The Atlas Society Asks Jason Isaac

September 07, 2022 01:01:07
The Atlas Society Asks Jason Isaac
The Atlas Society Presents - The Atlas Society Asks
The Atlas Society Asks Jason Isaac
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Show Notes

Join CEO Jennifer Grossman for the 120th episode of The Atlas Society Asks where she interviews former Texas State Representative Jason Isaac. Listen as the two discuss Jason's work with Life:Powered in trying to raise America's energy IG and his analysis of the current climate and energy conversation going on in the country.

The Honorable Jason Isaac is the director of Life:Powered, a national initiative of the Texas Public Policy Foundation and previously served as a four-time Texas State Representative and on the Energy Resources and Environmental Regulation committees. His articles on energy and climate have been published in outlets like Fox Business, The Hill, The Washington Examiner, The Daily Caller, and he is a regular contributor to The Epoch Times.

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Episode Transcript

Speaker 0 00:00:00 Hi everyone. And welcome to the 120th episode of the ATLA society asks. My name is Jennifer Anju, Grossman. My friends call me JAG. I'm the CEO of the ATLA society. We are the leading nonprofit, introducing young people to the ideas of I Rand in fun, creative ways like graphic novels and animated videos. In fact, today we are filming my name is oil, which is very appropriate because, uh, today this interview we're joined by Jason Isaac. I'm going to introduce him in a second, but I wanted to remind all of you who are watching us on zoom, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube. You can ask your questions, just go ahead, get started, type them into the comment section. And we will get to as many of them as we can. Our guest today, Jason Isaac is the director of life power, a national initiative of the Texas public policy foundation to raise America's energy IQ, a fourth generation Texan. He was elected four times as a Texas state representative, uh, serving on the energy resources and environmental regulations committee among others. And as I just learned, apparently it, his wife will be continuing that tradition, uh, as she'll be sworn in shortly. Um, Jason is a regular contributor to the epic times. He writes frequently on energy climate and ESG for other outlets as well. Jason, thanks for joining us. Speaker 1 00:01:42 Thanks for having me on Ja. Great to be on. Speaker 0 00:01:45 All right. So let's start with life power. It was very intrigued with, uh, its mission to raise America's IQ energy IQ. And, uh, so I wondered do you start with a kind of base baseline assessment of where that intellectual quotient is now? What are some of the areas in which Americans, um, are least informed or confused about energy? Speaker 1 00:02:12 Well, we've got a ways to go in raising their energy IQ to let them know about the benefits of the energy that we produce here in this country, as well as our environmental leadership. I've, I've seen some polling that shows that people think that CO2 is poisonous to plants, uh, which is, is quite quite alarming. I've seen some funny videos on YouTube where people, uh, walk around and interview people and ask them if we should ban dihydro monoxide, uh, and telling them that, you know, people consume too much of it. They get burned by it and ultimately leads to death. And they're talking about H two O just another way to state it scientifically. Uh, and, and it's kind of interesting that people don't understand this. And my personal experience is speaking to groups of students. Uh, I remember a couple years ago talking to, to students in Fort worth Texas and asking them how many of them thought our air quality had improved over the last 10 years? Speaker 1 00:03:04 And I thought, well, maybe they're shy cuz no one raised their hand. And then I, I said, well, gosh, well, how many of you think it's gotten worse? And without hesitation, every single person raised their hand. Uh, and so I asked more questions about access to clean and save drinking water. And they all thought that water had gotten dirtier in the United States and our air had gotten dirtier and our lives had been shorter and infant mortality was up and it couldn't have been further from the truth. And, and I shared them the numbers and these same conversations have happened in the halls of the United States Congress when I've met with us Senator staffer. And I remember telling one that our air quality at that point in time, we'd reduced harmful pollution, 73%. It's actually down 78% now in the last five decades. And we're number one when it comes to access to clean and safe drinking water. Speaker 1 00:03:55 And this particular staffer laughed in my face and, and asked me where I got my numbers and he, he thought I was lying. And, and I, I, I thought I was being punked and I'm like, wait, this is from the EPA and the world health organization. There's air quality monitors all over the planet. And most of them are in the United States and it shows that we're actually improving our air quality and experiencing human flourishing at the same time, this environmental leadership and economic prosperity are two things that go hand in hand. And so when you have people in Congress and students in high schools that don't understand this it's means we've got work to do. And that's exactly what we're doing with a life power