In a seemingly endless series of ineffective efforts to force the public to use expensive, unreliable, intermittent, and not widely used renewable energies, the Biden administration is enacting an executive order directing (among other things) federal agencies to end fossil fuel subsidies Fuels.
Personally, I wouldn’t mind if all federal grants ended, as it is only the government, not the consumer, that is responsible for what you spend your money on.
However, federal subsidies for fossil fuels account for less than 3% of the revenues of the fossil fuel industry. This measure will have essentially no impact on an economy still running on fossil fuels. This 3% is paid voluntarily by the consumer, only directly and not through subsidies.
In contrast, renewables currently have 25 times the subsidy per unit of energy produced like fossil fuels, and the penetration of electric vehicles is still only 1.2%. You can see that massive government interference in the energy market is the only way people will “choose” renewable energies over fossil fuels – at least for the foreseeable future.
While environmentalists might welcome Biden’s decision, the impact on energy markets will be barely measurable, if at all.
You see, when it comes to global warming, modern environmental protection depends on feelings about facts. Even if all CO2 emissions ended in the US, the impact on global temperatures would be small through 2100. This is because the US now causes less than 15% of global greenhouse gas emissions. The same applies if all countries honor their commitments under the Paris climate agreement, which makes Biden’s re-entry into this agreement rather pointless. The effect of Paris is calculated to be 0.2 degrees. C-reduction in warming by 2100, which is too small to be measured over the next 80 years with current temperature monitoring technologies.
Even the godfather of modern global warming alarmism, James Hansen of NASA, says the Paris Agreement is ineffective and a “fraud” and that just massive taxation (i.e. punishment) on fossil fuel use will make a big difference will do.
To show how much CO2 emissions need to be reduced in order to affect atmospheric CO2 concentration, just look at what happened (or didn’t) last year. The US Energy Information Agency (EIA) estimates that the economic downturn in 2020 only resulted in an 11% reduction in fossil fuel consumption. The resulting change in atmospheric CO2 concentration was not measurable:
As we nibble on the fringes of the “carbon pollution” problem, China’s carbon emissions continue to rise.
And while the “social cost of carbon” continues to be a justification for reducing carbon emissions, nobody wants to talk about the social benefits. For example, nature loves the stuff. It is estimated that global agricultural productivity has increased by $ 3.5 trillion due to the additional CO2 in the atmosphere. It is known that excessive cold kills far more people than excessive heat. There is no evidence that recent, modest global warming has resulted in an increase in the global average storm.
China’s claim that it will become “climate neutral” by 2060 is just a political stance. One thing I’ve learned about China over the past few decades is that its political culture is to say whatever is necessary to nominally appease other countries and then do the exact opposite when it suits their national interests. With more than four times the US population, you can see why they don’t want the US (or any other county) to dictate their behavior, especially as it continues to lift millions out of poverty.
Only if the Biden government pushes for a massive increase in fossil fuel taxation and then either tackles the construction of nuclear power plants or widespread wind and solar projects to maintain a huge fleet of electric vehicles (currently 1.2% of US market penetration) be a major move away from fossil fuels.
Anything else will only falsely dispel fears instead of addressing facts.