All politicians make promises during campaigns they have no intention of keeping once they have been safely elected to office. President Joe Biden is no exception to that rule, and also the national all-natural gas industry is very likely to cover the purchase price.
During the campaign, candidate Biden’s rash statements throughout the 2019 Democratic debates about prohibiting hydraulic fracturing came back to haunt him at the fierce battle with Donald Trump to win the state of Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania is home to the preponderance of Marcellus shale natural gas generation, a massive piece of the nation’s economy, and that natural gas can’t be produced without using fracking.
Throughout the early part of this overall election campaign, the Biden camp made repeated efforts to deny its offender had said what he had been captured on video saying on national tv, efforts that predictably failed to convince the public. Because of this, he traveled to Pennsylvania late in August and, at a memorable appearance in Pittsburgh, made an obvious promise that he wouldn’t actually ban fracking, and discussed the significance of the role natural gas could play as a bridge gas in his government’s energy plans.
His effort afterwards rolled out energy plan documents promoting a”Clean Energy Plan” to accomplish a nationwide net-zero carbon emissions result by 2050 predicated on”technology-neutral standards.” Those standards could include any zero-emissions supply, such ashydroelectric power, geothermal, present and advanced atomic, as well as for its gas and oil industry, carbon capture and storage.
In a report about the”American Jobs Plan” that the Biden/Harris administration rolled out last week, infrastructure project advisory firm ARBO claims that”For a campaign whose slogan was Build Back Better, the fact that the title of its supposed major infrastructure plan makes no mention of either building or infrastructure is telling. The plan essentially has morphed into a jobs plan that has limited spending on true infrastructure. The plan also abandons key promises on which President Biden campaigned that would have kept the natural gas industry and pipelines relevant for decades.”
For the oil and gas industry, one crucial piece of the Biden effort’s Clean Energy Plan laid out a focus on research investments and tax incentives to get”technology that captures carbon and then permanently sequesters or utilizes that captured carbon, which includes lowering the cost of carbon capture retrofits for existing power plants.”
But as ARBO notes, “[t]he only mentions of carbon capture and storage come in two very small projects that involve use of the technology for retrofitting large steel, cement, and chemical production facilities in environmental justice communities and as part of a plan to invest in demonstration projects in various areas including utility-scale energy storage, hydrogen, advanced nuclear, rare earth element separations, floating offshore wind, biofuel/bioproducts, quantum computing, and electric vehicles.”
The effort program also pushed a heavy focus on hydrogen-fueled vehicle technology, which would pose an opportunity to repurpose existing natural gas and petroleum pipelines to use for transporting hydrogen around the nation. But it’s clear that the electrical vehicles lobby won out on that one, since the Biden bill virtually abandons any attention on hydrogen. According to ARBO,”hydrogen, which is a key component of the net-zero plans in the rest of the world, is mentioned only twice in these small programs that include carbon capture and storage.”
Finally, the Biden/Harris campaign promise to push for federal incentives for its repair or replacement of natural gas distribution methods to decrease methane emissions and create the blue-collar jobs candidate Biden loved to speak about has also disappeared in the plan the administration has actually rolled out. ARBO points out that “the only methane reduction program is the remaining $16 billion in the energy category for a program to plug oil and gas wells and restore and reclaim abandoned coal, hardrock and uranium mines.”
Overall, what the Biden/Harris”American Jobs Plan” signifies is a hard left turn into Green New Deal politics. The campaign claim to go for a plan consisting of $1.3 trillion in investments to reconstruct and repair the country’s dilapidating roads, bridges and other major infrastructure was diminished to only $588 billion within a general strategy to spend $2. 288 trillion within the next ten years.
Essentially, what the administration has done here will be comprise some infrastructure spending as a characteristic of a bill focused on other priorities, largely because it knows the term”infrastructure” is popular with the public. For the natural gas business, the message is clear: if this administration has its way, your company will become extinct in rather short order.
Those who were paying close attention could observe this result on the horizon throughout the effort. A excellent example came during a televised Biden townhall assembly on October 18. In one breath, the future President promised again not to prohibit hydraulic fracturing. However, as mentioned by Bloomberg, the warning came when”. . .in virtually the same breath, he touted his $2 trillion clean-energy plan, which aims to edge natural gas out of the power mix within 15 years.”
As Kevin Book, managing director of Clearview Energy Partners, stated after the townhall,”Decarbonization isn’t a debate — it’s a fossil-fuel death sentence. It means a resource is going off the grid. That is the inevitable implication.”
The sole question is one of time.