By Brook A. Simmons
Oklahomans now thawing out from October’s ice storm may have gotten a sneak peek at a future fueled by presidential candidate Joe Biden’s energy plans.
More than 375,000 households and businesses across the state were without power following the arctic blast that blanketed much of the state in ice, downing electrical lines and toppling trees. Power is being restored now by storm-weary utility crews from across the nation.
But what happens if the power goes out and cities go dark, not because of an act of nature but because of an act of misguided energy policy? The days of cold and darkness that Oklahomans experienced might be felt by more Americans if voters embrace Biden’s plan to “transition” away from clean-burning natural gas for power generation.
Look no further than California for proof positive that hopes and dreams of an alternative energy future can’t keep the lights on today. The Golden State’s own “transition” to renewable energy sources unable to meet the demands of consumers led to statewide power outages in August with rolling blackouts shutting off power to more than 800,000 homes during an extreme heat wave.
Utility crews cannot repair damage inflicted by failed government policies that sacrifice reliable baseload power generation for an ideology. To put it plainly, one of the drawbacks of total dependence on renewables like solar and wind is that sometimes they just aren’t available when you need them most. Time and time again we fall back on hydrocarbons when lives and livelihoods are on the line.
Reliable, affordable, clean-burning natural gas is readily available year-round and, its abundance makes it the most obvious choice for power generation. Whether Joe Biden likes it or not, natural gas represents the best way to ensure residential, commercial and industrial consumers can keep the lights on.
Elections have consequences. The Biden energy plan would mean more dark days for Americans from coast to coast.
– Brook A. Simmons is president of The Petroleum Alliance of Oklahoma.