On Tuesday, David Roberts at the hopelessly left-biased Vox.com promoted a decidedly negative form of supply-side economics, namely "policies that choke off fossil fuels at their origin." He, and the authors of a paper he referenced which advocates "restrictive supply-side climate policies," act as if this is something new, when governments and sometimes violent envirozealots have long engaged in these activities.
There is a bias in climate policy shared by analysts, politicians, and pundits across the political spectrum so common it is rarely remarked upon. To put it bluntly: Nobody, at least nobody in power, wants to restrict the supply of fossil fuels.
The bolded statement could not be more ridiculous:
- Despite the clear economic benefits seen in next-door Pennsylvania, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo unilaterally banned hydraulic fracturing in his state in 2014 with no legitimate basis, effectively denying upstate New Yorkers a golden opportunity to turn around decades of economic stagnation.
- A 2014 Forbes column by Chris Prandoni at Americans for Tax Reform described a Congressional Research Service report noted that "While oil and natural gas production has surged on non-federal lands, President Obama has overseen a decline in production on federal lands," and attributed that result to "the Obama administration’s hostility towards America’s oil and natural gas industry."
- Thanks largely to NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) environmentalist objections, the U.S. did not add a single new refinery between 1998 and 2014, after which three were added in Texas and one in North Dakota. Even now, according to the U.S. Energy Information Agency, "the newest refinery with significant downstream unit capacity is Marathon's facility in Garyville, Louisiana. That facility came online in 1977."
Roberts also betrayed sympathy for "direct action," aka criminal activity which disrupts pipeline and other operations:
Policies that choke off fossil fuels at their origin — shutting down mines and wells; banning new ones; opting against new pipelines, refineries, and export terminals — have been embraced by climate activists, picking up steam with the Keystone pipeline protests and the recent direct action of the Valve Turners.
These “valve turners” engaged in a coordinated attempt to shut off pipelines in four states. One of them finally received a three-year prison sentence in February.
But darn it, per Robert, mainstream environmentalists are just too soft:
But they are looked upon with some disdain by the climate intelligentsia, who are united in their belief that such strategies are economically suboptimal and politically counterproductive.
Now a pair of economists ... (argue) that restrictive supply-side (RSS) climate policies have unique economic and political benefits and deserve a place alongside carbon prices and renewable energy supports in the climate policy toolkit.
Roberts reproduced the following table from the study:
Only a fool or a dedicated, cocooned Vox reader could possibly believe that the strategies identified in the gray-shaded box — accompanied by quiet sympathy for the violent actors — aren't already key components of envirozealots' and supportive politicians' economy-choking strategies.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.