project. Speaker 0 00:04:35 Why do you think people are just so, um, dramatically ill-informed, is it, are they being fed lies in school or, uh, is it the, the news kind of, if it leads, it leads, uh, what could Speaker 1 00:04:50 Possibly be? Yes, there's a, a great deal of misinformation and disinformation and it is being pushed through our education system. Uh, we've had children both in public and in private school. And, and, and my first experience with was this with my, uh, oldest son who in fifth grade at the time, this was 2013. Uh, it brings home his standardized test preparation packet says, dad, this is my science test. I've gotta prepare for this. And, and I'm looking through it and there's a hundred questions. And there's only one question about fossil fuels and it's which of the following fossil fuels causes global warming oil, gas, coal, or D all of the above. And that was it in Texas, where, where over 16 billion is funneled into public education because of royalties in tax is collected on oil and gas. We're demonizing fossil fuels in the energy producing capital of the world. Speaker 1 00:05:47 And I thought this isn't right. And fortunately I was in the legislature at the time and, and I called our Texas education agency and asked them is this biased question on the test? And they confirmed that, that it was, and I asked them to remove it and they did, which was nice. And, and, and sad about this mission of arming kids with unbiased information about all forms of energy that are produced not only in the state of Texas, but here in the United States and around the world. And so we've set out on this mission to raise America's energy IQ, starting at the youngest levels, and now have state aligned curriculum courses that are designed, uh, to, to really help kids out and, and remove some of the bias and, and remove some of the fear about environmental doom. Because when they hear the positive things that are actually happening in the environment that life experiences are changed and their outlook on life has changed, it should be one of hope. And one of pushing our prosperity that we experience here, uh, in the United States to developing countries around the world to lift the rest of the world outta poverty, Speaker 0 00:06:48 I think it's very important that people need facts, but I think that there's also a sort of moral element that comes in here as well. Um, and asserting, you know, that there are natural materials, but they don't really become resources until they're developed. And they're developed because we value human life and we want to progress and we wanna thrive. So, uh, I hope that our video that we're coming out with, um, will help contribute to a better moral understanding of the role of fossil fuels as well. Um, but illuminate us, okay, we hear speaking of misinformation, uh, that it is Putin's fault or it's, you know, the, the Russia aggression that's causing, um, these increases in prices that Americans will pay, uh, 5,200, $5,200 more than last year to cover rising prices of gas and electricity. And of course, those are also driving the costs of, of everyday items. So what really is driving the, the rise and energy costs that we see right now? Speaker 1 00:08:00 Well, it's been this world on war, on fossil fuels and this whole of government approach in the United States where we could lift the rest of the world outta poverty with the energy that we produce here in Texas alone, if we could get the government outta the way to approve some of the pipelines to approve the liquified natural gas export terminals, but really is this whole of government approach weaponized against the production, the responsible production, where I say we produce fossil fuels more responsibly than anywhere else in the world, right here in the United States. Uh, and we do so while actually protecting human rights at the same time, but not only is the government weaponized against fossil fuel producers. So are financial institutions. So in 2016, there were 59 different funds raised that raised 46.6 billion to invest in oil and gas, exploration and production, 59 funds, 46.6 billion, five years later, it was 11 funds raised 4.6 billion. So a greater than 90% reduction in capital available to the new exploration in production of American fossil fuels, American produced energy. And it's because not only have governments around the globe colluded against fossil fuels, the financial institutions are in lockstep with them as well. And it's really hurting access to capital and companies can't produce without access to capital. Uh, so that's why you're seeing the supply not increase to the levels of demand and demand is outpacing global supply. Uh, and that's why the cost are skyrocketing Speaker 0 00:09:37 While companies can't produce without access to capital. And they can't produce as much as well without access to offshore drilling rights and, uh, leases on federal lands. Uh, we're gonna show a graphic that came from an article. I'm sure you saw that Dew wall street journal ran earlier this week, and it was comparing, uh, the amount of leases issued by various us presidents, um, to develop oil and gas on federal lands or offshore at similar points in their administrations. So, uh, yes, and Mr. Speaker 1 00:10:14 Base and Ronald Reagan, who I think had the most leases approved during the, the, the same, same amount of time that we've surpassed here in the Biden administration, which just generates