Presidential Debate

Is Biden's Oil Transition Debate Claim Really a 'Big Statement'?

Not so much

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During the climate change segment of the presidential candidate debate last night, President Donald Trump goaded his opponent former Vice-President Joe Biden with the question,"Would you close down the oil industry?" Biden responded, "I would transition from the oil industry. Yes." Trump immediately interrupted crowing, "That's a big statement." Biden agreed that it was a "big statement," and added, "Well if you let me finish the statement, because it has to be replaced by renewable energy over time, over time, and I'd stopped giving to the oil industry, I'd stop giving them federal subsidies."

Trump retorted, "In terms of business, it's the biggest statement." Why? "Because basically what he's saying that he's going to destroy the oil industry. Will you remember that Texas? Will you remember that Pennsylvania, Oklahoma. Ohio?," asked the president.

When given a chance by the moderator to respond, Biden declared, "He takes everything out of context, but the point is, look, we have to move toward net zero emissions. The first place to do that by the year 2035 is in energy production, by 2050 totally."

In this case, Biden was essentially summarizing his plan to respond to man-made climate change by phasing out the use of fossil fuels to produce electricity in the U.S. by 2035 followed by a complete transition to non-carbon dioxide emitting energy sources by 2050. Concerned that voters would be alarmed by Trump's insinuation that Biden intends to "destroy" the oil industry imminently the Democratic presidential candidate later that night told reporters, "We're getting rid of the subsidies for fossil fuels, but we're not getting rid of fossil fuels for a long time."

Getting rid of government subsidies is always a worthy project, but just how much money is supposedly being lavished on the oil industry? An August policy brief by the Breakthrough Institute* trenchantly observes that "ending fossil fuel subsidies won't end fossil fuels." Citing an estimate from the Resources for the Future think tank, the policy brief notes "that the federal government subsidizes fossil fuel extraction to the tune of about $4.9 billion a year. That's not chump change, but compared to fossil industry revenues of $180 billion, it hardly seems essential to fossil energy operations."

Besides the oil transition kerfuffle, President Trump asserted again that a Biden administration would ban fracking as a method to produce natural gas and oil. In fact, Biden has made confusing public remarks about his intentions with respect to fracking, but his official campaign position has consistently been that his administration would not ban fracking on private land, but would ban new fracking on federal lands.

During the debate, Biden did say, "What I will do with fracking over time is make sure that we can capture the emissions from the fracking." In other words, a Biden administration would seek to re-impose Obama-era regulations that aimed to limit that amount of the potent greenhouse gas methane leaking into the atmosphere from gas and oil wells. The costs of implementing such regulations would likely put a number of smaller oil and natural gas production companies out of business.

President Trump entirely ignored the moderator's question about how relaxing regulations on pollutants from refineries and chemical plants is harming the health poor people who live next door to such facilities. Instead he asserted, "The families that we're talking about are employed heavily and they are making a lot of money, more money than they've ever made." He went on to claim that he had saved the oil industry "when oil was crashing because of the pandemic." How? "Say what you want of that relationship, we got Saudi Arabia, Mexico and Russia to cut back, way back. We saved our oil industry and now it's very vibrant and everybody has very inexpensive gasoline," he claimed.

Let's first look at jobs in the oil and gas industry. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of people employed in oil and gas extraction reached a recent peak of just over 200,000 in 2014 and then fell to just over 140,000 by 2018. More recently employment in oil and gas extraction has hovered around 155,000. They are good jobs with oil and gas workers earning an average of $48 per hour.

What about Trump's claim that he saved America's oil industry? Just prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the price of oil averaged around $50 per barrel. In the wake of global lockdown in April the price briefly collapsed to below $20 per barrel. That month Trump apparently threatened to withdraw American troops from the kingdom unless the Saudis cut back on their oil production. Shortly thereafter Saudi Arabia, Russia and other producers announced they were reducing their overall production by 10 percent.

The goal of cutting production is, of course, to boost oil prices which in turn leads to consumers paying more for a gallon of gasoline at filling stations. And so it has. In February, just before the lockdown the average price was $2.53 for a gallon. This fell to $1.94 in April but has since rebounded to $2.27 per gallon. The drop from nearly 800 operating oil and gas rigs at the beginning of year to the lowest number ever of just 250 today suggests that Trump's characterization that the industry is "very vibrant" is exaggerated.

Biden's garbled responses to Trump's goading may have given the Republican candidate's campaign a soundbite to wield against the former vice-president in the last two weeks of the presidential contest. But Biden's  "big statement" merely reiterates, for good or ill, the goals of his 30-year climate change plan. Ultimately, the Democratic candidate acknowledged reality when he observed that "we're not getting rid of fossil fuels for a long time."

*Disclosure: The Breakthrough Institute has paid my travel expenses to participate in several of its conferences over the past couple of years. 

 

NEXT: Trump Is Wrong About Military Distribution of a COVID-19 Vaccine

Presidential Debate Oil Natural Gas Fracking

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239 responses to “Is Biden's Oil Transition Debate Claim Really a 'Big Statement'?

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  1. Oh, thank god.

    This settles it.

    Biden’s environmental gobbledygook is just part and parcel of his progressive 30-year plan to replace fossil fuels with magic.

    People can stop worrying.

    1. In 30 years Biden won’t be around, and we’ll be left to pay the tab.

      1. You do know the tab is already at about 30 Trillion? tRump certainly didn’t help.

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    2. Mr Bailey’s data is HORSE SHIT, and he should be ashamed of himself for peddling it.

      If you review the report he uses to claim that we provide $4.9 Billion in “subsidies”, it is by allowing the oil DRILLERS (not the Exxons, or BPs) to expense all the costs of developing a well. That includes drilling costs, fuel, labor, etc.

      For some reason the report linked to thinks this is some sort of novel, special carve out for the oil companies. It really isn’t.

      Every month, I go into a Cap Ex tool to allocate the work my employees perform building new software solutions. Their labor, travel and related expenses are all considered Capital Expenditures, and that is depreciated over years. THis is how CapEx works, and it isn’t unique to Oil.

      And BTW: As near as I can tell, the new proposals are designed to BENEFIT the BPs and Exxons. Their proposal is to remove the capex expenditures, or to extend it to “Integrated” oil companies. That is, the companies that drill, refine and sell the oil.

      It is a COMPLETE SHOCK to me that this appears to all be part of big oil companies trying to grab a scrappy, small business industry they depend on so they can vertically integrate.

      1. I repeat, Mr Bailey: Something broke you. I’m sorry. But this complete shilling is completely unbecoming of you.

        1. Victim hood warning….

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        2. Remember when you thought many of us were assholes because we constantly called out Reason for being full of shit? And yes, I’m putting words in your mouth.

          1. FWIW: I don’t believe Reason is a monolithic entity. I call out specific articles all the time, and some authors in particular. I try (and sometimes fail) to judge them on libertarian principles.

            I am calling out Mr Bailey specifically because he was one of the few authors that tried to stick to data, and even engaged commenters in good faith. To see him become one of the most biased members here- cribbing propaganda from the Leftist think tank, RFF- which would be ok if he analyzed it, and didn’t just report it as uncontroversial facts.

            When I complain about “assholes” it is generally because the shit-posting has completely derailed a comment thread that I felt was a promising conversation, or because the brigading on a commenter has gotten egregious. As you see above, pobody’s nerfect and I too can be an asshole.

            1. Fair enough. I’m just taking a bit of shallow pleasure seeing more and more people realize what Reason has become. And yes I’m generalizing, there are still a few writers here that I respect, but only a few, and the rest have become increasingly pathetic, and not just not libertarian, but anti-libertarian.

            2. When I complain about “assholes” it is generally because the shit-posting has completely derailed a comment thread that I felt was a promising conversation, or because the brigading on a commenter has gotten egregious. As you see above, pobody’s nerfect and I too can be an asshole.

              So you like wasting your time pretending to be the boss here.

              It’s so weird how you only whine about “brigading” (strangely Jeff and Mike whine about this too) when it’s a prog asshole
              getting shut the fuck up.

              1. You truly have a bizarre outlook. I have never claimed to be boss, unless someone pointing out that your unhinged, shrill brain farts are a detriment to this site is some sort of “bossing around”.

                As I noted above, even I sometimes come off as an asshole. But that doesn’t change the fact that my intent is to see reasoned discussion in these threads- something that you prove incapable of in your most lucid of moments.

            3. The truth is that he finally wrote something on a topic of your expertise.

              So now you know he is an idiot.

      2. For those who want a lesson in how think tanks completely distort the truth with the word “subsidy”, I analyze some of what Mr Bailey’s “policy paper” advocates.

        The RFF says we can save around $3B a year by removing the “subsidies” of Intangible Drilling Costs and Resource Depletion. They are taking a wonky accounting practice meant to deal with capital and asset pricing, and then acting as if it is a loophole.

        What is Cap Ex, and Is it a Subsidy?
        To understand why this formulation is stupid, you need to understand why Capital Depreciation is even a thing (and in the process, you will see why income taxes are terrible taxes where countless hours are wasted determining what “income” is).

