cars while using less energy. But there is a point where the government needs to accept the fact that we ought to be able to choose how much energy to use instead of the government choosing for us.

Martin M
Martin M
2 months ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

Gasoline, for example, is $4.29 a gallon at the cheapest station within 10 miles of my home near San Francisco. In Salt Lake City, Utah, where I often visit, it is $2.49. Why? Who knows.
I don’t live in the US, and so I cannot provide a categorical answer, but my best guess would be “Fuel taxes are higher in California than they are in Utah”.

Carlos Danger
Carlos Danger
2 months ago
Reply to  Martin M

There is a 33 cent difference in gasoline tax. That’s part of the $1.80 difference, but obviously not all, or even most.
I think it’s due to a web of regulations that interact in ways even the regulators did not expect and cannot explain. They muck with the market to achieve ideological goals and get a result much different than their abstract analysis predicts.
It’s like climate worship has become a state religion imposed on everyone regardless of their beliefs. What happened to freedom?

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
2 months ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

That’s fair. A big part of the reason I’m not fussed about it is I don’t have to live there, and I don’t expect California’s energy policies will ever be politically viable at the national level, whatever delusions Democrats may have. My attitude is that everybody on both sides of the climate change issue needs to grow up and face facts. Yes, climate change IS happening. Yes it will have serious consequences. No climate change will not turn the earth into a lifeless wasteland. No, it isn’t possible to run civilization as it currently exists on wind and solar alone. No, people will not accept energy poverty for the sake of the ‘common good’. What needs to happen is a common sense balancing of costs and benefits to lower fossil fuel usage as much as possible without placing an undue burden on the poorest citizens. It should also all be subject to the democratic process, not dictated by the UN or some panel of appointed experts. Too many people on both sides have their heads firmly buried in the sand, denying climate change exists or spinning fairy tales about global cooperation and completely eliminating fossil fuels completely. The debate would be a lot easier if people confined themselves to the reasonable and the realistic.

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
2 months ago

The Biden decision to halt or slow the growth of USA LNG exports is particularly troublesome to Europe which had turned to America as an alternative source in their bid to reduce dependence on Russia.
It’s bitterly ironic when you think of their attempts to paint Trump as a Russian stooge.

Farah
Farah
2 months ago

biden didn’t halt or slow the growth of exports of LNG at all. he put a pause on approving additional LNG export terminal constructions, which would only affect LNG exports AFTER 2030
this whole article is a joke, and I wonder how it even got published

Kevin Jones
Kevin Jones
2 months ago

Biden’s “war on fossil fuels” doesn’t seem to be going very well for him then. America is pumping more oil than ever – one in eight barrels globally.
The stated reason for the “pause” in LNG exports to countries they don’t have a free trade agreement with seems very muddled. Ultimately though money will win and they will resume shipping it everywhere.

Ernesto Candelabra
Ernesto Candelabra
2 months ago

I found a much better religion for you, Robbie K https://x.com/gocotwo/status/1712209845804319078?s=46

Robbie K
RK
Robbie K
2 months ago

Nice flag tbf, looks like a yummy mint Viennetta.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
2 months ago

Oh no states’ rights!
I can’t see how it is possible to argue that Biden has hurt fossil fuel producers when the US is producing more fossil fuel than ever.

Dale Valenti
Dale Valenti
2 months ago

The greens want us cold, in the dark and very afraid.

Christopher
Christopher
2 months ago

Maybe energy producers should refuse to transport any oil/gas into CA across state lines. For a month. When elitists can’t fuel their Jets , illegals can’t drive, it will all work out.

Michael Layman
Michael Layman
2 months ago

God forbid, the U.S. becomes the Socialist Democratic Republic of California. The vast majority of US citizens hold the state in disdain. It is a shame it has such an outsized impact on US elections. A telling statistic: the state had more residents leaving that entering in 2023. Move to CA if you are an illegal alien, Newsom will provide free health care. Where is Ronald Reagon when we need him? So sad, a beautiful state has been ruined by Democrats.