economic prosperity and stability and revenue for the United States government. And in here we are at this current administration, I think it's one of the least, uh, over the last eight to 10 presidencies of, of leases that are being acre, uh, approved Speaker 0 00:10:40 Mm-hmm <affirmative>. So what, what is that going on? You know, I mean, how can he be issuing next to, to nothing? I mean, it's, it's rounding errors like 0.13, uh, compared to previous, uh, administrations, and then he's going and begging, um, OPEC to produce more oil. Are, is there oil, does it burn more cleanly or something Speaker 1 00:11:08 <laugh> you, you would think that we would be producing oil and gas here in the United States, where again, we produce it more responsibly than any OPEC country, for sure. So if we're truly concerned about emissions and pollution, then we should be producing almost everything here in the United States because of our environmental leadership. Uh, so it's quite fascinating to see that, oh, the climate is only over OPEC, so not over the United States, so we'll be safe. We're in our own cocoon that couldn't be further from the truth, but it's just this cult-like fascination with decarbonization, with net zero with being anti fossil fuels, and it's really, uh, against human prosperity and human flourishing, uh, that has unfortunately been pervasive throughout the, the global economies. I mean, the, the EU just came out within the last, I think 24 hours, one of their leaders, and this lady said that we have to flatten the curve. Speaker 1 00:12:01 Oh my gosh, I, I like dejavu all over again. I feel like we heard that a couple of years ago, but they're gonna force the curve of demand for electricity down. And that's exactly what happened in California yesterday and will happen in California today. You force the demand down for electricity by turning people's electricity off by doing rolling outages blackouts. That's how you force demand lower. So I think the French are gonna go back to not bathing anymore because that requires so much energy. Uh, you're gonna have others in Europe that are gonna be starving because they can't cook their heat, their food. Uh, and then they're gonna be very cold this winter. And we've written for years about the, the rising freezing deaths, uh, in the E in the European union, because of these anti-energy policies that they're just implicating with a cult-like fascination, Speaker 0 00:12:52 Speaking of freezing deaths, uh, I wanna get to some of our audience questions that are rolling in, and I'm gonna anticipate that among them will be, uh, to talk about what happened in Texas, your Twitter, bio, uh, lists grid expert among your areas of expertise. So I'd like to get your take on the Texas power outage last year. We're also gonna add the link for an actual video that you did with, uh, Preger to explain it, but if you wouldn't mind again, putting it into a nutshell for us having lived through it and written extensively on it, um, and what those implications should be for future energy policy. Speaker 1 00:13:32 Sure. So our, our winter storm UY that happened, uh, in 2021, February, 2021, I had actually written a piece in July of 2020 warning that if it weren't for the COVID lockdowns, that we would've had rolling outages in August. And I had warned about this because our electric reliability council of Texas or ERCOT, which manages about 90% of the grid in Texas, uh, was, was calculating reserve margins wrong, which that's basically how much backup power we're gonna have. And they're calculating them saying that half of the installed capacity or half of the production of the variable sources of electric generation. I refer to them fondly as unreliables wind and solar, they calculate that half of their production is gonna be available. Well, we know it's gonna be wrong half the time, uh, or, or just under. And that's exactly what happened is you, you and we've, we had policy recommendations on how to fix this before the winter storm. Speaker 1 00:14:33 And so at the Texas public policy foundation, our policy recommendations have remained consistent and they support free market principles first and foremost, but the market so heavily dis had distorted because of the federal subsidies of $25, a megawatt hour wind can actually sell electricity at a negative. Now cover this in my pre or you video and use an analogy. Imagine you own a restaurant. And then all of a sudden, a competitor opens up next door and is paying their customers to eat their food. It's not, you're not gonna be in business for very long, and that's exactly what's happening. Wind at certain points of time can pay the grid operator to take their electricity well, natural gas and coal and nuclear can't compete at that level. And that's why we're seeing in early retirements, we're seeing early retirements, we're seeing the shutdowns, and we're not seeing any new builds for reliable thermal generation and nuclear coal, or natural gas. Speaker 1 00:15:28 But we are seeing a massive increase over 300% installed capacity of wind over the last 10 years, because they can make money at less than $0, which is just mind blowing to a free market, uh, person like myself, but that's distorted the market. And that's, what's led to the collapse in Texas. And that's why we're seeing problems in California as well during the Texas freeze, our unreliables produced less than 2% of the electricity at one point in time dropping to less