Europeans have embraced the climate religion with a fervor to rival Bernie Sanders, observes Kimberley A. Strassel in the WSJ.
Sobering the Continent
Yet Mr. Putin’s shocking violence in Ukraine—his willingness to wield energy as a weapon—sobered the Continent overnight. No one is giving up on renewables, but nobody is any longer pretending they are the basis of energy reliability or security. Fossil fuels will remain for decades a currency of global power, and Russia’s invasion highlights the stupidity of being broke.
- Germany: The government is stockpiling coal and expediting terminals for liquefied natural gas
- Europe: Is working to get more gas through pipelines from Norway and Azerbaijan.
- Poland: Is planning new nuclear plants
- The U.K.: May restart onshore fracking and ramp up North Sea drilling
- Norway: Plans to expand Arctic exploration
Putin’s Price Hike?
While European leaders and Republicans are moving to address substantive geopolitical shifts, they also understand the politics. Gasoline and heating prices have been fleecing consumer wallets since Mr. Biden took office.
(Biden) can try to lay off the more recent rise on “Putin’s price hike,” but polls consistently show voters blame high energy prices and inflation on the administration.
An Inconvenient Truth
… Mr. Biden’s climate agenda—no matter how much the liberal press wants to differ—has never been popular. It’s a concoction of the party’s progressive left and radical activist groups. A recent survey from Democratic pollster Impact Research of likely voters in North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Arizona (three states with Senate races this year) found that 78% had a favorable view of natural gas, and only 22% want an energy policy that looks like the Green New Deal.
Blame Big Oil/Big Gas and Other Gimmicks
Democrats are debating a windfall profits tax, which would depress production and further raise prices, continues Ms. Strassel.
Democratic governors are clamoring for a federal gasoline-tax holiday, but it’s a gimmick that would only temporarily mask true prices, and may not count for much in any event.
The Crux of the Problem
Democrats want to make the problem go away without addressing its roots. Russia’s invasion has forced energy security to the center of the political debate, where it is likely to stay through the midterms. Voters will cast ballots for candidates who prove they understand the problem and have a plan for fixing it. Democrats who continue to wallow in platitudes about an “existential” climate crisis may find themselves out of jobs.
Read An Easy Solution to Electricity Independence?, for more on how the U.S. should handle vulnerability to oil and gas spikes in the world market.
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