It is rapidly starting to feel like our globalist elites might find it useful to plan a funeral for their dream of a forced, heavily-subsidized “energy transition” from fossil fuels to their preferred rent-seeking clients in the wind, solar, and electric vehicle (EV) industries.
As nations the world over become increasingly overwhelmed with mountains of unsustainable debt, the signs of a looming transition trainwreck are swirling all around us.
The wind industry is approaching collapse as big developers like Orsted, BP and Equinor cancel or delay offshore projects, taking massive write-downs in the process. Delivery contracts negotiated just a few years ago are cancelled as a matter of course now, with demands for much higher renegotiated rates that will drive up already outrageous utility bills to new levels, even as wind industry propagandists continue parroting their false notion that wind is somehow a cheap energy source.
Obviously, it isn’t cheap at all, which helps explain why USA Today reported recently that fully 15% of U.S. county governments have moved to ban wind, solar, or both forms of development in their jurisdictions. USA Today further notes that the percentage of counties now blocking solar development are roughly equal to the percentage allowing it to happen.
I’ve written several stories here in recent weeks chronicling the growing array of challenges now negatively impacting the domestic EV industry. As is the case with the wind industry, EVs have so consistently failed to live up to their lofty boasts that public opinion is turning against them.
Ford Motor Company is so concerned about flattening demand for its electric models that it recently announced it was cutting production of its much-hyped F-150 Lightning pickup model by half from 2023 levels.
Now comes news that even the Biden administration’s efforts to destroy America’s once vibrant coal industry aren’t working out as planned. U.S. exporters of coal took in more than $5 billion during 2023 due in large part to rising demand for American coal by India and other importing countries with expanding economies, Reuters reported Feb. 1.
It was the second-highest earnings year for U.S. exporters since 2017, behind only the $5.7 billion the sector earned during President Joe Biden’s second year in office, 2022. Again, this aspect of the Biden plan just isn’t working out as the industry proves more resilient and nimble than the bureaucrats and policymakers had anticipated.
The U.S. and gas industry also continues setting new production records despite an active rig count that fell by 23% during 2023 and seems to have now leveled off. Writing at Substack, I detailed how remarkable — indeed, unprecedented in recent times — this trend truly is.
The Baker Hughes weekly U.S. count came in last Friday at 499 for the second straight week. Historically, that is a number that in the past meant the industry was in the middle of a bust. But last month, the U.S. also set a new oil production record, and record natural gas production, too.
Only three times since 1975 has the domestic rig count seen levels as low as today. In April, 1999, the count hit 496 in the midst of a major price bust caused falling global demand in the midst of a slowing economy. In June, 2016, it dropped to 416 in the midst of a price bust caused by OPEC’s flooding of the market with crude.
In August, 2020, the count fell to a record low of 275 amid the all-time record bust caused by the COVID pandemic and the government’s somewhat insane response to it.
But today, for the first time in modern history, the rig count stands below 500 for the second straight week amid comparatively high prices and record global and domestic production and consumption of both oil and natural gas. It’s an unprecedented sign of industry health even amid the Biden administration’s best efforts to punish and marginalize it.
So, we see that, even as the favored industries of the globalist left struggle to maintain momentum and even simple viability, the industries under assault continue to find ways to prosper.
Perhaps Biden and his fellow transition-subsidizing globalist elites should consider raising the white flag and rethinking their ill-considered war on fossil fuels.
David Blackmon is an energy writer and consultant based in Texas. He spent 40 years in the oil and gas business, where he specialized in public policy and communications.
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