than 1% of their installed capacity, uh, where natural gas was in our thermal generation was producing 98% of the electricity, natural gas generation that week of the freeze increased 450%. And coal increased about 60%, 50 to 60%, only two forms of electric generation increased, uh, the amount of electricity they were producing that week. And it was the fossil fuel driven forms of electric generation Speaker 0 00:16:26 Have policies, uh, been formed, or what measures have taken to ensure that this doesn't happen again. Speaker 1 00:16:35 Unfortunately not really. What you've seen is you've seen more mandates from the legislature that natural gas has to winterize and coal has to winterize. These are just forcing mandates, uh, on companies that already can't make a profit in their business. So if you force more cost on them, they're going to just early retire plants, um, and, and electric generation facilities, which is what we're gonna continue to see here in Texas. The real reliability factor that should have been passed. And the Senate in Texas passed this, the house stripped it out. They gave the authority to the public utility commission saying that they may implement a reliability requirement, a cost causation that says that the generators that are causing the UN reliability on the grid have to pay for reliability. What this would've done is would have forced those variable sources of generation that are so heavily subsidized to build or contract with quick start natural gas generation, so that when the wind's not blowing or the sun's not shining, that they can meet their requirements to put electricity on the grid when Texans need it. Speaker 1 00:17:43 But the way that our market is priced now is everything is based on priced. So in the afternoons, when the wind is blowing, the price drops below negative or below zero, uh, and unfortunately natural gas and coal have to then pay to put electricity on the grid. And then when the wind stops blowing the cost increase significantly, and that volatility is just crushing for the consumers. So we're still working with our public utility commission to try to get them to implement this cost, causation, this reliability requirement, but that's, what's gonna be needed around the country if we're to have a li reliable, affordable electricity moving forward. Speaker 0 00:18:19 All right, I'm gonna dip into our audience questions for a moment here. Cause I do see one about the grid. Um, we have coming in from Instagram, mark Marcus is asking pros and cons upon Texas having an independent power grid. Speaker 1 00:18:35 Well, the, the biggest pro is, is that we are not dependent on fur regulations of federal energy regulatory commission, which could force us if we were a part of a national grid, they could force us at times to move electricity outside of our grid and into other states. Uh, and so that's the last thing that we want is any federal regulation. We already have enough, but being part of FURK would actually be detrimental to Texas. Uh, and it would mean that states what what's happening in California is they part of a, the Western interchange. Well, California is passing these policies to shut down reliable electric generation, although they just extended Diablo Canyon's nuclear life for a couple more years, which is a big win, uh, for those that of us that support affordable, reliable electricity, but they're forcing the closure of coal and natural gas, uh, power generation. Speaker 1 00:19:26 And so what that means they're gonna have to import it from other states. And so their policies they're passing in California are gonna lead to higher costs for electricity in Arizona, Utah, Nevada, all the states that are in that Western interchange that may not be passing these same policies. And certainly aren't electing people in California, but the California policy makers are increasing the cost of electricity for everyone in the Western interchange. So that's, that's the, I guess the pro of not being, uh, in the national grid. Uh, and, and the cons are, uh, I, I don't know that there are any, we really like our independence here in Texas. And we may have to assert it again again here soon. Speaker 0 00:20:06 Okay. Well, you just mentioned Diablo canyon. So, uh, Alexander House on Twitter asks, uh, aside from the war on fossil fuels, what is the rationale behind the war on nuclear Speaker 1 00:20:19 Power? The war on nuclear B began before I was alive and people equated it with nuclear devastation and nuclear war. Uh, and, and you look at what's happened in, in Japan, uh, with, with their incident, the three mile island. Uh, what's interesting to note in those two, those two cases in Fukushima, three mile island, there were no lives lost as a result of those accidents. Now, people in Fukushima lost their life evacuating much like they have in Texas during hurricanes, more people will lose their lives evacuating and leaving a hurricane, uh, than are actually caused by the weather itself. And that's what happened in Fukushima. People died on the highways, but not as a result of the meltdown of that facility. Now Cherno is a different story that was poor construction and the people that lost their lives in that instance, my understanding is, is, were firefighters that died fighting the fire. Speaker 1 00:21:12 Uh, few people had extremely high levels exposed to radiation, but that did not turn out to be this global disaster. Everyone thought it was going to be. And