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Where Biden is failing on clean energy

Where Biden is failing on clean energy
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As Joe BidenJoe BidenMellman: Trump voters cling to 2020 tale FDA authorizes another batch of J&J vaccine Cotton warns of China collecting athletes' DNA at 2022 Olympics MORE hits the 100-day mark of his young presidency, he faces opportunities and challenges. First the positive: nearly seven in 10 Americans approve of his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a recent poll from NBC News.

Biden grounded his candidacy on the pandemic and recovery, and voters agree with his approach. Yet, as the virus begins to recede from view, there are warning clouds on the horizon that — to borrow a Biden-ism — threaten to eat the lunch of the new administration. In that same survey, only 35 percent believe Biden is handling China well. Biden has tried to talk tough and has vowed to prevent China from passing the United States to become the most powerful country in the world on his watch.

This rhetoric may sound appealing, but it is unfortunately undercut by his administration’s policies. Biden’s call for the U.S. to slash emissions by 50 percent in the next decade is the equivalent of throwing a wet blanket on a simmering fire. It not only jeopardizes our recovery, but it gives a shot in the arm to China in its quest to become the world’s leading economic superpower.

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Consider that number: 50 percent. For context, last year during the pandemic, United States emissions dropped by 11 percent, resulting from stay-at-home orders, lockdowns and a historic economic slowdown. Undeniably, that is a tremendous cost for 11 percent. Thousands of small businesses shuttered forever. Unemployment skyrocketed to Great Depression levels. Blue chip companies in the airline hospitality and tourism industry decimated.

Now, Biden wants five times as much emissions reductions. But at what cost to the economy? 

Set aside for a moment that Biden’s plan to cripple America spares China, which not only represents our most serious economic threat, but also the world’s No. 1 emitter of greenhouse gases. China continues to expand, build, grow its economy, primarily through coal-fired plants and expansion of its production of oil and gas worldwide.

China, not to mention Russia, are thrilled that the American president is willing to punish his own country with a unilateral disarmament to achieve a globalist standard that they holistically ignore.

The bigger and more intellectually dishonest component of Biden and the green movement’s plan is their reliance on verbal gymnastics. “Net zero” is a false prophet. Renewable energy produces emissions. Wind and solar have emissions for manufacturing, transportation and their installation. It has emissions as electricity is generated.  

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Even electric vehicles have emissions. Sure, they might not produce tailpipe exhaust, but there are emissions at the power plant which charges them. There are toxic emissions in mining the minerals needed for lithium batteries. 

If it is acceptable to burn coal to make a solar panel, why not burn coal to make electricity? That is the real heart of this debate: What kind of emissions are “good" because they support the left’s agenda, and which are “bad.”

Wind turbines and solar panels, predominately manufactured in China and subsidized by government, are somehow “good” emissions, but fossil fuels, which are thoroughly American and in the hands of the private sector, are “bad.”

America is blessed with an abundance of natural energy that could expand electricity and lower costs for everyone. Instead, Biden is pursuing a policy that is as unachievable as it is misguided. But it’s unlikely he or any of the rich and connected activists will pay the price. It seems it is always the middle class, powerless, voiceless people who suffer the results of the left’s agenda. All while China benefits.

Let’s hope for all of our sake that sensible heads prevail, and Biden’s ill-advised plan to reduce emissions ends up on the political fireplace where it belongs — maybe it can be used as a heating source that produces some “good” emissions.

Daniel Turner is the founder and executive director of Power The Future, a national nonprofit organization that advocates for American energy jobs. Follow him on Twitter @DanielTurnerPTF.