Head Biden Energy Bureaucrat Laughably Claims US Has Hit 'Peak' Gas Demand

P. Gardner Goldsmith | January 9, 2024
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Sometimes the natural reaction to absurd political fabulism is amusement.

After repeated exposure to the fabulist, one might feel bemusement.

After more exposure, one might find it impossible to maintain even that critical level of positivity, and the tides of frustration, resentment, and righteous indignation sweep in.

Thus, given the numerous times Biden “Energy Secretary,” and former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm has offered prevarications, unbelievable claims, and insipid lingo while pushing her fascist edicts on things like lightbulbs, cars, and gas stoves, and, given the anti-oil, anti-gas, vitriol and policies she and Biden have pushed so hard that even Chevron CEO Mike Wirth has said he doesn’t believe a new oil refinery will be built in the US under the current government shackles, how does one react to Granholm’s latest in her almost weekly oafish, clownish insults to truth and reality?

You be the judge.

Breitbart’s Ian Hatchett caught video of Granholm’s Friday, January 5 appearance on the ever-entertaining CNBC show, “Squawk Box,” where, after blithely overlooking the constitutional questions tied to the U.S. military engaging in “sanctions enforcement” against foreign nations in the Persian Gulf, she attempted to put proverbial lipstick on the pig of Biden mandates, bans, and “green” subsidies that many of us – and many in the energy field – know are stifling real domestic energy exploration, recovery, refining, transport, and sale.

After CNBC’s Becky Quick noted another statement from Mr. Wirth that pertained to the even more advanced decay of the California oil and gas refining field, Granholm appeared to go into “fantasy-overdrive” gear.

Said Quick:

“Secretary, we’ve talked a lot about what’s been happening with ExxonMobil and Chevron as well, walking away from basically the refinery situations, their operations in California. They’ve taken massive write-downs in the last several days, to the tune of billions of dollars. Mike Wirth was on, talking about this last night, and mentioned that the situation in California is largely because of California policy. I realize that’s not a federal policy, but when you look at California and the gas prices there, it creates unhappiness with the consumers. They’ve basically said, we can’t continue to make investments in some of these operations, whether that be the refineries or the pipelines, because we don’t think we’ll get the return on investment. When they say something like that and you have multiple big companies basically walking away from some of these things, what does that mean? What can you do on the federal level?”

It’s worth noting some history before we get into Granholm’s answer, and that history pertains to Quick’s fundamentally flawed assumption that this is not tied to federal policy.

California’s “Clean Air Resources Board” (CARB), which cites its origin in 1967, during the governorship of Ronald Reagan, operates via an ongoing series of its own edicts and threats against car sellers, architects and home-sellers, manufacturers, consumers, and energy providers such as oil and gas companies, and it does so under the watchful “okay” of the unconstitutional US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). At first, the edicts targeted automobile tailpipe and factory emissions to combat Los Angeles Basin smog, but, circa the year 2000, the CARB members claimed a power to combat the unsubstantiated bogeyman of “anthropogenic climate change,” subjecting consumers and sellers of cars, homes, power, and fuel to an astronomically overbearing array of edicts.

Related: 'Infrastructure Bill' Pushes Electric Cars, Takes Over Regional Power Grids | MRCTV

With its falsely titled, 2022 “Advanced Clean Cars II” diktat, CARB itself admits that virtually no vehicles with internal combustion engines will be legal to buy or sell within the next 10 years.

But California is not the sole political entity deserving blame for fascist command-and-control impositions that have thrown away the cheap, plentiful energy provided by oil and gas refining. The EPA, itself, has engaged in a perverted plan of pork “incentives” to push people – in ALL states – to use the less-efficient, hard-to-disperse-in-cool-temps, “biofuel” of corn-based ethanol.

We’ll dig into that in a moment. First, let’s see what Jennifer Granholm offered about that as part of her reply to Ms. Quick:

“Well, it’s interesting, because I think there [are] a lot of those who have refineries who are converting some refineries, anyway, to biofuels. There [are] significant policy incentives to the creation of drop-in biofuels, so you’re seeing some of that happening. The refineries that are around the country are working full tilt and are producing.”

Those “policy incentives” are a combination of DC commands and subsidies.