        If I sell you a widget, I get revenue. The money I spent building and selling you that widget is my Cost of Goods Sold. Income = Revenue – CoGS . And income is what is taxed for the government.

        However, if I spend labor and money to buy equipment, build an application, or drill a well, I now have an asset of value that I use to earn income- just like money. I haven’t “spent” my capital, just converted it to another form, so the government won’t LET me count it as an cost to subtract from my Revenue. If I go to a dealership with $30,000 and buy a car for my delivery business, I still have $30,000. It is just sitting there in the form of a car, instead of currency.

        Depreciation happens as soon as I use that asset to produce income. Over a period of years, as I drive that car into the ground, the car becomes worthless- I am “spending” the $30,000 in car to run my business, so I get to deduct a portion of that $30k each year as a deduction from my Revenues, just as if I had spend that money as cash to some delivery boy.

        As you can see, Depreciation is NOT a subsidy. Uncle Sam *wants* me to depreciate, otherwise one year I get a huge tax deduction, and the next year zero- unless maybe I sell my business/asset at which time I have to pay tax to them for that income. Depreciation smooths out these activities into a more consistent, predictable income stream for the Government.

        “Intangible” Capital Depreciation is merely recognizing that instead of me spending money to buy an asset directly, I spent money on labor, materials and consumables to BUILD the asset. This is not a subsidy. It is a recognition that if I had “bought” the asset from somebody else, those same costs would have been deducted from THAT entity’s bottom line. This isn’t “special” for oil. As noted above, when building software, my organization deducts the cost of equipment, the transportation, and assembly, installation, and then all the labor of my software developers. All this is Cap Ex. Eliminating this type of Capital allocation doesn’t fix anything, it just fixes

        So what is “Depletion”? Depletion is recognizing that when I acquire a mineral right (either buying land, or buying property rights), the natural resources are factored into that price. Let’s say I buy land with a developed well, that has $500 Million of oil in the ground, for around $300 Million. I then pump half that oil and turn around to sell the property for $200 Million. I have lost $100 Million on my property. And I get a deduction for that- just as I’d have had to PAY tax if I had sold the property for profit.

        The “Depletion Deduction” allows small oil wells to deduct the loss of property value ahead of time, rather than when they sell the property at the end of its life. Again, this isn’t subsidizing money- it is smoothing the capital tax deduction over time, which governments generally WANT. Instead of the government saying, “Pay me each year until you sell, and I’ll pay you a big lump sum in 10 years”, the government is smoothing the payments out.

        Now, we extend a “Depletion Deduction” to small drillers for two reasons. 1) The government doesn’t play fair- they expect you to pay if you earn income, but they don’t generally pay you BACK if you lose income. Thus they only let you deduct losses on actual Revenues you make. If you sold your property at $100 Million loss, and never earned revenues again, that loss never gets deducted. 2) If we got rid of the depletion credit, we would just encourage drilling in giant corporations that have many continuing operations, constantly turning over oil fields and rolling those losses into income from other properties.

        Indeed, a careful look at the proposals by RFF don’t look like “ending subsidies” at all. They look like the type of structural changes to tax code that will ultimately benefit large Oil producers at the expense of small drilling operations around the world.

        1. “Overt
          October.24.2020 at 12:04 pm
          For those who want a lesson”

          From YOU?

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          YOU’RE A FUCKING MORON AHAHAHAHAHAJ

          I’VE CORRECTED YOU DOZENS OF TIMES LOLOOL

          YOU GET SHIT WRONG DAILY !!!!

          LESSON THE JEFFSOCK SAYS LOLOLOLO

          1. “I’VE CORRECTED YOU DOZENS OF TIMES”

            Have you really? I cannot tell, since you are afraid to stick behind one single name.

            It is ironic that you spend almost every post either trying to find the “real” identity of someone, or to tally some imaginary scoreboard. You are obsessed with reputation- who is that person, and how are you compared to them?

            I have been Overt on this board for 10 years. I will be Overt until I stop posting here. I stand behind what I write whether it is right or wrong. Your obsession with my identity says more about you than ME. It is because deep down, you realize that the scoreboard means nothing. It will mean nothing until you grow a pair and get behind a single identity. Until then, your fear of your own bankrupt reputation makes your scoreboard meaningless.

            1. Oh wait …. Wandering Jew has got a nibble. wait for it, wait for it….
              TROLLED!

              Why would you even bother to read that message – its obviously devoid of anything useful. Demand your 30 seconds back!

        2. Thanks. Really useful, and believe it or not, concise in describing several different concepts.

          Bailey’s another one of the writers here that knows better than to spout this garbage from Biden. Shrug. It’s what their patron wants, I guess. Though the GND should screw even the Kochs over.

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    3. Ron has overlooked the giant ground sloth in the room. Biden is channelling The Sunrise Movement, whose Dark Geen Deal even old reds find scary.

      Says who?

      For openers, there’s Noam Chomsky–

      https://the.ink/p/noam-chomsky-wants-you-to-vote-for

  2. >>Biden declared, “He takes everything out of context, but the point is, look

    … I’m going to destroy the oil industry.”

  3. but the point is, look, we have to move toward net zero emissions

    No we don’t.

    1. Tony says you’re lying.

      1. Which Tony? There’s so many of them.

        1. I named all of my socks Tony.

          The ones for my feet, that is.

          PS: Joe Biden is a crook.

          1. Looks like reason for a tasked with protecting chinajoe and his ilk/cronies

            1. Yep, they’ve even blocked a few articles about Hunter and the Clintons from being posted here in the comments.

              1. Which is mind boggling. I didn’t gripe about spambots here because I assumed they didn’t filter.

                But they do. 100% they do. They are no better than social media…which is why they are nose deep in the asses of social media.

          2. PPS: Still better than tRump
            tRump is a disgusting excuse for a human being. The only people that fawn over him are the ones that worship money above all else – which is exactly what the con-man wants.

            1. When was the last time Biden donated his salary back to the federal government? Asking for a friend…

            2. Hahaha see how funny I am? I called Drumpf tRump! I put Rump in his name! Hahaha I’m hilarious!

    2. And if we did, renewables won’t get us there. The only way to anywhere near eliminating fossil fuels from electric generation by 2035 would be a massive nuclear power building spree. We would need a new reactor coming on line almost every week.

      1. Frankly; Without a definite means to be-rid the planet of nuclear waste faster than it piles – I’d stick with oil.

        1. Recycling would help a lot. The SALT II treaty forbids it. Uranium fuel rods are considered “spent” when they’ve used 3% of their material. We could *significantly* reduce the amount of waste if we renegotiated that part of the treaty. For reference, it’s primarily about breeder reactors, but it has side effects, shockingly enough.

          1. With reprocessing—-and yes, that comes with its own problems—the amount of high-radioactivity waste is shockingly small. Like all of it can easily fit in an NBA arena small.

            The power production of the US under the GND will meet requirements, easily. It’s simply that your individual power requirements, and your standard of living, will shrink dramatically. Enjoy your blackout, and not being able to travel more than 10 miles from your home.

        2. If CO2 emissions are that big of a problem, nuclear isn’t the best answer, it’s just the only answer.

          1. Abolish CO2 – because plants don’t deserve to breath!!! 🙂

    3. RONALD BAILEY is science correspondent at Reason.

      And shilling for Biden’s banning of the use of fossil fuels.

      Libertarian and Scientific Moment!

      1. Has Bailey ignored CA’s issues?

        Does Bailey REALLY think our electrical grid could survive in any way if we went to an all electric car economy (hint: No, it could not)?

  4. “In this case, Biden was essentially summarizing his plan to respond to man-made climate change by phasing out the use of fossil fuels to produce electricity in the U.S. by 2035 followed by a complete transition to non-carbon dioxide emitting energy sources by 2050. Concerned that voters would be alarmed by Trump’s insinuation that Biden intends to “destroy” the oil industry imminently the Democratic presidential candidate later that night told reporters, “We’re getting rid of the subsidies for fossil fuels, but we’re not getting rid of fossil fuels for a long time.”
    Biden’s garbled responses to Trump’s goading may have given the Republican candidate’s campaign a soundbite to wield against the former vice-president in the last two weeks of the presidential contest. But Biden’s “big statement” merely reiterates, for good or ill, the goals of his 30-year climate change plan. Ultimately, the Democratic candidate acknowledged reality when he observed that “we’re not getting rid of fossil fuels for a long time.”

    Golly Ron, great job trying to cover for Biden. You’re a credit to be the party.

    1. I’m not sure why we need the tortured reasoning. A candidate that says that we will transform how every American gets their energy and transports themselves– and the end result will be the elimination of one of the most central industries in that humanity has ever engaged… that’s a BIG statement. Even if you agree with Biden, that everyone will take care of 100% of their energy needs, including their transportation across the Atlantic or Pacific with Wind and Solar, that’s not what I would call small or ‘tepid’ statement.

      And this:

      In fact, Biden has made confusing public remarks about his intentions with respect to fracking, but his official campaign position has consistently been that his administration would not ban fracking on private land, but would ban new fracking on federal lands.

