Politics & Policy

A President Biden Would Be Disastrous on Energy

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden speaks during the final 2020 presidential campaign debate in Nashville, Tenn., October 22, 2020. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)
His debate comments about ending the oil industry make an already troubling record even worse.

In the business world, there’s a saying that past performance is the best predictor of future results. I believe that this saying holds true when it comes to the candidates for president of the United States and energy policy.

Consider the past four years under President Trump, a period during which promises made resulted in promises kept. The United States currently enjoys energy independence and security, clean air and water, abundant natural gas, and affordable prices at the pump.

But if last night’s debate is any indicator, a Biden victory would put an end to the energy prosperity the U.S. currently enjoys. In admitting to the whole country that he would do away with the American oil-and-gas industry, Biden came out as a Green New Dealer. And that means catastrophe for every American family.

Biden’s remarks last night are just the latest example of his troubling record on energy, one which goes back 47 years to when the former senator was just getting his feet wet in Washington.

Today, everyone wants to talk climate change — and Joe Biden is hailed by too many as a climate-change savior. But history tells a different story. After all, it was Biden and the Democrats who voted to pass the 1978 Fuel Use Act, a part of Jimmy Carter’s failed energy plan that caused extensive environmental damage.

In the late 1970s, the Carter administration operated under an assumption that the U.S. would soon run out of oil and gas. It was a mentality of scarcity versus abundance. In a dramatic address to the nation, Carter even warned: “Unless profound changes are made to lower oil consumption, we now believe that early in the 1980s the world will be demanding more oil than it can produce.”

As we know today, that was just flat wrong. And yet for ten years, the Fuel Use Act mandated that American power companies turn away from clean-burning oil and natural gas, and embrace coal exclusively. Coal has 1.7 times the amount of carbon density as natural gas, so it’s undeniable that the legislation contributed to worsening our changing climate. It also helped create acid rain.

Biden and congressional Democrats stood by the legislation despite all the red flags, including a Department of Energy Environmental Impact Statement that warned about the “unavoidable environmental impacts” substituting coal for oil and gas would cause. They did this even though energy experts gave testimony about how abundant the supply of natural gas truly would be provided regulations be relaxed.

The Reagan administration eventually eliminated these policies, but after a decade of pollution, the damage had been done. The U.S. took coal-fired power plant technology and sold it all around the world, and we are still doing so today. China is currently building or planning to build more than 300 coal plants worldwide and regardless of the poor air quality already present in many of the locations.

When it comes to fracking, Biden has been a flip-flopper. He now says that while he won’t ban fracking, he also won’t permit new wells to be dug. But if new wells aren’t drilled, there certainly won’t be any fracking at a certain point. He touts his $2 trillion clean-energy plan, yet plans to edge out natural gas from the power mix within the next 15 years. The American people aren’t that naive.

America has a decision to make. Are we ready to go back to bowing to rogue regimes, paying $6 a gallon at the pump, and suffering thousands of lost jobs? Or do we double down on energy abundance and the freedoms that come as a result?

America’s past is the best predictor of our future. Bearing that in mind, Biden’s track record on energy should scare anyone that cares about the country and its future. It is a disaster.

Harold Hamm is executive chairman of the Council for a Secure America, chairman of the Domestic Energy Producers Alliance and founder and executive chairman of Continental Resources.

Most Popular

The Imaginary Trump

Like Andrew Jackson, Donald Trump is man who represents the age in which he lived. Whatever you may think of the age. Jackson embodied a generation of men who had risen and made their mark in a young country. He represented their desire for greater representation, even if it had costs for slaves and Indians. He ... Read More

The Imaginary Trump

Like Andrew Jackson, Donald Trump is man who represents the age in which he lived. Whatever you may think of the age. Jackson embodied a generation of men who had risen and made their mark in a young country. He represented their desire for greater representation, even if it had costs for slaves and Indians. He ... Read More
Immigration

What Now for Trump’s Border Wall?

The verdict on the U.S.–Mexico border wall President Trump promised to construct is decidedly mixed as the year comes to a close. The “big, beautiful wall,” as Trump referred to it, reached 400 miles in length by the end of October, when the Department of Homeland Security held a ceremony hailing the ... Read More
Immigration

What Now for Trump’s Border Wall?

The verdict on the U.S.–Mexico border wall President Trump promised to construct is decidedly mixed as the year comes to a close. The “big, beautiful wall,” as Trump referred to it, reached 400 miles in length by the end of October, when the Department of Homeland Security held a ceremony hailing the ... Read More
Film & TV

Bowing Down to Obama

‘How can we miss you when you won’t go away?” political podcaster Yvette Carnell joked two years ago when Barack Obama began his comeback tour by making sideline pronouncements about the state of the nation after his brief retirement. Now the comeback is official, with two new Kool-Aid-drinker Obama ... Read More
Film & TV

Bowing Down to Obama

‘How can we miss you when you won’t go away?” political podcaster Yvette Carnell joked two years ago when Barack Obama began his comeback tour by making sideline pronouncements about the state of the nation after his brief retirement. Now the comeback is official, with two new Kool-Aid-drinker Obama ... Read More
Economy & Business

Shopping Superstitions

It’s the boss-bossiest time of the year, when Americans getting ready to open up their wallets to buy Christmas presents are lectured by illiterate halfwits about where and how to spend their money. The usual demands: Buy local, or buy from small businesses. This is pure nonsense, and you should feel free to ... Read More
Economy & Business

Shopping Superstitions

It’s the boss-bossiest time of the year, when Americans getting ready to open up their wallets to buy Christmas presents are lectured by illiterate halfwits about where and how to spend their money. The usual demands: Buy local, or buy from small businesses. This is pure nonsense, and you should feel free to ... Read More