Written by CEO Matt Berry
I’m writing this column in mid-December, before any real cold weather hits. Hopefully, by the time you read this, the warnings below will pass without danger. But “hopefully” is no way for a nation of abundance to run its energy systems.
Here’s what was issued in early December: The North American Electric Reliability Corp.’s (NERC) Winter Reliability Assessment warns that “a large portion of the North American [bulk power system] is at risk of insufficient electricity supplies during peak winter conditions,” with “higher peak-demand projections, inadequate generator weatherization, fuel supply risks, and natural gas infrastructure” contributing to threats to several regions.
Projections like this are becoming common, whether it’s leading into summer or winter. Regardless of whether it comes to be this winter, these reports from unbiased, neutral watchdogs are a clear and constant warning about the nationwide consequences of continuing a haphazard energy transition.
Assessments like NERC’s paint a stark and disheartening picture of the reliability challenges facing large swaths of the United States. As the demand for electricity risks outpacing the available supply, consumers face an inconceivable but real threat of rolling blackouts.
It doesn’t have to be this way. We have the fuel sources — whether it’s natural gas, coal, or nuclear — to supply our nation’s energy needs. But government policy is forcing the closure of reliable and affordable power sources in exchange for intermittent and unreliable wind and solar that has to be massively subsidized with government grants and tax breaks.
And it’s being forced upon us under the guise of eliminating carbon in America as the solution to the world’s problems. If you asked the average person, they would think America is the world’s leading polluter because of misleading or untrue information from the media and politicians.
The facts tell a different story. As my final column in this series, I want to reprint some points I included in June’s column.
The chart is from David Gattie of the University of Georgia’s College of Engineering and Center for International Trade and Security. According to Gattie, coal accounts for 40.2% of world CO2 emissions. Of that, China is responsible for the most coal-based CO2 emissions. And their share is growing rapidly as China continues to build coal power plants (while the U.S. shuts down coal power plants).
Coal power in the U.S. accounts for less than 3% of global CO2 emissions! Completely eliminate that 3% — completely eliminate all coal power plants in the U.S. — and you will see practically no CO2 environmental benefit.
What you will see, however: Higher electricity prices and more blackouts as we trade a stable source of electricity for intermittent and less reliable forms of power generation.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration:
• US CO2 emissions from fossil fuel use have decreased by 853 million metric tons from 2005 -2019, a 14% reduction
• U.S. electric power sector CO2 emissions have decreased by 798 million metric tons from 2005 – 2019, a 33% reduction, which accounts for 93% of total U.S. emission reductions during this time
• Meanwhile, world CO2 emissions have increased by 7,153 million metric tons from 2005 – 2018, a 24.7% increase….. mostly in China, Russia, etc.
The entire European Union now emits less carbon than India and about one-third as much as China. In fact, if every American and European stopped emitting carbon entirely and went back to living in caves, the world as a whole would still produce more carbon dioxide now than it did 20 years ago, according to journalist and author Robert Bryce.