      His confusing statements are the result of his attempt to pay attention to reality while giving lip service to his base. And uhh, his base doesn’t want a ban on Federal Lands, they want a total ban on Fracking, full stop, El Fin, Es Todo, No Mas, El Punto Finale, The End. They want Fracking to be an ex industry. They want it to cease to be. They want it singing with the choir invisibule…

      To wit:

      (e) Prohibition.—Beginning on January 1, 2025, the practice of hydraulic fracturing for oil and natural gas is prohibited on all onshore and offshore land in the United States.

      It does not say “all onshore and offshore FEDERAL land in the United States” but ALL LAND.

      Thus endeth the sermon.

      1. The main thing about the progressive circle-jerk over “clean” energy is that this “transition” he talks about employs a fuck-ton of people. It’s not just the roughnecks who pull the oil and gas out of the ground or the sea; it’s practically a military operation in that there’s a whole logistics and support infrastructure whose livelihoods revolve around it.

        The coal areas have been in steady decline for a couple of decades now, the factory towns of the upper Midwest have been getting cornholed since the 80s, and now the Democrats big plan is to take out one of the principle economic girders of southern and eastern New Mexico, Montana, the Dakotas, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, and Texas?

        The Dems really have morphed into the party of upper-class urban baizuo. They literally think now that running a country is like playing Civilization.

        1. It’s called killing America …. by the Americahaters (led by biden/pelosi/shiner/etc)

          1. It’s called killing America

            hey! Bill O’Reilly should have someone write a book in his name and use that as the title

        2. I don’t care how many jobs it destroys. We should do it if it makes economic sense. And that means if private entities drive the transition, without government subsidies. But saving jobs is no reason to keep an industry running.

          1. I don’t care how many jobs it destroys.

            The intellectual retardation and low future-time orientation of the Econo-Sperg in action, folks.

          2. Jobs die when something better comes along. That hasn’t happened yet with energy production.

  5. Neither Biden or Trump will be around to see the consequences of their policies. Did either of them mention nuclear power alternatives? Zero emissions by 2050? That can will keep being kicked down the road as long as necessary while virtue signaling continues apace.

    1. I could have sworn I heard Biden say by 2025.

      1. LOL – he did, he did say 2025, but it was obvious that his tongue was getting ahead of his brain and, since everything he says is bullshit anyway, he didn’t realize he just said something stupid.

        1. He probably said 2025 because that’s what the party platform says. And as we all know Biden IS the Democrat party.

        2. Yes he did, along with so much other bullshit that if it was anyone else that said it, under any other circumstances, he’d be ridiculed by everyone in the media.

          Yet here we are, and Orange Man Bad, so the media, including Reason, has to pretend that he didn’t spout gibberish several times throughout the debate.

  6. But how about that eeeevil Trump?

    “That month Trump apparently threatened to withdraw American troops from the kingdom unless the Saudis cut back on their oil production.”

    “Apparently”, huh? Just how “apparently”? Let’s read Ron’s source:;

    “Trump told Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that unless the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) started cutting oil production, he would be powerless to stop lawmakers from passing legislation to withdraw U.S. troops from the kingdom, four sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.”

    Oh fuck! Seriously Ron? That’s terrible, just terrible.

    And who are the sources? Why yet again they’re anonymous.

    But wait, we’re not done yet with the implications and innuendo:

    “The drop from nearly 800 operating oil and gas rigs at the beginning of year to the lowest number ever of just 250 today suggests that Trump’s characterization that the industry is “very vibrant” is exaggerated.”

    Love the “suggests”, goes well with the “apparently”.

    Anyway, that awful, awful Trump. It’s not like there was a global pandemic that knocked the worlds economy backwards and that the “very vibrant” is relative to the situation… right?

    Orangemanbad.

    1. General rule:
      A source is a human being with a name.
      An “anonymous” source is a lie.
      If there are not two or more named, verifiable, reliable sources cited, it is called “an editorial”, and is fluff, fiction, and hopes of the author.

      (and no, NYT citing WaPo and vice versa is not “reliable”)

      1. Anonymous sources are not “lies”. Probably the most famous anonymous source in journalistic history was “Deep Throat”, whose revelations helped bring down President Nixon. Eventually, he was revealed to be Mark Felt of the FBI. But that couldn’t be revealed at the time, for obvious reasons. There are often reasons that sources’ identities need to be kept confidential. A number of states have enacted laws specifically to allow journalists to keep sources’ identities secret. Information from anonymous sources is not fiction, and news articles that quote them are not editorials.

        1. Information from anonymous sources is not fiction, and news articles that quote them are not editorials.

          Except when they are. Case in point–back when the Space Force’s emblem was first released, Benjamin Wofford of the Washingtonian published an article claiming that an SF rep at the Pentagon was reviewing potential designs for legal purposes, only to be completely caught flat-footed when Trump released the logo. The source was never named.

          There’s two problems with that claim–the Pentagon is not responsible for reviewing and approving emblem designs. That belongs to the Institute of Heraldry at Fort Belvoir which, by law, has jurisdiction over the entire catalog and production process for military heraldry. In short, some bureaucrat in the Pentagon wasn’t going to be reviewing shit, because they aren’t even in the chain of approval. The only one there who MIGHT have been consulted at the time would have been the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, not some E-7 or O-6 pencil pusher in the Building.

          Secondly, the Air Force was the first to use the delta design in its iconography. It’s been doing so for decades, to the point that Gene Roddenberry incorporated it when he created Star Trek–which these idiots didn’t know, apparently, even though they were having a grand time making jokes about Trump ripping off the logo.

          That little incident showed me that the press will freely fucking lie when it suits their purposes.

        2. Cute story from 1972. But it’s 2020, and the media, including Reason, can’t stop lying, despite continuing to get caught. So if you’re paying attention to what’s happening now, and not 50 years ago, you would recognize that when a “journalist” says unnamed sources, there making up bullshit for propaganda.

        3. Journalists should have zero more protections to protect anonymity of sources than any person in the world.

          If I would have to identify somebody, so should a “journalist”.

          Don’t protect a propaganda racket.

        4. There was a time, when it was reasonable to take a journalists word that the source is being protected for good reasons, and that the journalist has done reasonable diligence to ensure the accuracy of the information. There was also a presumption that the information was being reported objectively.
          These days, it is much more likely that the reporter is a political activist, and will be very likely to exaggerate or even fabricate stories to fit a political agenda.

    2. The only person who embarrassed themselves more than Reason as a whole today was WK.

      1. Man she really did. She’s a clown.

    3. Orangeman baaaad ….

  7. “In fact, Biden has made confusing public remarks about his intentions with respect to fracking, . . . ”

    One memorable promise, brought up by Pence, was when Biden “looked a supporter in the eye, and pointed and said, ‘I guarantee, I guarantee that we will abolish fossil fuels.” The moment was caught on video, ending with him shaking the supporter’s hand to confirm the promise.

    No doubt about it, that is a very confusing statement.

    Video here
    https://thefederalist.com/2020/10/07/kamala-harris-doubles-down-on-bidens-fracking-flip-flop/

    1. Confusing if you’re a dishonest propagandist. Which is what Reason has become.

  8. When given a chance by the moderator to respond, Biden declared, “He takes everything out of context, but the point is, look, we have to move toward net zero emissions. The first place to do that by the year 2035 is in energy production, by 2050 totally.”

    Soooo… what’s out of context about this? It seems that, though government policy and the benevolent direction by Federal experts and agencies, we will force the oil industry out of existence by 2050 which is *carry the one* 30 years? And through what mechanisms? Wind and solar?

    1. I guess… feels like a big statement.

      1. Look, some people said some things.

        That is all. Really. No big deal. Dear Lord, it’s Joe Frickin’ Biden. Doers anyone take anything he says seriously? I mean it’s not like it’s ever an original thought anyway.

        1. At least 6 people that work for Reason will be voting for him. Think about that as you review all of his positions.

        2. That’s probably worse. It means he’s parroting the line someone else who will be around longer is feeding him.

          PS: Joe Biden is a crook.

  9. I remembered looking at relative energy costs in maybe 2010-2012 and finding that wind and solar cost 2-4 times as much as natural gas, hydropower etc. Not including government subsidies, just what each tech cost. Now when I google search most sources are saying solar photovoltaic electricity is less expensive than combined cycle natural gas, not including subsidies.

    If it really is less expensive, this seems like a non-issue. You’d think utility companies would naturally build whatever is the best combo of price and effectiveness to meet energy needs. No FedGov policy needed. If it’s NOT less expensive, then we have to take Biden’s word for it that it will create more jobs than the tax and regulatory costs eliminate. Historically, 100 times out of 100 government “investment” programs fail to produce the returns promised and instead just stick it to the taxpayers.

    1. Minor detail.
      To use solar, you also have to have back up fossil fuel.
      So the comparison is not valid unless you include all the bits and pieces required. Add in the back up supply costs for solar and get back to us.
      Thanks

      1. The first 4 sources I looked (that weren’t named renewablesworldtoday or some BS) at appeared to say they include storage battery cost in the total cost projection. I’m still suspicious, maybe it is true but I feel like this should have made the financial news.

