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Saturday
January 22nd, 2022
L&T Opinions Page

GUEST COLUMN, Gabriella Hoffman, townhall.com

 

There is a grave environmental crisis afoot. Mind you, it isn’t the oft-discussed “climate crisis”— but a threat that’s conveniently overlooked: radical preservationism. 

Preservationists, namely the far-Left and their environmentalist allies, have falsely presented themselves as true conservationists. But they’ve finally been unmasked. How? Anytime their policies are enacted, the results are ruinous to both people and nature. 

Take raging wildfires out West. A lack of forest management, due to preservationist policies, has led to the destruction of nearly 20 percent of sequoia trees in the last two years. That’s unconscionable. 

Here are some additional examples of destructive preservationist environmentalist policies being pushed today.

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Cancelling the Keystone Pipeline

On his first day in office, President Joe Biden announced his administration would revoke the Keystone Pipeline’s permit — claiming the project “would not serve the U.S. national interest.”

11,000 jobs, many of them temporary, were lost. It led to the displacement of thousands from good-paying jobs. 

TC Energy, which owns the pipeline, noted it would be the first pipeline totally powered by renewable energy.

This summer, the energy company announced it was suing the Biden administration for $15 billion dollars, citing the government’s breach of “free trade obligations.”

 

Undermining Future Oil & Gas Leases on Federal Public Lands

Under the multiple-use philosophy of public lands management, federal oil and gas leases are standard.

This greatly irks the Biden administration, which is adamant about abandoning them for unreliable alternatives that ironically require lots of fossil fuels. 

After entering office, President Biden announced the pausing of new onshore and offshore leases. A federal judge in Louisiana later blocked the pause. 

“The omission of any rational explanation in cancelling the lease sales, and in enacting the Pause, results in this Court ruling that Plaintiff States also have a substantial likelihood of success on the merits of this claim,” wrote Judge Terry Doughty. 

Instead of begging OPEC to supply us with fuel or opening the Strategic Petroleum Reserve with a paltry 50 million barrels of oil to be consumed within 2.5 days, the Biden administration could have increased domestic production. But they refused. 

Last Friday, Biden’s Interior Department released a long-anticipated report highlighting the “shortcomings” of the existing leasing program. Unsurprisingly, they urged immediate decarbonization from fossil fuels. 

Yes, they’re undoubtedly waging a War on Oil and Gas. And unfortunately for us, we’ll be burdened with higher electricity bills. 

 

Refusal to Explore Nuclear and Geothermal Energy

If America is to embrace a clean energy future, nuclear and geothermal energy development must be prioritized. 

There’s growing consensus to explore nuclear energy. 

As IWF Policy Analyst Charlotte Whelan observed, “Nuclear power is an energy source that the U.S. must take advantage of. Not only does it provide our only source of reliable carbon-free electricity, it is also a matter of national security and global leadership. If we do not lead the world in the development and deployment of nuclear energy, China, Russia and other international competitors will.”

The Diablo Canyon Power Plant, California’s last nuclear plant, is facing closure in three years, despite it being sustainable and cost-saving.

Similarly, geothermal has been discussed as a viable option yet congressional Democrats and green groups are reluctant to embrace it.

They strongly oppose The Enhancing Geothermal Production on Federal Lands Act, which would create “a categorical exclusion to NEPA to streamline the approval process for development on federal public lands and reduce high-upfront capital costs currently befalling the industry.”

Like nuclear, geothermal is fairly reliable and environmentally-friendly.

Not an inconvenient truth: Solar and wind have vast shortcomings. These true clean energy options, however, have potential and should be pursued. 

 

Conclusion

In order to pursue sound environmental policies, measures calling to upend our way of life must be rejected. 

True conservation—which calls for wise use, not no use, of natural resources—is the sustainable path forward. Let’s keep it that way.

 

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