Just now, Joe Biden did the most uncommon thing in US politics: he confronted Bill McKibben, the head of the oil industry.

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The Biden administration halted the issuance of new natural gas terminal permits. Is there more of this kind of spine to come?Joe Biden said no to big oil ten days ago, which was an extraordinary and nearly unprecedented move.

Under his administration, the issuing of new permits to construct LNG export facilities was stopped. For almost ten years, Washington had been distributing these permits like candy on Halloween. The Department of Energy’s experts will spend the upcoming months devising a new licensing formula that incorporates the most recent science and economics, so the decision is provisionally “no.” Nevertheless, the howls of indignation from the petroleum industry and its entourage of politicians indicate how serious this is.

Additionally, it’s evident to you how stale their arguments have grown with time. Watching Biden call their bluff is breathtaking.

Just now, Joe Biden did the most uncommon thing in US politics: he confronted Bill McKibben, the head of the oil industry.
Just now, Joe Biden did the most uncommon thing in US politics: he confronted Bill McKibben, the head of the oil industry.

To give you an idea, Congress will be holding hearings on natural gas this week and next, thanks to the influence of industry-beholden legislators. The House started the action on Tuesday with a hearing before a subcommittee of the House committee on energy and commerce. Joe Manchin, who founded a coal brokerage company and has received more lobbying money from big oil than any other member of Congress, is calling a meeting of the Senate on Thursday.

Toby Rice, one of the panel’s “experts,” is the owner of the nation’s leading producer of natural gas. And without delay, he employed the deception that people of his caliber have often employed. I will attempt to slow it down sufficiently so that you can observe the hand dealing from the deck’s bottom.

According to Rice, “The fracking revolution has driven over 60% of the emissions reduction the United States experienced since the turn of the century by displacing coal-fired power generation, powering our economy and preventing us from being reliant on foreign sources of natural gas.”

The crucial term in this context is “emissions,” which Rice defines as carbon dioxide. In fact, burning fracked gas in a power plant emits fewer emissions than burning coal. However, methane is another significant greenhouse gas, and that’s essentially what “natural gas” is made of. It has an 80-fold more heat-trapping capacity than carbon dioxide, molecule for molecule when it spills from a well or a pipeline.

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Furthermore, there is so much leakage that, when you add in the carbon still released by burning gas, America’s overall contribution to global warming during the past 20 years has most likely not decreased at all. Natural gas has proven to be a trap rather than a blessing, and the business is now trying to ensnare the rest of the world in it. Furthermore, a boat carrying fracked gas leaks so much on a lengthy ocean voyage that it is far worse than coal, as demonstrated by recent studies published this fall. Within ten years, US natural gas would have produced more greenhouse gas emissions than all of Europe’s activities if the White House had continued to grant industry requests for licenses. It’s the largest fossil fuel expansion initiative ever undertaken.That makes up half of the issue with Rice’s claim. The other half is because Rice’s gas mostly undercuts coal. There’s no reason not to proceed right from coal to renewable energy, without making an intermediate stop at gas. After all, on this planet, the least expensive way to generate power is to aim a sheet of glass towards the sun. Although the claim that it’s a “bridge fuel” is ten years old, big oil is trying to push it forward four or five decades because that’s how long this new infrastructure is meant to last.

If Rice’s claims were false, the other industry witness was just depressing. The Chamber Southwest Louisiana, which is home to the majority of this infrastructure, was represented by Eric Cormier. Environmental justice activists like Roishetta Ozane and James Hiatt, who live nearby, are the ones spearheading this campaign by drawing attention to the harm that these installations are causing to the air and water. However, Cormier asserted that LNG development was essential given the severe economic devastation inflicted on the area by Hurricanes Laura and Delta, which destroyed 44,000 dwellings, cost $17 billion in damages, and reduced the population by around 7%.

Regarding the damage, he is correct; Lake Charles, the largest city in the area, is likely the world’s epicenter of blue tarps. But consider his reasoning for a moment: the loss caused by the climate problem along Louisiana’s coast is so great that we must exacerbate the issue in order to cover the entire cost of the harm.

 

Just now, Joe Biden did the most uncommon thing in US politics: he confronted Bill McKibben, the head of the oil industry.
Just now, Joe Biden did the most uncommon thing in US politics: he confronted Bill McKibben, the head of the oil industry.

How come? The fading Louisiana shoreline would be the first place on Earth to experience an intense need to stop using fossil fuels. However, if you’re the Chamber SWLA, your sole measure of understanding is short-term profit.

Of course, this particular form of greenwashing has been around for a while. However, big oil is finding it more and more difficult to support their position. This is especially true in light of a recent economic survey that revealed that Americans’ energy bills would increase by 9 to 14% if LNG export infrastructure was to be expanded. Additionally, polling clearly demonstrates that Americans oppose fracking their nation in order to export cheap gas to China.

That won’t quiet the industry’s cries. Their only realistic chance left is political maneuvering, as modern renewable technology has already surpassed them. However, intelligent leaders are finding it far simpler to resist them. The world vowed to “transition away” from fossil fuels in Dubai in December. In Washington, Joe Biden began to demonstrate his sincerity last month.

The Third Act was founded by Bill McKibben, who uses it to mobilize Americans over 60 for progressive causes. This fall, the organization worked to convince the government to cease issuing LNG permits.

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