The US, Canada, and Mexico have enormous proven energy reserves and the technical know-how to become the dominant energy-producing region on the planet. It can be done cleanly, safely, and domestically – all while reducing the strength of our geopolitical enemies.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent economic destruction in Europe due to an energy crisis of their own making should serve as a serious wake-up call to North America’s political establishment. It’s time to get serious about energy. Here’s how we should do it:
Our proposal has four priorities: (1) seduce natural gas investment; (2) reclaim a leadership position in polysilicon production; (3) recommit to nuclear; and, (4) course correct on electric vehicle adoption.
America has spectacularly large and economically accessible deposits of natural gas. Natural gas – which can be used to produce electricity, heat our homes, and feed our domestic fertilizer plants – has to be at the core of our revitalization strategy.
President Biden should do everything in his power to accelerate regulatory approval of the critical pipeline projects constraining natural gas production. He should work with Congress and rewrite laws to facilitate investments identified by the industry as critical.
The Mountain Valley, PennEast, and Atlantic Coast pipeline projects need to be completed with high urgency. It is time to put an end to nuisance lawsuits, regulatory inertia, and environmental radicalism.
It borders on criminal negligence that much of the Northeast burns oil to heat their homes. In addition to the pipeline projects described above, the President should work with Congress to amend the Jones Act to create an exception for LNG carriers to serve this region.
With the natural gas industry unleashed, the President should make co-located production of polysilicon another national priority. The US blundered into allowing China to secure a dominant position in this critical market, and it is time to reverse that error.
Making polysilicon is energy-intensive, and cheap natural gas is the ideal feedstock. There will be huge demand for solar in the decades ahead, and the only thing stopping the US from being the preferred global supplier is a lack of polysilicon production capacity.
It is hard to imagine there would be much opposition to this from either party. The drill-baby-drill crowd gets a new market for domestic natural gas, and the environmentalists get a home-grown solar manufacturing industry.
The President should work with Congress and state leaders to halt all planned nuclear electricity plant closings, invest substantially in maintenance and life-extension of the existing nuclear fleet, and embark on a massive buildout of advanced nuclear reactors.
The President should work with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and industry participants to replace the “as low as reasonably achievable” (i.e., ALARA) regulatory framework with something more conducive of a nuclear renaissance.
The ALARA standard makes it nearly impossible for new nuclear facilities to be built in the US. It holds the nuclear industry to standards that far exceed global norms, and does little to reduce meaningful risk. ALARA is a tool of radical environmentalists who hate nuclear.
Finally, the President should work with the automotive industry to pivot from a focus on full battery electric vehicles (BEVs) to plugin hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) instead.
There simply aren’t enough battery materials available to support the conversion of a substantial portion of our automotive fleet to full electric. If battery materials are the constraint, we must manage to that constraint.
On a gallon of fuel abated per kWh of battery basis, PHEVs are far superior to full BEVs – the math is undeniable. Instead, companies like General Motors are rolling out vanity vehicles like the electric Hummer, which sports a massive 200 kWh battery.
The electric Hummer, the Ford F-150 Lightning, and other full-sized BEVs are environmental abominations. These same battery packs could each support 10 or more PHEVs and have a far greater impact on reducing our demand for oil.
This energy plan is grounded in physics, is utterly achievable, and would position the US as the global energy superpower for decades. In fact, it makes so much sense, we expect our political leaders to do none of it. They are too busy scoring points against the other team.
Both parties remain deeply unserious about the energy crisis, its root causes, and the consequences of our continued energy ignorance. The laws of physics can’t be wished away with platitudes, but our political leaders seem intent on trying.
This article is written by Doomberg via Twitter.