        1. I’m still suspicious, maybe it is true but I feel like this should have made the financial news.

          Because it’s not true. They’ve managed to work subsidies into levelized energy costs so that solar looks competitive. Bullshit like the above changed the formula for LCOE to be adjusted to discounted costs.

          Ignoring the bean counting, Germany is the most gung-ho solar energy consumer in the Western world (second only to China worldwide). Solar (exclusively from PV) constitutes only 8.2% of their power and expansion has decreased consistently since 2011. Experts in Germany’s PV industry blame the government’s lack of commitment for the decline. Which, to me, tells you the truth from the other side of the looking glass. In the leading nation where people believe the government should be building solar, they can’t build solar economically without no-shit subsidies.

          1. Bullshit like the above changed the formula for LCOE to be adjusted to discounted costs.

            Sorry, bullshit like the above “subsidy” changed the formula.

    2. I can see existing solar being cheaper going forward because the investment and subsidies are done while gas requires ongoing replenishment. Not sure that holds for replacing the existing energy infrastructure without some creative accounting.

      1. Huh? The average life expectancy of monocrystalline cells is 25 yrs. and thats at a consistent loss of efficiency. The typical warrantee is 80% yield at 25 yrs. and that’s just aging/breakdown at the panel.

      2. cheaper because of subsidies — lol… magic money all around us.

  10. “”Getting rid of government subsidies is always a worthy project,””

    Moving subsidies from fossil fuels to green technology is not getting rid of government subsidies.

    1. “Moving subsidies from fossil fuels to green technology is not getting rid of government subsidies.”

      Need a cite on fossil “fuel subsidies”.

  11. “Oil transition?” Excellent idea!

    The oil can identify as solar power, do the transition, and become trans-solar. No-one would dare question it.

    1. But it would not be “natural”.

      1. How dare you!

    2. I like that. Gonna put a charging port and solar panel on the SUV and call it good.

      1. SUVs for all. Everyone deserves safe, spacious reliable transportation.

        And if we gave 200 million adult Americans a 50K SUV each, it would only cost 5 trillion dollars over 10 years, significantly less than the Green Raw Deal and bailing out blue states.

        1. oops, 10 trillion. these projects always cost more than predicted.

    3. Do I have to get my oil derrick cut off or can I just get two-loop pressurized nuclear water reactors implanted?

      1. This is the best thread I’ve read here in a while. 😀

  12. Citing an estimate from the Resources for the Future think tank, the policy brief notes “that the federal government subsidizes fossil fuel extraction to the tune of about $4.9 billion a year. That’s not chump change, but compared to fossil industry revenues of $180 billion, it hardly seems essential to fossil energy operations.”

    Imagine taxing an industry’s product to the tune of $36B *just at the federal level* every year, handing them $4.9B back every year and calling it a ‘subsidy’. Now imagine a libertarian arguing that the government shouldn’t be giving back the $4.9B.

    1. Your tax bracket is ~25%. The ~75% we don’t tax you is a subsidy.

    2. What’s $4.9 billion per year in oil subsidies compared to the $1.7 trillion Biden will spend to subsidize alternative energy by way of the Green New Deal?

      “Biden’s climate and environmental justice proposal will make a federal investment of $1.7 trillion over the next ten years”

      —-Joe Biden’s campaign website

      https://joebiden.com/climate-plan/

      P.S. The number has been quoted as $2 trillion elsewhere.

      P.P.S. Joe Biden is a crook.

      1. Well, you see, Ken. It’s like this.

        Joe Biden wants to do the latter, so it’s totes cool with the Reason crew.

        That makes all the difference.

    3. Those subsidies are also just general industrial tax writings for depreciation and other costs.

      1. ^This; All “Research” on oil subsidies showing any subsidy are lefty propaganda (they pretend tax-exemption is a subsidy). Show me the legislation or get over it. There is no “oil subsidies”.

      2. “Those subsidies are also just general industrial tax writings for depreciation and other costs.”

        Yes.
        Every cite to “oil subsidies” is some lefty whining regarding the same exact tax depreciation allowance as allowed very other industry. Or some lefty bullshit regarding the defense department being a subsidy to the petroleum industry.
        Never has anyone offered a cite which shows any financial arrangement which could be called a “subsidy” by an honest observer.
        It is total and complete lefty bullshit.

  13. “Now imagine a libertarian arguing that the government shouldn’t be giving back the $4.9B.”

    Kinda says it all when the author is opposed to people keeping their own earnings.

    1. “We could give it back to you, but you might not spend it right” — Bill Clinton

  14. I love how after Biden’s claim, no one is talking about what these “subsidies” are that he is referring to? Oil and gas is not subsidized. Sure, oil and gas companies get the same tax breaks all other companies are able to get, but there are no actual subsidies.

    So this begs the question, does he intend to eliminate such deductions and tax breaks for all companies, or just for the evil oil companies?

    1. In addition to all the usual suspects of deductions like depreciation, oil and gas get a depletion allowance (as do timber etc) on the theory that the natural resource will run out and the companies will go out of business.
      Of course, there is always a new technology to keep on extracting, so – – – – – – – –
      In theory, this is what Basement BUnker Biden is referring to, but I doubt he is even aware of it. He is just being Biden.

      1. If you look at the RFF report, the depletion write off is only a portion (~$1B/yr) of what they want to eliminate- they also want to eliminate several other tax deductions around Capex depreciation.

        They are suggesting going from Value Depletion (writing down the loss in value of your property) to Cost Depletion (writing down only the cost of your well equipment). As I note up thread, this merely gives an advantage to large oil companies. Instead of writing down their yearly revenue from a property, they just take a hit when they sell the property, or a specific well goes bankrupt- at that point, they take a one time tax deduction that offsets revenues of other oil fields that are still producing.

    2. The negative externalities are being subsidized by us you horrible person! /Tony

  15. “When given a chance by the moderator to respond, Biden declared, “He takes everything out of context, but the point is, look, we have to move toward net zero emissions. The first place to do that by the year 2035 is in energy production, by 2050 totally.”

    . . . .

    President Trump asserted again that a Biden administration would ban fracking as a method to produce natural gas and oil. In fact, Biden has made confusing public remarks about his intentions with respect to fracking, but his official campaign position has consistently been that his administration would not ban fracking on private land, but would ban new fracking on federal lands.

    We don’t get to zero emissions in power production in 15 years by only banning fracking on federal lands. He’s wrong about one thing or he’s lying about the other. This is classic, “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor” level BS on Biden’s part. If the agenda and goals he’s putting forward were put in place by 2035, there would be no fracking.

    In regards to Biden’s claims about ending subsidies, the numbers I compare wouldn’t be the $4.9 billion we spend on subsidies compared to the $180 billion a year the industry makes in revenue. The numbers I’d compare are the $4.9 billion we spend on subsidies every year in contrast to the $2 trillion Biden’s Green New Deal spends on subsidizing the the adoption of alternative energy. How can he brag about ending subsidies for oil in the face of that?!

    P.S. Joe Biden is a crook.

    1. P.S. Joe Biden is a crook.

      According to NPR, this is a mere distraction.

      1. “Cato, a veteran of the Second Punic War, was shocked by Carthage’s wealth, which he considered dangerous for Rome. He then restlessly called for its destruction, ending all his speeches with the phrase, even when the debate was on a completely different matter.[9]”

        —-Carthago delenda est.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carthago_delenda_est

        It didn’t matter whether his speech was about funding to expand the sewers of Rome or whether his speech was about the best way to ship grain from Egypt, he ended every speech with Carthago delenda est. [Carthage must be destroyed].

        People get distracted by things that don’t really matter, and we’re just the kind of people to remind them of what’s important.

        The fact is that Biden, to the best of my knowledge, hasn’t denied the authenticity of the emails or their contents. And what’s worse, the press hasn’t bothered to ask him about it–and seems to be suppressing other people who are asking about it.

        Until Biden either gives a full account of the emails or denies their authenticity, like Cato, I’m laser focused. We can talk about other issues, but until we know whether Biden is on Emperor Xi’s payroll, every speech ends with, “P.S. Joe Biden is a crook”. The statement doesn’t even contradict Joe Biden’s comments on the emails–because Biden hasn’t made any comments on the emails.

        P.S. Joe Biden is a crook.

        1. Carthago delenda est

          “Delenda Carthago said the great Cato”

          Maybe I’ll make “Davos delenda est” my new username.

        2. Carthage must be destroyed = delendam esse Carthaginem
          Carthago delenda est = Carthage must be destroyed

          Interesting tool, that Google translate.
          My fading memory of high school Latin is that “est” is present tense, not future. That’s why I went translating, only to find out that Google does not provide equality both ways.

          1. It’s the delenda part that makes it different. The est is only part of the verb.

            The est makes it “must be destroyed” in the present rather than “must have been destroyed” or “must be destroyed in the future”.

