President Biden and the Democrats still want to ban fossil fuels in 10 years. That is economically and technically not feasible. If adopted, that would be catastrophic for our US economy. It will turn our economy back two hundred years to 1822 and destroy the 18-fold gain in prosperity, wealth and well-being gained over two hundred years of industrial revolution fueled by fossil fuels (gas, oil, coal). Green energy (solar, wind, hydro, and biomass) is not ready to replace fossil fuels and will not be ready in 10 years. Until the industrial revolution, the world productivity per person had never exceeded about $500 US per year. The muscle energy of humans and draft animals had strictly limited human productivity. Thanks to fossil fuels, our productivity per person are now about $9,000 US per year.
We Americans consume about four times more energy per person than the rest of the world to support our prosperous lifestyles. We are the envy of the world. No other country will ban fossil fuels. Their leaders are smarter than our Washington, D.C leaders. They know the catastrophic economic consequences of banning fossil fuels. Our enemies, China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran would love to see us ban fossil fuels and destroy our economy and military defense force. A weak economy can not afford strong military defense forces.
What can we expect if fossil fuels are banned? All new drilling of oil and gas wells will cease immediately. No oil company will spend money to produce oil and gas that is illegal. Oil and gas will become scarce, and the price will skyrocket by 3-4 times. That means the price of gasoline, diesel and jet fuel will follow suit. Within one or two years it will not be available at any price.
Oh! But Biden will say cars will be all-electric. Problem is that the average personal vehicle fleet is about 10 years old. That means after 10 years, only half of the fleet will be all-electric and the other half will take 20 years to be replaced. Likewise, for the freight trucks and rail locomotives. Can you imagine flying in an electric aircraft?
If all vehicles convert to electricity, that means the power generation capacity will have to increase by 50-100 percent. The capacity of the power distribution system will also have to increase by 50-100 percent. That is not feasible within 10 years.
The cost of electric power will skyrocket by 3-4 times. Since energy cost determines the cost of all goods we consume, the cost of living will skyrocket so high most people will not be able to afford even the basic essential necessities (housing, food, clothing, medical care). The economy will crash, and unemployment will exceed 25%, greater than during the great depression of the 1930s.
When Biden and the Democrats feel the anger and hostility of three hundred million Americans, they will panic and immediately rescind the ban and expect the fossil fuel industry and the economy to recover immediately. That is how naïve they are. After industries and economies crash, it takes a long time for them to recover. After the economic crash of the great depression in the 1903s, it took 10 years to recover. During that time, the American people will suffer incredible pain and hardship.
It is true the earth receives far more energy from the sun each year than we need. The problem is present green energy technology is not efficient and cost-effective enough to capture and store it. Maybe in one hundred years, it will be, but not in 10 years.
Ralph Coker, Author