America’s energy security is being dismantled by what Francis Menton, the Manhattan Contrarian, calls a “seemingly endless litany of one intentionally destructive policy after another.” Menton relies on the work of energy consultant Joseph Toomey, author of the book An Unworthy Future, in making the case that Joe Biden is at the center of blame for America’s declining energy security. Menton writes:
At this website, I try to give readers a steady flow of the latest instances of official energy madness, the ongoing efforts of our politicians, bureaucrats, academics and journalists to undermine and destroy the energy infrastructure that is the basis for our prosperity and our comfortable lives. But if you just read these examples one by one, however outrageous they may be individually, you can lose track of the overall picture. In the big picture, our government, aided and abetted by academics and journalists, is conducting a full scale war on the energy sector of the economy.
Now comes along a guy named Joseph Toomey, who has published a relatively long piece at RealClearEnergy with the title “Energy Inflation Was By Design.” Toomey is identified as a “career management consultant” in the energy field, and author of a 2014 book with the title “An Unworthy Future,” that critiqued the Obama administration’s energy policies. Other than that, Toomey has not been a regular contributor to the energy policy debates. But he makes up for an extended absence with this comprehensive roundup.
At 35 pages in length, Toomey’s piece is a seemingly endless litany of one intentionally destructive policy after another. Even if you follow this issue regularly, as I do, you can’t help but be astounded when you see the full extent of the destruction organized into one piece. An energy infrastructure built up over a century and more that actually provides reliable and affordable energy to millions of people — a true miracle of human ingenuity! — is being systematically and intentionally attacked and wrecked by ignorant fools who have no idea how difficult the existing system was to create, and equally have no idea how to make something to replace it that might actually work.
The piece begins with the clear proof that this is all completely intentional on the part of the government, and particularly of President Joe Biden. A few direct quotes suffice, like this from a February 2020 rally (“We are going to get rid of fossil fuels. . . . That’s okay. These guys are okay. They want to do the same thing I want to do. They want to phase out fossil fuels, and we’re going to phase out fossil fuels.”) or this from a CNN debate on March 15, 2020 (“No more drilling on federal lands. No more drilling including offshore. No ability for the oil industry to continue to drill, period. [It] ends.”)
And then the litany of the intentional wreckage begins. It’s way too long to include everything in this one short blog post, but here are some examples of section heading, each of them followed by several paragraphs of details: Canceling the Keystone XL Pipeline; Halting Lease Sales in Alaska’s ANWR; Placing a Moratorium on Drilling on Federal Lands; Rejoining the Paris Climate Accord; Proposing Energy-Inhibiting Budgets; Canceling Oil and Gas Drilling Leases; Initiating Punitive Government Investigations; Restricting Permian Basin Drilling Using Ozone Rules; Imposing Stricter Methane Emissions Rules.
And those are just a few of the better-known examples. But then there are also long sections on some of the lesser-known elements of the war on energy. For example, two sections are devoted to what Toomey calls the “refinery squeeze” — the collection of regulations and incentives that have driven a drop in US refinery capacity by about 5% just since 2020. It seems that multiple refineries have been incentivized to switch from refining petroleum to “biofuels” (i.e., ethanol), which takes their capacity down by some 90%. And then, the process of building a new refinery to replace lost capacity has become almost impossible. Toomey: “Observers cite onerous environmental regulations and permitting red-tape hurdles as the primary reasons for avoiding new refinery permit applications.”
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