            1. P.S. Joe Biden is a crook.

          2. Google Translate is famously bad at Latin (among people teaching Latin, at least).

            1. Carthago delenda est = “Carthage must be destroyed” is not a bad translation.

              Carthago deleta est = “Carthage must have been destroyed” is also correct.

              delenda est, deleta est is the whole verb just like “must be destroyed” and “must have been destroyed” isn’t only one word.

              We tend to focus on the last word because the Romans the verb to the end of the sentence usually put, but the verbs two components often have.

              It’s hard for us because English dropped the endings to our words (for the most part) when Danish and Anglo Saxon invaders settled in and started talking to each other. The endings are almost always inflected vowels (or soft consonants) that change regionally–just like with southern accents and Canadian accents. When they dropped the endings and started depending more on word order and prepositions, they could not only use the same vocabulary but could absorb each other’s vocabulary without having to work out the endings for words that were new to them, what gender they were etc. Incidentally, this is why English is the language with the largest number of root words. We can absorb them easily.

              And I’ve already had an argument with both a German professor and a Latin professor–when the Latin professor told me that English has the largest vocabulary of any language and the German professor told me that German had the largest vocabulary.

              After quizzing them both with what the other told me, it turned out that they agreed that while German has the largest vocabulary because of the aggressive way in which they compound words, English has the largest number of roots–and can easily absorb them from other languages because we mostly dropped our roots.

              P.S. “You all” is perfectly proper English. That was another argument. I maintained that the second person plural couldn’t possibly be grammatically incorrect–and certainly not just because people in the north stopped differentiating between second person plural and the first person plural. People who imagine it’s grammatically incorrect to say, “I ordered enough pizza to share with you all” are not only snobs but also ignorant.

              P.P.S. Joe Biden is a crook.

              1. “. . . and can easily absorb them from other languages because we mostly dropped our roots [endings].”

                Fixed!

                1. In Bidenam nefas magnopere.

        3. I have always wondered how many of us had a more classical education, and were taught any Latin at all.

  16. If Joe Biden announced a plan to kill every child under the age of 5, Reason would declare that it isn’t a big deal, that Biden didn’t really mean that, that Trump was taking it out of context, and that conservatives were pouncing on it.

    1. And then several days later Suderman would write the “Libertarian Case For Killing Every Child Under Five”.

      1. Projected life-years lost to COVID decreasing! – Jacob Sullum

    2. Just the next step in abortion rights; up until the kids are surrendered to the state indoctrination machine, they can be deleted.

  17. Stop carrying water for the goddamn democrats. If you think climate change is important to people in swing states who stand to lose their jobs, then Biden isn’t getting elected. And Trump should play up the far left aspects of Biden’s claims and propositions. When libertarians start taking the far left claims seriously then it is no wonder you’re getting kicked out of the republican party.

    1. When libertarians start taking the far left claims seriously then it is no wonder you’re getting kicked out of the republican party.

      Good take except Amash didn’t get kicked out. He chose to leave because his libertarian principles compelled him to impeach the President based on the evidence of Biden’s shakedown of Burisma/Ukraine. Holy fuck what a clown.

  18. Over the course of human history there have been inflection points marked by the passing of old technology for new technology. We are in such an inflection point with most of the world moving forward. Joe Biden recognize this as do most Americans. Industries are jumping on the band wagon. Many conservatives recognize the need to change, although there is disagreement on how to make the change. Donald Trump is speaking to the few who don’t want to change. The Amish don’t want to give up their horses, and other don’t want to give up fossil fuel. Neither group can change the way of the future.

    1. Ha ha ha…do you have a hard science or engineering degree. Do you understand thermodynamics or do you really believe in a perpetual motion machine that will power our “woke” silicon valley social media world? JC where do you think energy is going to come from the Sun and Wind? Its not always available or storable or portable…how is all this electricity going to be produced? Fusion (ha ha never gonna get there), fission (not acceptable and costly), “zero point or vacuum”…sci fi. Maybe the aliens will somehow do it for us…”many industries”..oh yeah the HR debt lefties who are pushing CRT and other marxist bs are now pushing this “religion”….this whole thing is about lefties taxing the industry to enrich themselves..

      1. As a retired chemist I do understand thermodynamics. The fact is that all the energy we use comes from the sun(*). Fossil fuels are in fact solar energy stored in the earth for million of years. These are extracted, refined and used. Today we are looking at technologies that simply gets the solar energy in a more direct form. Solar panels directly and wind turbines in a indirect fashion, remember solar heating creates wind. While we can not create a perpetual motion machine we can improve efficiency to allow new technology to meet a greater and greater share of the energy needs. So we can move to a net zero point.
        * – while nuclear fuels are not derived directly from our sun, they are also a product of stellar activity, predating our solar system.

        1. Then surely you’re aware of the maximum upper limit of solar cell efficiency, and that the number there is only 68% as the number of layers approaches infinity. 50% is a much more realistic number when cost is factored in.

          And, of course, you’re also aware of the various industrial pollutants generated by solar cell and lithium battery production. CO2 might make the planet warmer. Heavy metal poisoning will kill us much faster.

          We haven’t even gotten into the child slavery involved in cobalt mining in the DRC yet. How many african children are you going to sacrifice for low CO2 emissions?

          Your point about buggy whips is taken. But those technologies went away because they were outcompeted, not because the government subsidized their replacement.

        2. And when that point comes it won’t be because the ‘federal’ government got us there. It’ll be because people wanted/needed to earn wealth (so long as that wealth isn’t being completely stolen by the government).

        3. “As a retired chemist I do understand thermodynamics.”

          I have never met anyone with a hard-science education as stupid as you, and I’ve met a bunch.
          Now, maybe you really were a chemist; I hope whoever you worked for did not depend on you to make money.
          Of, more likely, you’re lying.

        4. “Fossil fuels are in fact solar energy stored in the earth for million of years.”

          Great, then while the free market and current technology still indicates this is the best type of solar energy, let’s keep using it. Win win.

          1. but.. but… That’s not real “solar energy” because it didn’t allow the mob to STEAL trillions of “green-backs” from productive citizens! /s

        5. How are fuel hydrogen or battery lithium made using tidal power electricity thermodynamically connected to the Sun?

        6. As a retired chemist I do understand thermodynamics. The fact is that all the energy we use comes from the sun(*). Fossil fuels are in fact solar energy stored in the earth for million of years. These are extracted, refined and used. Today we are looking at technologies that simply gets the solar energy in a more direct form. Solar panels directly and wind turbines in a indirect fashion, remember solar heating creates wind. While we can not create a perpetual motion machine we can improve efficiency to allow new technology to meet a greater and greater share of the energy needs. So we can move to a net zero point.

          Too bad you didn’t take an economics, sociology, or history classes. Even if you made 7B magic energy wands that defied the laws of thermodynamics, there would still be value in massive stockpiles of energy and goods/services to be produced using them. If there weren’t, people would use their magic energy wands to find ways to do so. Most likely, they’d go back to the original global warming plan to warm the planet so that food grows more readily on its own rather than being forced to get up and wave the magic energy wand every 5 min.

          At the very least, for the near and relatively far future, the energy stockpiles will be just as, if not more valuable than your ill-fated pursuit of a thermodynamics-defying wand.

        7. And by chemist, I mean I cook crystal meth. They’s why I post so much stupid shit, because I’m on meth.

    2. What magic do we know of that can replace fossil fuels other than nuclear fission, Mr. Technology?

      It’s retarded to be talk about eliminating something we don’t have an actual replacement for yet.

    3. Why are you confusing the inflection points driven by markets with government actions? Oh thats right, you’re a halfwit.

      1. Seconded. If we’re at a turning point where green energy makes sense, there is no need for 2 trillion in handouts from the feds.

    4. If industry is jumping on the bandwagon, then why does the government need to get involved?

      P.S. Joe Biden is a crook.

      1. Because orange man bad.

    5. There may be an inflection point at some time, but the Democrats appear to be trying to force one into existence, and technological advancement does not really work like that.

      1. Don’t undermine the Democrats – They bought a Multi-Trillion dollar crystal ball that replaced the science of meteorology which was having problems predicting the weather this Friday and now they can tell us the weather centuries into the future…

        1. … and anytime anyone questions the integrity of the “crystal ball” they’ll be instantly denounced publicly as a ‘denier’. Thinking it’s based on the rules of religion or something. Non-Faithful in the ‘crystal ball’ is a morally negative.

    6. Moderation4ever
      October.23.2020 at 7:38 pm
      Over the course of human history there have been inflection points marked by the passing of old technology for new technology. We are in such an inflection point with most of the world moving forward…”

      Bullshit.
      Oh, and “stupid” is not spelled “moderation’.

    7. Normally, such technological revolutions are driven by the introduction of better or cheaper technologies.
      What we seem to be doing now is trying to legislate into existence technologies that have not yet been introduced.
      My family participates in large-scale agriculture. That practice depends on diesel-fueled equipment, and inexpensive yet efficient transport and refrigeration. Options for transitioning to alternative energies to do those things don’t really exist at this point. We could probably bodge together an electric tractor, but that would also mean greatly expanding the electric grid.
      There are lots of vague ideas about how to ditch fossil fuels, but there is a great possibility for death and suffering if we start dismantling the existing infrastructure before a viable alternative is built and proven.

