Letter: Unintended consequences
Published 8:30 pm Tuesday, January 18, 2022
Biden’s first action as president was to stop work on the Keystone Pipeline. He also banned fracking and drilling on federal lands including Alaska’s North Slope.
The intent of Biden’s degree was to raise the prices of fuel, thereby encouraging the purchase of electric-powered automobiles. Global warming was stated as the reason. This misguided goal resulted in a cascade of unintended consequences. The price of all carbon based fuels, gas, diesel, natural gas and heating oil have gone up nearly 50%. Last fall I bought diesel fuel for my RV in South Carolina for $1.89; this fall a fill in New Mexico cost me $4.80.
The cost of food is skyrocketing. Biden states it is temporary. It is not! The cost of inputs to grow our food is off the charts. The price of fertilizer has doubled from a year ago. The price of the chemicals to control weeds and insects is up over 50% — add in the increased cost of fuel to run the equipment to plant, harvest and transport our crops and one begins to realize that the worst is yet to come.
The cost of everything is much higher. Inflation driven by rising fuel prices is at its highest rate in over 40 years, and it will get worse. Think about it, the cost to drive your car to work, up 50%, fuel to heat your home nearly as much, electricity is up 10% and going higher, food to feed your family is up dramatically. If you were planning on remodeling your home or building a new one, raising lumber costs may make that impossible. Inflation hits the poor and middle class the hardest as they have no cushion to fall back on.
A year ago, America was energy independent, and we were beginning to export natural gas to Europe. Now natural gas shortages are being forecast for areas of the country this winter and Biden has begged Saudi Arabia to increase oil production.
There is an additional unintended consequence to Biden’s actions. When he killed the Key Stone Pipeline, for some unknown reason he removed the sanctions that were blocking the natural gas pipeline from Russia to Germany. This pipeline has serious long-term international implications. Once Germany, France and other countries become dependent on Russian natural gas, Russia will have them by the short hairs. If Russia goes ahead with its threat to invade and annex Ukraine, the European countries dependent on Russian natural gas will be in no position to counter the move, as Russia will threaten to turn the spigot off. This is Putin’s attempt to dismantle NATO.
A year ago, America could have come to Europe’s rescue, providing the natural gas needed to call Putin’s bluff. This is no longer possible. Putin is playing three dimensional chess, and Biden is playing Old Maid.
Oil and gas royalties from federal lands could have payed for infrastructure repairs, but then Democrats have never understood unintended consequences.