Biden’s ‘ten years more of oil’ evidences dangerous energy ignorance


By Daniel Turner

Interruptions at State of the Union addresses are a tale as old as time. They are even used as a measure of the speech’s overall success. This year, President Joe Biden introduced a new measure: laughter.  Not the gentle ribbing at a good-natured quip or political joke, but the belly laugh of half the chamber laughing at – not with – the President.

The GOP laughed at Biden when he said “we’re going to need oil for at least 10 more years,” and for good reason.

For starters, we need oil for the foreseeable future.  One of the great lies the environmental left peddles to the American people is that we can get rid of fossil fuels if we “go green.”  Last fall, Biden declared he is closing coal plants “all across America” and replacing them with wind and solar farms. The statement belies industry ignorance.  Solar panels are made with coal.  Just not in America, however.  In China.

We often marvel that China is building a coal plant a week to support their electric grid.  Coal works.  It doesn’t freeze in the cold like wind farms.  It doesn’t shut off like solar farms when this phenomenon called “sunset” happens.  Coal works all the time. It makes reliable, cheap energy, and also forges the quartz used to make solar panels.  We cannot make steel without coal. Or cement.  Biden, who regularly praises the $1 trillion infrastructure bill, should understand that every road and bridge he drones needs a lot of coal.

As for oil, yes, about half of each barrel of oil is used for transportation fuel that Biden thinks we will replace with electric vehicles. The other half makes things like plastic and rubber and laundry detergent and pharmaceuticals and Velcro and cosmetics and clothing.  If your love of animals has you buying faux-suede or “pleather” alternatives, you are buying oil.  Quite literally millions of consumer goods come from oil, products that make our life healthy, hygienic, and convenient, and Biden thinks it will all be replaced, or eliminated, in 10 years.

Good luck with that.

Another reason Republicans were right to laugh at Biden’s ridiculous comment is his commentary on his energy policy. If you do believe we need oil for a decade, then it should be American oil.  It raises the question why the Biden Administration is determined to increase oil production in Venezuela or take trips to Saudi Arabia to beg the man he denounced as a “pariah.”  Ditto with Iran.

Much of Biden’s speech sounded downright Trumpian.  Made in America.  American goods, American manufacturing, American workers. The only thing missing was the maligned “America First” catchphrase.  Biden wants everything made in America except for our fossil fuels, and what a naïve and contradictory position.  “We’re making sure the supply chain for America begins in America” he shouted at the State of the Union, and this is a great vision, one that could earn bipartisan support, but the beginning of supply chains is raw materials, and the most basic raw materials are our fossil fuels.

In addition to spy balloons, Communist China manufactures upwards of 70% of our wind, solar, batteries, and EVs.  Even more alarming, they control 95% of the rare earth market.  There can be no great American rebirth of manufacturing, there can be no American sovereignty if our oil, gas, coal as well as our copper, cobalt, zinc, nickel and dozens of other raw materials are sourced overseas.  Ultimately, America will become a nation dependent on someone else. The ensuing economic and national security vulnerabilities are unfathomable.

I would laugh too if it were not so disturbing.

Leftists are always “literally shaking” at something. Sometimes it is misused pronouns, other times it is Al Gore shouting “the end is nigh!” for another decade. Biden’s energy policies should have us all deeply concerned.  We have experienced the sky-high prices in gas and utilities and groceries, but the energy debacle will have long term consequences.

We need oil, gas, and coal now more than ever before.  Surely Biden and his team know that renewables come from fossil fuels in plants that run on fossil fuels. China’s wind turbines factories do not operate on wind power; they run on coal.

It’s time for a wake-up call, and it is time for Congressional Republicans to stop laughing and start acting.  The American people handed them control of the House of Representatives for a reason. It is high time they stop the Biden anti-fossil fuel, anti-American energy before the damage is permanent.

This article originally appeared at Real Clear Energy


  • Daniel Turner
  • Daniel Turner is the founder and executive director of Power The Future, a national nonprofit organization that advocates for American energy jobs.