      1. Yeah imagine having to charge your harvester for 24 hours to be able to harvest for four hours? Or the battery power needed to pull a 35 foot air drill?

  19. Inside the campaign to ‘pizzagate’ Hunter Biden

    pro-Trump trolls are “playing the hits from 2016” and hoping they stick with voters who didn’t hear the first iteration of the rumor four years ago.

    She noted that pushing child abuse conspiracy theories echoes what Bannon has publicly advocated in an effort to alter how voters feel.

    “This is gaslighting of the highest order,” Phillips said. “This has been the Steve Bannon playbook this entire time. He has celebrated the strategy of ‘flooding the zone with s—‘ — when you confuse people, when you make them angry, when you just sort of throw too many things at them for them to process.”

    The re-run of an identical conspiracy theory from 2016, this time with Hunter Biden as the new target, gathered momentum in part because of a new disinformation pipeline promoted by high-profile conservative figures — including the president.

    https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/tech-news/inside-campaign-pizzagate-hunter-biden-n1244331

    1. Amateur pizzagate lackeys better than state-sponsored Russian Intelligence propaganda machine! ‘Murica, fuck yeah!

    2. ha ha…so none of this is true…old Hunter didn’t try and enrich himself on the old man’s name when he was smoking crack and banging women who were not his wife? And old Joe’s extended family wealth is millions from “investment deals”..as old Joe would say…”come on man”

      1. So keep running against Hunter Biden then. It will be like running against Roger Clinton.

        1. Hunter was the pimp; Joe’s the ho.

    3. Butttplug sure is desperate to discount pedophilia, isn’t he.

    4. “NBC News requested a copy of the hard drive, but Rudy Giuliani, the president’s lawyer, who had possession of the hard drive, has yet to respond. The New York Post article did not include any of the child abuse rumors.”

      Does the term “moving the goal posts” mean anything to you?

      The emails say that Hunter was cashing in on his association with his father and holding money for his father.

      If the emails don’t say he was abusing children, that’s immaterial.

      Are the emails authentic, Mr. Biden?

      Do you deny that they say what they say, Mr. Biden?

      1. P.S. Joe Biden is a crook.

    5. You’re really protesting a bit too much about a child porn cult.

  20. Make 6,000 dollar to 8,000 dollar A Month Online With No Prior Experience Or Skills Required. Be Your Own Boss And Choose Your Own Work Hours.Thanks A lot Here>>>Click here.

  21. Thank god for so called “fossil fuels” which honestly the origin is still up in the air (hydrocarbons could very well be from the formation of the earth as well as plant vegetation), we had the industrial revolution which was the greatest improvement to the human condition since fire. And I’m still waiting for someone to explain how wind/sun are going to power an industrial society given the problems of availability and storage of either of those sources. Fusion is NEVER going to be viable (I worked in fusion research in the mid 80’s and it is always 20 years away)…fission is not acceptable and hell “vacuums or zero point” is bullshit. The whole “alternative” energy scam is just that..a scam to enrich liberal art leftists and scientists who prostitute themselves for “grant” money..Biden is an idiot when it comes to basic hard science and engineering…let alone economics… as for Mr. Bailey, take a class in statistical thermodynamics and and then study “climate change”..you might question their models a little more.

    Can you at least get someone with a hard science or engineering degree to write about science at Reason…please.

    1. How about an English major who gets his science from T.V. and Vox tech sites?

    2. Saturn’s moon Titan is covered with methane and ethane, presumably from non-biological sources.

    3. Advances in energy storage are certainly possible. In a few years, we may have large numbers of high-energy-density solid-state “glass” batteries that are “good enough” for many purposes that batteries can’t be used for today. Not guaranteed, but a definite possibility. A new source of non-polluting (or less polluting) energy may be discovered as well, but the probability of that seems low. I don’t really expect “fossil fuels” will be gone by 2050, although I’m unlikely to be around to see if they are or not. I doubt Biden really expects it either.

      1. Again. Joe Biden is promising to eliminate all fossil fuels from energy production within 15 years of being elected–which represents 62.7% of all power production in the U.S.

        https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=427&t=3

        Anything could happen in 50 years.

        Replacing 62.7% of all electricity production in 15 years will cost more than the $1.7 trillion Biden’s plan is promising to spend on this (according to Biden’s website) and will push the resulting cost of electricity to consumers through the roof.

        1. P.S. Biden is a crook.

  22. re: Bobulinski and the fake China scandal

    Wall St Journal clears Joe Biden on any wrongdoing.

    The venture—set up in 2017 after Mr. Biden left the vice presidency and before his presidential campaign—never received proposed funds from the Chinese company or completed any deals, according to people familiar with the matter. Corporate records reviewed by The Wall Street Journal show no role for Joe Biden.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/hunter-bidens-ex-business-partner-alleges-father-knew-about-venture-11603421247?mod=lead_feature_below_a_pos1

    Too bad, Peanuts! You got nothing!

    1. That’s not what the body of the article says, Buttplug.

      1. Jacqui Heinrich
        @JacquiHeinrich
        I completed searching all of Tony Bobulinski’s emails. They establish:
        •the “Chairman” is China.
        • NO ROLE for Joe Biden in emails/docs
        • Tony Bobulinski states himself there are NO OTHER MEMBERS besides Hunter Biden, Jim Biden, Rob Walker, James Gillar, and Bobulinski

        Fox News

        https://twitter.com/JacquiHeinrich/status/1319508531423436803?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1319508531423436803%7Ctwgr%5Eshare_3%2Ccontainerclick_1&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.dailykos.com%2Fstory%2F2020%2F10%2F23%2F1988941%2F-The-Wall-Street-Journal-newsroom-vs-the-Wall-Street-Journal-editorial-page-fight

        You Trump-Clowns got nothing!

        And Ken Shulz is off his meds when he says you do.

        1. “A repair-shop order from April 2019 contains Hunter’s name and what appears to be his signature. The shop owner supplied a subpoena showing the computer and hard drive were seized by the FBI in December 2019. And the Biden campaign hasn’t said the emails are phony.

          . . . .

          According to the emails, both Bidens were in line in 2017 to benefit from a deal with CEFC. One email appears to identify Hunter Biden as “Chair/Vice Chair depending on agreement with CEFC.” It also refers to financial payments in terms of “20” for “H” and “10 held by H for the big guy?”

          Fox News says it has confirmed the veracity of the email with one of its recipients and that sources say the “big guy” is Joe Biden. An August 2017 email from “Robert Biden” (Hunter’s legal first name) crows that the original deal was for $10 million a year in fees, but that it had since become “much more interesting to me and my family” because it included a share of “the equity and profits.”

          —-Wall Street Journal

          https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-bidens-and-china-business-11603236651

          All we’ve had from the Biden campaign on this is denials of things that don’t seem to address those questions specifically.

          Does either Biden contend that the emails aren’t authentic?

          Does either Biden deny that the emails say what they say?

          Far as I can tell, neither Biden has answered either of those questions directly. Denying being part of a human trafficking ring certainly doesn’t mean anything.

          Until they respond to those questions, I’ll take the emails at face value.

          P.S. Joe Biden is a crook.

        2. They establish:
          •the “Chairman” is China.

          vs. My Chairman which Hunter references repeatedly like an in-joke. This isn’t hard, but you’re retarded.

          1. Turd is certainly a ‘tard, but is also totally and completely dishonest. Like Tony, every one of his posts is or contains a lie.

    2. Except for the 5 million dollar unsecured, forgivable, loan which we have wire transfer proof of you mean?

    3. Didn’t we go through this in the morning? The article’s concluding paragraph directly contradicts every bit of spin contained therein.

      This isn’t new. Google burying the lede at some point.

  23. “Getting rid of government subsidies is always a worthy project, but just how much money is supposedly being lavished on the oil industry?… “that the federal government subsidizes fossil fuel extraction to the tune of about $4.9 billion a year. That’s not chump change, but compared to fossil industry revenues of $180 billion, it hardly seems essential to fossil energy operations.”

    That’s the point, isn’t it Ronald…that oil is nothing but a group of welfare queens? That they’ll take that ransom every year, because it’s a gift? And you don’t capture it all, either. You’re way off.

    I’ll let Libertarian candidate for President, Jo Jorgensen explain it to you as to how bad it gets:

    “The federal government gives about $15 billion annually to oil and coal companies. And this doesn’t even include the cheap public land leases that disproportionately go to these companies. This is nothing but corporate welfare. I will work with Congress to end all energy SUBSIDIES and level the playing field.”

    Caps mine, because so many here constantly whine about the difference between tax breaks and subsidies. Jo gets it…there is no difference. It’s corporate welfare.

    1. “Ultimately, the Democratic candidate acknowledged reality when he observed that “we’re not getting rid of fossil fuels for a long time.”

      https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=427&t=3

      Eliminating the source of 62.7% of the electricity generation in this country in 15 years is not a long time.

