Your turn — Energy policies cost economy $100 billion a year

Published 12:45 pm Wednesday, October 12, 2022

How do we get to work? How do we heat and cool our homes? How do we keep businesses open and producing products and providing jobs? These are the questions that should be on everyone’s mind as the elections approach.

In the course of the last week, we have seen the difference between Governor Youngkin’s ideas about our energy needs and how that compares to President Biden’s ideas. Recently, economists have quantified the cost of President Biden’s actions over the last year. “The U.S. would be producing between 2 and 3 million more barrels of oil a day and between 20 and 25 more billion cubic feet of natural gas under the Trump policies,” states the report, which was published by the Committee to Unleash Prosperity. According to that study, “the reduced production of crude oil and natural gas translates into an economic loss — or tax on the American economy — of roughly $100 billion a year.”

The President likes to claim that we are producing almost as much as we were producing prior to him coming into office. The facts tell a different story. A story that consumers can see at the gas pump and will again see when their heating oil or natural gas tanks are filled. The President and his folks continue to demonize production in this country. Recently, the Saudis turned their back on him and his foreign policies. This has left him begging Venezuela to produce more oil. He does this all in the name of saving the planet. He seems unaware that Saudi Arabia and

Venezuela are on the same planet as us.

The result is that businesses are trying to operate within their means. They cannot, however, absorb the costs in raw materials and transportation costs into their business and out to their markets. This has resulted in shortages of many commodities while groceries have risen by over 13% in the last year.

A DIFFERENT APPROACH

Governor Youngkin sees the insanity of what is happening in Washington and the irresponsible legislation that was enacted into law in the last two years in Virginia while Governor Northam was in office.

Youngkin has adopted the policy of former Governor Bob McDonnell who used the term ‘all of the above’ in reference to our energy needs. ‘All of the above’ referred to the concept of harnessing every source of energy and let the free market set the direction that we need to go. He encouraged the development of solar, wind, nuclear, and fossil fuels. During his term, Virginia made great strides in shifting from coal to much cleaner natural gas.

The equation changed when Governor Northam bought into the concept that all fossil fuels were equal and they should all be phased out. He accepted the simplistic idea that all of our power could come from solar and wind. Meanwhile, he joined the ‘woke’ crowd in believing that all vehicles should be plugged into an already challenged electric power grid.

Governor Youngkin understands that using renewable sources for our power needs is a noble idea. He also understands that going from the current 15% of our need to 100% cannot occur in a short timeframe, particularly if one adds electric cars to the equation.

CONSIDER THIS POSSIBILITY

Suppose when another hurricane hits, we have only electric vehicles. A governor orders an evacuation and all vehicles head away from the path of the storm. In all probability, there will be traffic jams. Those jams could be made more complex if batteries lose power and die in the middle of the highway. How do you charge thousands of cars caught up in this type of situation? Should the cars be lucky enough to avoid the jams, at most, a refueling will need to be made a couple of hundred miles away. If this still leaves them in the path of the storm, will there even be enough re-charging stations to handle a large number of vehicles before the storm closes down the power grid?

Governor Youngkin’s plan would return us to energy sanity. He understands that many steps must be taken if we want to have a reliable energy supply, a clean environment, and businesses that can provide jobs for citizens. His plan is a wiser direction for Virginia.

FRANK RUFF JR. serves as the 15th District senator in Virginia. He can be reached at Sen. Ruff@verizon.net, (434) 374-5129 or P.O. Box 332, Clarksville, VA 23927.