by Bob Barr
The “Green” Kool-Aid Democrats continue to guzzle is truly making them incomprehensively detached from reality. It has sunk to the point at which one senior Democrat congressional leader, Sen. Ed Markey from Massachusetts, openly (and with a straight face) declared that energy independence achieved by producing more natural gas and oil, is “one of the biggest lies.”
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine presents a doomsday scenario for radical environmentalists. The war has exposed just how weak “going green” has made Europe, forcing leaders to choose between economic disaster, and subsidizing Putin’s barbaric war. On our side of the Atlantic, Democrats should be paying attention to the lessons of linking one’s national security to the cooperation of despots, but they would rather keep chugging their green Kool-Aid beverage.
Europe’s fate will be America’s if Democrats continue to follow their radical environmental agenda. Decades of environmental activism, ironically funded in Europe by Russian money, destroyed Europe’s energy independence. This short-sighted policy has made the continent largely unable to absorb even minor disruptions to supply from the Russian-controlled energy spigot.
The situation is so dire in Germany, one official said a boycott targeting Russia would lead to “mass poverty” for the world’s fourth-largest economy. While America is not in quite so precarious a position as Europe, it is certainly nowhere close to where our country should – and could – be. Consider how long it took the Biden Administration to finally pull the plug on our country’s imports of Russian crude following that country’s invasion of Ukraine.
If it was that hard to replace just eight percent of our total oil supply, where exactly does the Left think it would make up the 19 percent we import from the Middle East, if that source were to be – again — disrupted? Or how will the U.S. keep up with electrical demands as electric vehicles become more popular, when Democrats are closing nuclear power plants, rather than building them?
Questions like these went unanswered by Europe before selling out their national security in return for promises of “climate change.” Here at home Democrats are refusing to answer those same crucial questions, because doing so would force them to admit they were dead-wrong about an issue that has become a cornerstone of their Party’s 21st Century identity. Confronting the damage they have wrought would require them to address, even indirectly, that:
• Crippling domestic oil production has again rendered the United States captive to international market disruptions.
• Maintaining costly regulatory mandates like the century-old Jones Act, makes shipping domestic oil from one domestic port to another more expensive than importing oil from overseas.
• Liberal states are dismantling existing nuclear power generation with no plan to compensate for this loss.
• Failing to clean house at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which has long behaved like an enemy to nuclear development, has severely hampered efforts to expand or even modernize nuclear energy production.
These, and other critical failures illustrate that Democrats have neither the courage nor the vision to pursue energy policies that actually use America’s abundant natural resources to achieve energy independence in the short-term, while stabilizing the natural market transition away from fossil fuels and traditional energy sources down the road.
The simplest measures requiring almost no effort or expansion of domestic drilling – such as repealing the Jones Act and revamping the NRC – are nowhere to be found on the Democrats’ radar. Preserving the status quo of high gas prices and unreliable energy production appears to be the sole path they have chosen.
This green obsession has become nothing less than a cult, in which the truth is obvious, but admitting it would mean accepting responsibility for putting the U.S. on the same ill-fated trajectory as Europe.
Fortunately, voters are not the gullible rubes Democrats pray they are, and cheap ploys such as temporary “gas tax holidays” and silly responses to serious questions, such as “Putin’s price hike,” are not going to mask the failure of decades of green energy policies to provide anything beyond political theater.
Voters will be taking their gas pump receipts to the voting booths this year, and perhaps finally we will have a Congress that tosses out the green Kool-Aid and removes the green-colored glasses, that for far too long have severely damaged American consumers and businesses with anti-energy energy policies.
Bob Barr represented Georgia’s Seventh District in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 2003. He served as the United States Attorney in Atlanta from 1986 to 1990 and was an official with the CIA in the 1970s. He now practices law in Atlanta, Georgia and serves as head of Liberty Guard.