About some of those commands – the W Bush EPA mandate for increased corn-based ethanol in our gas – in 2007, I wrote for the Foundation for Economic Education, citing the Senate testimony of economist Keith Collins and a number of ways the government push of corn-based ethanol into our tanks would screw-up the market for energy and other products:

“As Collins told the committee, ‘Livestock and poultry profitability declines under higher corn feeding costs. For example, for hogs, which are heavily dependent on corn… a $1 per bushel increase in the price of corn would raise the price of producing hogs by about $6 per cwt (hundred weight).’

These are all costs that will be passed on to the consumer. They not only will make it more difficult for the poor to afford their basic foods, but they also will decrease the money that would normally be available to purchase other products, thus retarding the pace of economic growth and harming everyone.

These economic realities merely compound the problems inherent in the use of ethanol as a fuel itself. As has been noted by Edmund Contoski, in his book Makers and Takers, corn-based ethanol is still a net energy loser. ‘The energy needed for growing the corn (for farm machinery, fertilizers and pesticides) and distilling the alcohol is more than you get from burning the ethanol that is produced,’ he writes.”

In a normal market for energy – not one influenced by big corn-ethanol interests and collectivist Climate Cultists pushing their politically-shaped propaganda – energy/fuel providers would be incentivized to give us the fuel that offered the best bang for the buck along all the links in the cost-profit chain.

That fuel is found in the multi-faceted field of petrochemicals. They are cheap, plentiful, easy to transport, and easy to store. Their availability and efficiency could undermine long-term political plans to control auto manufacturers, our home heating options, and many other aspects of our lives -- which might be why the upside-down, authoritarian feds like Granholm have mandated “biofuels” and – as they have with unmarketable, inefficient, and environmentally caustic electric vehicles (EVs) -- subsidized them, with our tax cash, for years.

Of course, Granholm had to spread propaganda about that, even while pushing her laughably obnoxious claim that the California-based gas refining system is flatlining because of “peak gas.”

“So, we are — but I will say this, Becky, we are seeing, in the United States, we think that we have achieved peak gasoline, because of the increase in electric vehicle sales. And obviously, this is just the U.S., other, more developing countries will — are still looking at significant — potentially significant — but lessening so, increase in demand. But, in the United States, we’re seeing a leveling out and a diminishment of the demand for gasoline, and we just got the numbers yesterday for the sales of electric vehicles. … [I]n 2023, 1.4 million sales of EVs. That’s a 50% increase from the year before. That’s going to have an impact.”

Becky Quick might have come prepared with some facts about EV sales to private buyers versus government buyers – here, and in Europe.

As I noted in December for MRCTV, EV sales to non-government buyers have dropped so precipitously in the US and the world that GM, Ford, Toyota, and Volkswagen all either have halted or downgraded their plans to make EVs and “EV batteries.” 4,000 auto dealers wrote to the Biden Administration to protest its EPA “emissions” edict that will push away the internal combustion engine vehicle by 2035, and Buick saw HALF of its US dealers choose closing-buyouts from the corporation rather than accept its order to sell EVS.

Curiously, Granholm didn’t mention that.

She also didn’t mention what I noted in December:

Peter Johnson notes for Eletrek that, as crazy as it sounds, European consumer demand has halved:

‘Arno Antilitz, Volkswagen’s CFO, explained on a media call last month that EV orders are down to 150,000 in Europe. That’s 50% lower than the 300,000 from last year.’”

Instead, Granholm tried to pass-off artificial, government-based, anti-market purchases stemming from Biden’s “Infrastructure” pork as “market demand.”

That’s insulting and absurd.

Related: Volkswagen CEO: It’s 'Practically Unviable' for Corporation to Build EV Batteries in Europe | MRCTV

Perhaps frustration and righteous indignation are the natural emotional destinations one reaches when faced with this kind of insult to reality and ethics.

Perhaps the more appropriate word is outrage.

As noted above, you will be the judge. It’s still an option available to a reader....

...As the government works diligently to restrict our options for things like cars, fuel, lightbulbs, stoves, and myriad other products – and as “Energy Secretary” Granholm serves-up offensive propaganda to service the authoritarianism.

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