McClaughry: President Biden’s surprising admission

By John McClaughry

On May 6 the Rhodium Group, an independent group which conducts research on topics such as the social costs of carbon, released a report highlighting the direction of China’s leadership in the developing world. Here’s a quote from their latest report:

Using our newly updated global [greenhouse gas]emissions data through 2019, we estimate that in 2019, for the first time since national greenhouse gas emissions have been measured, China’s annual emissions exceeded those of all developed countries combined. China’s emissions were less than a quarter of developed country emissions in 1990, but over the past three decades have more than tripled, reaching over 14 gigatons of CO2-equivalent in 2019.

According to reporter Liz Peek on Fox News, President Biden understands that developing countries badly need fossil fuel energy to improve their economies, and said so in a press conference. According to the New York Times transcript of the conference, Biden also said “The United States accounts, as all of you know, for less than 15 percent of carbon emissions. The rest of the world accounts for 85 percent. That’s why I kept my commitment to rejoin the Paris Accord, because if we do everything perfectly, it’s not going to matter.”

Those last 11 words were not in the White House handouts to reporters prior to Biden’s scripted remarks. He’s absolutely right, of course — China’s enormous greenhouse gas emissions mean that America’s urgent and costly reductions simply won’t matter.

John McClaughry is vice president of the Ethan Allen Institute. Reprinted with permission from the Ethan Allen Institute Blog.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Joshua Doubek
Spread the love

4 thoughts on “McClaughry: President Biden’s surprising admission

  1. According to the New York Times transcript of the conference, Biden also said:

    “The United States accounts, as all of you know, for less than 15 percent of carbon emissions.
    The rest of the world accounts for 85 percent.

    That’s why I kept my commitment to rejoin the Paris Accord, because if we do everything perfectly, it’s not going to matter.”

    However, Vermont’s RE elite want to make Vermonters suffer anyway, by increasing the costs of electricity, gasoline, fuel oil, propane, etc., because that would lead to the highest amounts of federal and state subsidies for EAN members and Vermont National Resource Council members.

    Here is the latest update of the Vermont Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory and Forecast for 1990 – 2017. See URL
    https://dec.vermont.gov/sites/dec/files/aqc/climate-change/documents/_Vermont_Greenhouse_Gas_Emissions_Inventory_Update_1990-2017_Final.pdf

    Vermont CO2 electrical sector emissions were (in metric ton):

    1.00 million in 2015
    0.81 million in 2016
    0.49 million in 2017
    0.18 million in 2018
    0.13 million in 2019
    0.08 million in 2022, projected
    0.04 million in 2027, projected

    The electrical sector reduction was accomplished by:

    1) Changing the method of calculating CO2
    2) Not counting the CO2 of wood burning
    3) Renewable energy mandates

    In Vermont, as in other states, utilities are mandated to purchase low-CO2 renewables, such as wind, solar, and hydro power, either from in-state, or out-of-state owners of power plants.
    The PAPER power purchase agreements, PPAs, reduce utility CO2 emissions ON PAPER.

    GMP purchases in 2016 were:

    High-CO2 RE from Ryegate at about 10.03 c/kWh.
    Low-CO2 nuclear power from Seabrook at about 3.24 c/kWh.
    Low-CO2 hydro power from Hydro Quebec at about 5.549 c/kWh
    NE grid electricity (323 g CO2/kWh) at about 5.689 c/kWh
    Low-CO2 Net-metered solar at about 21.813 c/kWh
    Low-CO2 Standard Offer solar at about 21.793 c/kWh
    Electricity mix average is about 6.036 c/kWh

    Utilities Riding the Subsidy Gravy Train

    Vermont utilities buy about 1.4 million MWh/y of hydro power, at 5.549 c/kWh, under a 20-y contract, from Hydro Quebec. The HQ electricity is not variable, not intermittent and does not cause midday solar bulges

    GMP, a Canadian company, refuses to buy more hydro electricity from HQ, because that electricity would just be a “pass-through”, on which GMP would make minimal profit. HQ has plenty of electricity and is eager to sell it. This approach requires no subsidies!!

    Instead, GMP wants to invest in heavily subsidized, utility-scale solar/battery system combos, and spread them all over Vermont, as part of its very expensive “micro-grid” strategy. The combos are much more profitable for GMP, than buying more electricity from HQ. However, combos would lead to significantly increasing electricity costs for Vermonters.

    The cash value of the subsidies, about 45% of the turnkey cost of the GMP investments, is recovered by GMP in the first 5 years, i.e., skimming the fat off the milk for GMP, and increased costs for ratepayers and taxpayers.

    Solar/battery combos come with subsidies:

    1) Grants from various sources, such as the VT Clean Energy Development Fund
    2) 26% federal investment tax credits, plus state FITs. Tax credits reduce, dollar-for-dollar, the taxes GMP pays on profits
    3) 100% depreciation over 5 years; the normal for utilities is 20 to 25 years. Write-offs reduce GMP taxable income
    4) Deductions of interest on borrowed money. Interest deductions reduce GMP taxable income. See URL

    • The electrical sector CO2 emissions were reduced from 1.0 million metric ton in 2015 to 0.13 million metric ton in 2019.

      Almost all of that ON-PAPER CO2 reduction came from purchase decisions by Vermont utilities, i.e., buying more nuclear, and more hydro power, and more RECs

      It had almost nothing to do with ACTUALLY reductions of CO2.

      Wind, solar PV, hydropower and nuclear generation are considered ZERO GHG emitting for the purposes of this inventory.

      Electricity generated through biomass (burning trees) combustion is considered to emit ZERO CO2 emissions, because the CO2 has a biogenic origin, but CH4 and N2O emissions are included.

      McNeil and Ryegate, 25%-efficient, wood burning power plants have more than 600,000 metric ton of CO2 emissions per year

  2. The United States is in the greatest battle ever faced since its founding in 1776 when it competes with China…….This battle will initially be fought in the economic arena. At a time when the United States must be at its very best and strongest, President Biden is surrendering to China by fully embracing the New Green Deal. A decision that places this country at a grave disadvantage as China accelerates fossil fuel use and grows economically, technologically and militarilty ever stronger.

    Biden is to abandon critically needed fossil fuels while China continues to fully utilize all forms of fossil fuels to include building dirty coal fired power plants at home and in third world countries around the planet producing low cost energy needed for economic growth and world influence.

    Biden’s comment of “China’s enormous greenhouse gas emissions mean that America’s urgent and costly reductions simply won’t matter” means much more than the battle against climate change, it means the ultimate battle for our freedom as China ascends to world’s economic and military leader.

    This is not good for the United States……..Read about the rise of the Chinese Communist Party and particularly the ten year Cultural Revolution under Mao Zedong that brutally took millions of Chinese lives.

  3. Biden’s comment, even after a couple rereadings, makes no sense. We’ve reduced carbon emissions. The other Paris accord members haven’t. There’s (suppressed) significant scientific doubt that humans have a significant climactic effect anyway. Biden concedes nothing we do will change the climate. Which is the reason he’s rejoining the accords which make demands of us and cost us money? And effectively give China carte blanche? And this Biden character is the smartest, the best, the sharpest nominee the Progressives could muster out of the entire Democrat part? No wonder they’re opposed to voter I.D.!

Comments are closed.