I’ll bet Tom Friedman would really like to indulge his authoritarian impulse to be “China for a day” (because then we could impose the “right solutions” to all our problems) right now. Today he uncorked a primal scream whose subtext is: Sarah Palin (and Donald Trump) were right: we should drill, baby, drill! here in the U.S. Yes—for oil and natural gas!
Don’t believe me? It turns out that Putin is living rent free in Friedman’s head, and it is causing Friedman to abandon his heretofore rigid adherence to the Climate Change Catechism of renewables uber alles. Here are some excerpts:
I wish I could say for certain that Putin will fail — that the Americans will outproduce him. And I wish I could write that Putin will regret his tactics, because they will eventually transform Russia from the energy czar of Europe to an energy colony of China — where Putin is now selling a lot of his oil at a deep discount to overcome his loss of Western markets.
Yes, I wish I could write all of those things. But I can’t — not unless the U.S. and its Western allies stop living in a green fantasy world that says we can go from dirty fossil fuels to clean renewable energy by just flipping a switch. . .
But the climatistas have been telling us for the last 30 years that this will be easy, wind-and-solar-are-cheaper, all we need is willpower, etc. Funny how a geopolitical event like the comparatively small war in Ukraine has thrown the entire green playbook in the trash can. More Friedman:
If we want to get oil and gas prices down to reasonably low levels to power the U.S. economy and, at the same time, help our European allies escape the vice grip of Russia while we all also accelerate clean energy production — call it our “Energy Triad” — we need that transition plan that balances climate security, energy security and economic security. . .
But the most important factor for quickly expanding our exploitation of oil, gas, solar, wind, geothermal, hydro or nuclear energy is giving the companies that pursue them (and the banks that fund them) the regulatory certainty that if they invest billions, the government will help them to quickly build the transmission lines and pipelines to get their energy to market.
Yes, well, good luck with that.
I can’t repeat this enough: U.S. energy policy today has to be the arsenal of democracy to defeat petro-Putinism in Europe, by providing desperately needed oil and gas to our allies at reasonable prices so that Putin cannot blackmail them. It has to be the engine of economic growth that provides the cleanest and most affordable fossil fuel energy as we transition to a low-carbon economy.
I’ll be happy to let Friedman and his fellow greenies cling bitterly to their fantasies of an energy transition. I’ll just keep this column filed away as evidence that they now acknowledge that this “transition” is going to be run on oil and gas. Good to see he’s giving up on his flat-earthism at last.