      1. That would be like starting in 2005.
        Buttplug doesn’t even understand what he’s posting here.

        1. Biden has consistently said that he plans to eliminate all emissions from power generation in the United States by 2035.

          That’s fifteen years from now.

          That means eliminating 62.7% of all power generation in the United States in 15 years–according to the EIA report I linked above.

          That wasn’t supposed to be a response. This quote was from Bailey’s article.

          “Ultimately, the Democratic candidate acknowledged reality when he observed that “we’re not getting rid of fossil fuels for a long time.”

          —-Ron Bailey

          His plan doesn’t get rid of fossil fuels entirely for 50 years.

          It gets rid of all fossil fuels for power generation in 15.

          That is not a long time. He’s going to substantially raise the cost of electricity in this country–and eliminate a substantial portion of a $180 billion a year industry–all in 15 years. That is not a long time.

          1. P.S. Joe Biden is a crook.

      2. Right and there was a major buildout of NG fired combined cycle plants over the last 20+ years, so much that those investors and owners are not shutting them down for at least another 30 years. And the construction continues – many new plants in PA, OH, TX and elsewhere serving PJM, ERCOT and other markets. My guess is NG will be used for the rest of the century or 30 years past the last plant built. Coal plants have been shutting down but coal is less economical and expensive emissions cleanup. And there is a lot of concern in this industry about maintenance of solar and wind and how much effort some of these owner operators will put into it. Not to mention even regulating voltages without spinning generation, the public will not like brown outs and black outs and will fight back to get more reliable generation. Battery storage is no where near the price and capability that is needed. Some efforts on making H2 from renewables and storing it. But distribution doesn’t exist and even NREL concluded it was not price competitive.

        The reality is NG even fracked is the cheapest solution in most parts of the country.

        1. If the Democrats take both the White House and the Senate, they could inflict this on us and the Democrats won’t have to pay at the polls until 2022.

          It will be devastating to the economy.

          1. P.S. Joe Biden is a crook.

    2. “I’ll let Libertarian candidate for President, Jo Jorgensen explain it to you as to how bad it gets:

      “The federal government gives about $15 billion annually to oil and coal companies. And this doesn’t even include the cheap public land leases that disproportionately go to these companies. This is nothing but corporate welfare. I will work with Congress to end all energy SUBSIDIES and level the playing field.”..”

      She’s lying, and by extension, you are too, jackass.

  24. Another right wing nutcase arrested for plot to kill to Biden:

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (WBTV) – A man was arrested in Kannapolis with a van full of guns and explosives with plans to carry out an act of terrorism, including trying to assassinate Joe Biden.

    An order filed in federal court earlier this month outlines the plans by a man identified as Alexander Hillel Treisman, who also used the alias Alexander S. Theiss. Treisman is originally from the state of Washington, Kannapolis Police have said.

    https://www.wbtv.com/2020/10/22/man-arrested-kannapolis-with-van-full-guns-explosives-researched-killing-joe-biden/

    1. So what?

      P.S. Joe Biden is a crook.

    2. Compared to the Bernie Sanders far left nutjob that actually tried to murder republicans at a baseball game. Where was your condemnation of that guy.

      1. Bernie is an idiot. I’ll take the Con Man as POTUS over Bernie.

        I’m no leftist you fool.

        1. Yes you are, and your supposed “right wing nutcase” plotting to kill to Biden is actually a Bernie supporter.
          You could have found that out before posting if you weren’t an illiterate idiot.

        2. “…I’m no leftist you fool.”

          Can you ever post without lying, turd?

      2. And what difference does it make?

        Because some idiot somewhere did something stupid, we’re all supposed to vote for Biden–is that the way his mind works?

        How stupid do you have to be to live in that kind of universe?

        1. P.S. Joe Biden is a crook.

      3. This guy was a bernie bro too. Palin is just functionally retarded.

      1. Hahahahahahahahaha

        God damn is shriek stupid.

      2. I was going to say….the only difference between him and the rest of the Democrats is that he apparently wasn’t willing to wait until after the election.

      3. The glow-in-the-darks should have at least made the effort to plant a laptop of Republican memes in the guy’s house before turning him loose on some false-flag gayop.

      4. He was also a pedo, per the story buttplug linked:

        The order said agents found child pornography on eight different electronic devices, along with other pictures and posts . . .

    3. > The order said agents found child pornography on eight different electronic devices[.]

      Wait, is this you bragging, Buttplug? Was this actually you?

  25. a Biden administration would seek to re-impose Obama-era regulations that aimed to limit that amount of the potent greenhouse gas methane leaking into the atmosphere from gas and oil wells

    Just to nitpick a little bit here, I believe you’re referring to the EPA’s 2016 New Source Performance Standards and Permitting Requirements. You might look at that date – the “Obama-era regulations” were instituted in 2016 as Obama was on his way out the door. It’s costly new regulation that he wasn’t going to have to stick around and deal with the political fallout from imposing.

    It’s the same bullshit fast one the EPA pulled with imposing drastic new limits on lead as Clinton was on his way out the door and drastic new arsenic limits as Obama was on his way out the door so that both Bush and Trump could be accused of wanting to poison our children when they immediately rescinded those new rules and returned to the status quo ante.

  26. And, of course, once Biden starts to reduce oil usage in the U.S., China, India, and the rest of the developing world will quit their current program of doubling their carbon emissions every 10 years, and peacefully freeze or starve to death.

  27. And, yeah, Biden’s statements about phasing out fossil fuels is a big deal – it’s a very clear signal that he supports the Green New Deal and is a puppet of the radical Left.

    And when you realize that his frequent touting of the number of good jobs created by transitioning to green energy is nothing but the Broken Window Fallacy writ large, it’s obvious he’s either so stupid he believes in the Flying Unicorns Sprinkling Fairy Dust Theory of Economics or he thinks so little of his supporters that he believes they’re stupid enough to believe in it.

  28. Unless someone figures out how to build a reliable nuclear fission reactor that can fit under the hood of a car, the oil industry is here to stay.

  29. In contrast to Ronald Bailey, folks here in western PA understand that Joe Biden and other Democrats are planning to destroy the huge economic benefits that natural gas fracking has provided (and will continue to do for more than 50 years).

  30. Biden declared, “He takes everything out of context, but the point is, look, we have to move toward net zero emissions. The first place to do that by the year 2035 is in energy production, by 2050 totally.”

    Despite all the obfuscation, this makes it clear that Biden is an idiot with an unrealistic energy plan. And so is any “journalist” who buys this nonsense.

    1. Bailey didn’t buy it. He’s fallen to shilling for old Joe, and this is nothing more than propaganda.
      It’s a pity to watch once reliable writers destroy their reputations for rationality and honesty because orangemanbad.

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  32. Considering the increasing numbers of “Environmental Panel” members turning into, “Climate Change is a Hoax” – can we put this B.S. to rest yet?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpxAIYrtGLw

  33. What were the major talking points?

    1. Lol. This was good.

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  35. Again we are making out some rather common tax deductions for capital investment and asset depreciation as “subsidies”, because there are not many of what are normally understood as subsidies for the fossil fuel industry. Meanwhile this seem to be in order to obfuscate that to eliminate fossil fuels in 15 to 30 years will require massive subsidies to so called “green” energy sources or outlawing fossil fuel use entirely, because green energy will not be competive.

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  37. I thought Reason was a libertarian publication, and not a mouthpiece for Democrat party progressive policy. Apparently not, as Mr. Bailey has become the interpretive mouthpiece for Quid Pro Joe.

    Memo to Mr. Bailey: Hey Ron, I can fairly interpret what Quid Pro Joe means without your interpretive spin.

    Regarding subsidies. I have no problem eliminating corporate subsidies…for all companies. But let’s agree what subsidy means, because the subsidy here, if I am not mistaken, is a tax credit. The tax credit allows companies to deduct the expenses in the year in which they occur, and not spread over multiple years. It is clear Bailey is parroting somebody else’s data, and not taking the time to understand what it is they’re saying. Personally, I think Mr. Bailey needs to understand the tax code, because this article shows that he simply does not. What a whiff!

    To me, a corporate subsidy is the Import-Export Bank. Other examples abound in government.

    Now, when Quid Pro Joe says transition away from fossil fuels, what I believe he means is that he will place fossil fuel industries under a burdensome regulatory compliance framework, in the short term. That will immediately drive up cost, which translates to higher prices. Longer term, they will be strangled…..and the announced expiration date is 2050. WTF is libertarian about that, Mr. Bailey?

    The free market, with billions of free agents all of whom make independent decisions for their own motives, will sort out whether we transition away from fossil fuels, and the pace at which we do. By and large, people are making decisions on their own to reduce fossil fuel usage and carbon emissions in their everyday life. How?

    The homeowner in the Northeast who elects to replace an oil burning furnace with natural gas is reducing fossil fuel usage and carbon emissions. The purchaser of an electric vehicle is doing the same thing. The business that freely chooses to install a rooftop solar system is doing the same thing. The point is, there are millions who make their choices known by their purchasing decisions.

