While Joe Biden has been busy speaking out of both sides of his mouth about what his position on fracking would be, if elected, another revelation has come to light: regardless of his position on fracking, his $2 trillion clean energy plan could be devastating to natural gas.
As Bloomberg points out in a recent article, natural gas is not only a crucial part of the nation’s energy supply, but it directly effects votes in the swing state of Pennsylvania, where Biden is seeking to turn the state that leaned Trump in 2016.
Biden’s energy plan could speed up natural gas becoming “economically and environmentally untenable within the power sector,” Bloomberg notes. Biden’s plan for a carbon neutral grid would all but assure natural gas is phased out in favor of renewable energy.
Kevin Book, managing director of ClearView Energy Partners, put it bluntly: “Decarbonization isn’t a debate — it’s a fossil-fuel death sentence. It means a resource is going off the grid. That is the inevitable implication.”
While gas remains a key source of energy for the nation, it has also faced headwinds: its more expensive than solar and wind in most places and, by 2030, renewables are slated to get even cheaper.
John Coequyt, the climate policy director at the Sierra Club, said: “This transition is going to happen more quickly than people thought, just as the coal transition has happened faster than people thought it would.”
Biden’s proposals to cut back on drilling could wind up actually helping natural gas prices in the short term – as could a warmer relationship with China – but in the long term, the prognosis looks undeniable.
If Biden were elected it would come heading into a winter where gas prices are already expected to fall 5.7% due to higher prices this season.
Further, states like California – who is often the leading indicator for economy-crippling-frivolous-big-government regulations – are already taking active measure to limit natural gas use.
Many are comparing Biden’s potential impact on gas to Obama’s impact on coal. Recall, the Obama administration all but put coal off the map – accelerating the industry’s demise by slapping environmental regulations on coal plants.
David Spence, a professor at the University of Texas School of Law, commented: “You might be able to adopt policies that at least give them a theoretical chance to survive, even if they’re going to make it much harder for them to survive.”
Katie Bays, an analyst with Sandhill Strategy in Washington, concluded: “A lot of the path to net-zero by 2035 for power will come from energy efficiency gains, a lot from renewables, and that will squeeze out fossil fuels eventually.”