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The Wall Street Journal 12 October, 2021 - 04:30am

Biden’s energy blunder...

The Daily Advance 12 October, 2021 - 08:20am

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Gasoline prices at the pump are up. I can remember paying $1.99 a gallon not so long ago, but the administration’s inflationary economic policies have led to higher prices.

Most gas stations in our area managed to hold the price of regular gas at $2.99 a gallon for as long as they could, but have now upped it to $3.09, crossing the ominous $3 threshold we all know signals more to come.

Is California’s average of $4.50 a gallon in our future?

It shouldn’t be happening. The United States is blessed with abundant reserves of oil and gas that, coupled with technological innovation and industry-friendly regulations, had — until now — made it possible for us to become not only energy-independent, but also a major exporter.

But along came Joe Biden whose first day in office signaled his intention to wage war on fossil fuels. He cancelled the Keystone pipeline and drilling leases on federal land. There would be no new oil fields in Alaska.

Paying homage to Green New Deal advocates like Elizabeth Warren and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, he announced his intention to ban fracking. It was time to transition to cleaner energy sources like wind and solar and converting the nation’s fleet of air-polluting gas-guzzling cars and trucks to electricity. Combating the existential threat of climate change was now the new priority.

But the Fates did not quite get the message. This past winter, when the electricity generation of wind and solar power in Texas fell to 12 percent of capacity during single-digit temperatures, and there was no adequate backup from plants using oil and gas, it resulted in the Great Texas blackout.

When Hurricane Ida shut down oil production in the Gulf states this summer, gas stations suddenly were scrambling for deliveries. Prices at the pump, which had already been hit by inflation, shot up by much as 50 cents a gallon in this area.

Faced with supply shortages, President Biden pleaded with OPEC and Russia to increase their oil output. He received a response equivalent to a Bronx cheer.

Why not ask domestic suppliers to increase production? Unfortunately, Joe Biden nixed that option on his first day in office.

The Biden administration’s plan is to achieve 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2035. There are formidable obstacles in the way. The energy-producing transition will require mining industries and infrastructure that do not exist in this country.

For example, electric cars depend on key minerals like lithium, graphite, nickel and rare-earth minerals. Conversion to all-electric vehicles exceeds the world’s current capacity to produce enough of these materials to meet projected demand. Worse, China controls the global supply of rare-earth materials, while the U.S. isn’t even a player — not an enviable position to be in, considering geo-political challenges.

Biden’s dream of a carbon-free energy sector will never become a reality. In fact, the world is likely to depend increasingly on oil and gas to resolve its energy shortages. Something Biden should have thought about before declaring war on fossil fuels.

Thadd White is Group Editor of the Bertie Ledger-Advance, Chowan Herald, Perquimans Weekly, The Enterprise & Eastern North Carolina Living. He can be reached via email at twhite@ncweeklies.com.

Oil Down as Global Energy Crunch Begins to Bite By Investing.com

Investing.com 11 October, 2021 - 09:57pm

Investing.com – Oil was down Tuesday morning in Asia, falling for the first time in four days. The black liquid was taking a breather after weeks of gains fueled by a rebound in global demand, with the gains contributing to energy shortages in economies from Europe to Asia, according to some investors.

Brent oil futures edged down 0.12% to $83.55 by 10:56 PM ET (2:56 AM GMT) and WTI futures edged down 0.16% to $80.39. Both Brent and WI futures stayed above the $80 mark, however.

"There is still plenty of momentum behind the oil rally and the fundamentals remain extremely favorable," OANDA senior market analyst Craig Erlam told Reuters.

“Will it be a surprise to see oil back in the triple digits later this year? Probably not."

A global energy crunch that continues to span Asia, Europe, and the U.S. has pushed power prices up to records in recent weeks. Rising natural gas prices are also pushed power generators to replace it with crude oil. The switch could boost demand for crude oil by between 250,000 to 750,000 barrels per day, according to some estimates.

In China, the top oil importer, major industrial regions are seeing power shortages. However, thermal coal futures were on an uptick again on Tuesday, with prices gaining more than 10%. Qatar, the biggest producer of liquefied natural gas globally, admitted to its customers on Monday that it would be unable to boost production and lower energy prices.

"We are maxed out, as far as we have given all our customers their due quantities," Qatar energy minister Saad al-Kaabi told Reuters.

"I am unhappy about gas prices being high."

Investors now await U.S. crude oil data from the American Petroleum Institute, due later in the day.

By Alex Lawler LONDON (Reuters) -Oil rose towards $84 a barrel on Tuesday, within sight of a three-year high, supported by a rebound in global demand that is contributing to...

By P.J. Huffstutter and Mark Weinraub CHICAGO (Reuters) - Dale Hadden cannot find any spare tires for his combine harvester. So the Illinois farmer told his harvest crew to avoid...

By Gina Lee Investing.com – Gold was up on Tuesday morning in Asia, after trading flat as the Asian session opened. The dollar also inched upwards over wide expectations that the...

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