    The overarching choice before us is this: Does this country want to go the path of increased regular regulation, taxation and government control, as proposed by Quid Pro Joe? Or does this country want to continue along the path POTUS Trump has followed, which is deregulation and letting free market agents (that is us) make decisions and control the pace of this transition?

    Are there any libertarian writers left at Reason…or is this truly now Unreason?

    PS: Joe Biden is corrupt AF!

  38. There are two major bad assumption on this that people are making

    1) If global warming is a real and serious problem, there is no solution but Joe Biden’s solution.

    Biden’s opponents are even playing into Biden’s hands when they argue that Biden’s solution is unnecessary because global warming isn’t real. The truth is that Biden’s solution won’t be effective in the fight against global warming–not even if Global warming is real and a serious threat. There are a number of reasons for that. Regardless, the fact is that it is unnecessary to split the opposition to Joe Biden’s “climate justice” plan between those who do and don’t “believe” in global warming and that it’s a problem. Biden’s plan will fail regardless of what side you pick in that fight, so let’s stop unnecessarily dividing the opposition to Biden’s plan in those terms.

    Rather one thing all reasonable people should agree on is this: The worst possible outcome is the one where we make big sacrifices in our standard of living to combat global warming–and it doesn’t make any difference in the fight against global warming. The worst possible outcome is when we make all the sacrifices, ad we suffer all the worst consequences anyway. Isn’t that right?

    2) Joe Biden’s solution will not be effective in the fight against global warming.

    Here are some examples of why this is so.

    “China has nearly 250 gigawatts (GW) of coal-fired power now under development, more than the entire coal power capacity of the United States, a new study said on Thursday, casting doubt on the country’s commitments to cutting fossil fuel use.”

    —-Reuters, June 2020

    https://www.reuters.com/article/china-coal/china-has-250-gw-of-coal-fired-power-under-development-study-idUSL4N2E20HS

    If I’m not mistaken, that doesn’t account for all the coal plants China is constructing for its neighbors in Pakistan, Vietnam, and elsewhere in the developing world. The emissions from natural gas are approximately 40% less to achieve the same amount of electricity. If Biden eliminate American natural gas plants only to see China and other countries in the developing supplant those emissions with coal and natural gas plants of their own, then what have we achieved–other than sacrificing our standard of living?

    Here’s another question for Mr. Biden, “Does the name Solyndra ring a bell?”. For those of you who don’t remember, Solyndra was a hot up and coming green technology company, and the Obama administration gave them a $535 million loan guarantee–and took a $528 million loss. It wasn’t a particularly bad bet at the time, given that cutting edge technology companies are inherently risky because they’re often based on speculation about future market conditions that are always in flux. And that’s the point! Central planners aren’t just sometimes wrong about which technologies to implement and why–they’re almost always wrong–and if they’re ever right, it’s almost always by accident!

    What are the chances that Joe Biden and his selection of experts will break the losing streak of the central planners this time and get things right when they completely reorganize the American economy around the principle of zero emissions from electricity production in 15 years?

    I don’t think it’s zero, but it’s like when you’re looking at a limit that approaches zero. It may never get to zero, but it gets so close to zero that it’s reasonable;e to assume that it’s zero .

    Conclusion.

    Those of you out there who believe in your hears that global warming is real and a real problem that we should do something about–you should all oppose Biden’s plan, too. Any solutions to climate change that aren’t driven by market forces are doomed to failure, for the same reasons every solution that isn’t grounded in market forces fail. There are all sorts of things we could do to get the government out of the way of market driven entrepreneurship and investment–but Joe Biden’s plan is all about government intrusion into the economy and regulation instead. If Biden implements his plan in 2021, it will be overturned in the midterms of 2022 and the green movement will lose so much credibility with average voters that you may never see green ideas become legitimately popular again in your lifetime.

    P.S. Joe Biden is a crook.

  39. Shouldn’t Reason come clean and stop claiming to be Libertarian but, instead, just being whatever benefits the Koch bottom line, even if it is wildly unlibertarian?

    1. Agreed. Though this support of the GND and Paris Accords is strange, and goes against what I’ve saying about their desired editorial direction for this magazine.

      Usually you can predict everyone of the Reason writers’ slants on an issue by asking: Which way will make wages, and the price of imported goods, as cheap as possible? Open borders mean more workers, which depress wages. Ditto H1-Bs. Therefore, attack any politician against unlimited immigration.

      Tariffs on China mean the Chinese crap that use to do whatever Koch does, just got more expensive. So they’re against them. And against any politician who advocates for them.

      As far as criminal justice issues go, it’s a combination of ignorance about the causes and effects of violent crime in America, and policing in general, plus a desire to see their favored drugs decriminalized. Add in a dollop of new Left desire to tear down Western Civilization, with impartial law and order being one of the pillars holding this entire civilization edifice aloft.

  40. Everyone who wants to understand and actually reduce global warming cost effectively (hint hint Ronald Bailey) should read

    False Alarm: How Climate Change Panic Costs Us Trillions, Hurts the Poor, And Fails to Fix the Planet by Bjorn Lomborg
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OIJw37FCEug

    Lomborg exposes how the proposed solutions to global warming by left wing environmental whackos (e.g. Obama/Biden’s Paris Climate Accord & AOC’s Green New Deal) would destroy America and western civilization, while doing very little, if anything, to reduce the rapidly growing carbon emissions in China, India, Africa, etc.

    1. Bailey has been on board with Lomborg for years.

      Here’s a book you should read:

      https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01L98JKI4/reasonmagazinea-20/

      Bailey’s views are being tainted by our proximity to the election. It’s like a kind of Doppler effect–the close we get to an election, the more it seems like everything everybody says is all about that.

      P.S. Joe Biden is a crook.

      1. “Bailey has been on board with Lomborg for years.”

        I read the End of Doom several years ago, and thought very highly of Ronald Bailey.

        But everything Bailey has written here in the past six months (i.e. trashing Trump and praising Biden’s flip flopping on environmental policy issues) appear to contradict the views Bailey expressed in his excellent book.

        1. If you can tell from my comments, I think a Biden presidency is the biggest threat to libertarian capitalism we’ve faced since the Cold War–and the threat to capitalism is all about the Green New Deal that Biden is openly advocating on his website.

          I don’t understand why Bailey isn’t being more forceful in his denunciations either. Assuming it’s coming from above is probably a good guess given what he’s written in the past. People used to accuse him of getting paid to be wrong about denying global warming was a problem, too.

          Regardless, I don’t think Bailey is the threat here. The real threat is our friends and family voting for Democrats either for president or for the Senate this year. In most years, it probably wouldn’t make a difference. In this election, it does. And I agree that it seems like a wasted opportunity to denounce Biden and his proposals when Bailey could do so more forcefully.

          Spending $2 trillion to eliminate all emissions from power production in this country in 15 years is a terrible idea–especially when if and when it entails a packed Supreme Court to resist challenges to the accompanying regulation. It’s gonna make the Penaltax ruling look like nothing. It may be as big as Wickard vs. Filburn–something libertarian capitalists will denounce for generations to come. The only way to stop it is before the fact. What are the chances of repealing something like Wickard vs. Filburn after the fact?

          1. Biden also promised to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement, which requires the US to reduce carbon emissions by one third the next decade, but allows China to double their emissions.

            Even stupid negotiators understand that is a terrible deal for the US and a great deal for China.

    2. Here’s Ron Bailey defending Lomborg in 2002:

      https://reason.com/2002/05/01/green-with-ideology-2/

      The archive is full of articles like that by Bailey.

  41. Another excellent book on this situation is

    Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All by Michael Shellenberger
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XDL_O8Qs1Is

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  44. Reason: taking Republicans literally, but not seriously. Taking Democrats seriously, but not literally.

  45. Biden wants progressives to think that he is going to shut down fossil fuels and impose socialism, and he wants moderates to believe he will pursue a classic liberal agenda. So he makes statements that are written by some focus group to be vague enough that people will interpret them according to their own views.
    But none of that matters. If elected, he would be at best a puppet, and likely not finish the term. What matters is what Harris would do, and that could be anything.

    1. I agree. Reading the article, I feel Bailey is deflecting for Biden. Yeah, the Green New Deal is a big deal, which is foundational to Biden. Bailey should question how much government will make us pay for this new energy and how quickly Biden will make it happen instead of showing us Biden is being deceptively vague and it might not be a big deal. I trust Biden as much as I trusted him when he said you could keep your plan. He said it again.

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  54. kind of amazing how many people are here claiming that subsidies to any industry is somehow the “libertarian” position. we are not talking about taxes available to everyone, we are talking about special treatment that no competitors have. we are talking about the government picking winners and losers. we are talking about all the things that make peoples’ hair catch on fire if anyone talks about doing it for the solar industry. how can you advocate for special treatment of one industry and pretend that is the “libertarian” position?

    1. It isn’t at all libertarian. It is direct interference with the market just as tariffs are but you will find people here cheering for those as well.

      Look at the Foxconn fiasco for example. Thing is even conservatives should be opposing these kinds of things but good luck finding one.

      Liberals we expect it from.

      Libertarians are the last voice for small government.

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