now it's like a tourist attraction prior to the, the, the Russian invasion of Ukraine. But nuclear is the most dense energy form that we have on the face of the earth. And we should be utilizing more of it. The regulatory hurdles have increased the cost so much that we're not building new nuclear and really our nuclear electric generation could, should keep up with our GDP, our, our population growth around that range because it's fantastic to meet baseload electric generation. It's not great for, for demand times when you have high demands, cause you can't ramp up nuclear like you can or coal, but it is great base. And we should a lot more of it here in the United States. Speaker 0 00:22:04 Well are some great question and, uh, we're going to get back to them. So I wanna encourage all of you who are washing us on various platforms, keep typing them in. I'm not ignoring you. We will get to them. I promise, but I still have a few, uh, I would love to hear your thoughts on the so called inflation reduction, act green, new deal, whatever they're calling it these days, uh, specifically as regard to energy, reliability, and affordability in this country. Speaker 1 00:22:32 I, I think I've joked and called it the idiot reproduction act because that's really all it's doing is it's growing more of those in Washington, DC. And I think anybody that's, if there was a way to invest in certain people, I would find out whoever John Podesta's friends are and I would invest in them, uh, because they're going to become very wealthy because I think he's now this, this king maker of three hundred and fifty nine, three hundred sixty 9 billion of what I commonly refer to as green bling and renewable dreams. Uh, it's exactly what they are, their dreams, but it, it, it's going to lead to higher cost of electric generation, less reliable cost for electric generation. And it's just doling out more of our money. So we're gonna see higher inflation. The Fed's gonna print more money, and they're gonna hand this out to Sora type businesses that are ultimately gonna collapse where we are, the ones that are on the hook. Speaker 1 00:23:25 And we are the ones, uh, that are gonna wind up, unfortunately wasting our tax dollars for these handouts, whether it's $7,500 for an electric vehicle, which ironically Ford motor company, uh, I think it was February or I'm sorry, April, August 8th. Let me get the month. Right? August 8th sent a letter to Congress asking them to pass the IRA 20, 22, the next day, the Senate votes to pass it. And then a day later Ford raises the price of their electric truck, $8,500. It, it it's just mind boggling. And then a few days later, remember this green revolution was supposed to create thousands of more jobs, but what happened Ford announced the layoff of 3000 employees. So they get this huge boondoggle from the federal government to subsidize the cost of their electric vehicles. And then they lay off people at Ford motor company. It's just, it's just crushing. Uh, we need to cut them off. We, we really we've got to stop the subsidization if things are so good, the market will drive them in that direction. Speaker 0 00:24:30 Agreed. Um, okay. Net zero 50. I've heard it. Um, we see it hashtag all over Twitter, but not sure I entirely understand what it is. So, uh, why, what is it, why is it in your view, such a significant threat? Speaker 1 00:24:48 So those of us that are old enough to remember the Jim Jones cult and the Kool-Aid, well, the Kool-Aid is net zero, and this is it's the, the net zero, the Kool-Aid for the climate cult. And, and this is what they're fascinated with. Um, they're trying to drive our economy to reduce our carbon dioxide emissions to a level of zero. So whatever it is that we emit, then we have to somehow or another absorb it or come up with carbon capture technology. Part of the IRA, 2022 increased the 45 Q tax credit from $50, a metric ton to $85 a metric for companies to capture carbon dioxide from the environment. Something that I'm exhaling, every breath. I take something that I'm ingesting every time I have a Topo Chico or a LaCroix or a parer, I'm actually ingesting higher concentrations than what are in the atmosphere. Speaker 1 00:25:40 And I'm not spontaneously combusting when I do so. CO2 is not a pollutant though. The EPA would like you to believe it is. And so would the Obama and now Biden administrations. It's something that's a greenhouse gas that's necessary for life on earth. That makes up 0.04% of our atmosphere. And man is certainly increasing the contributions of CO2 in the atmosphere. And what's happened as a result. The planet is absorbing that CO2 and there was research that was just released within the last couple of months that shows our deserts are greening on the face of the earth. We're actually losing desert land and creating more land to grow crops on to feed more people. This is a good thing. Humans flourish in warmer climates and certainly where it's green and certainly not in desert. So I think that getting rid of some deserts might actually be good for the planet, but this is where the, the cult has, has locked onto CO2 emissions. Speaker 1 00:26:36 Partly because we've been world leaders at reducing harmful pollution here in the United States. So they can't really focus on that anymore. So they focus on CO2 again, necessary for life on earth and eliminating all of it. We've done the research we've used the UN intergovernmental panel on climate change. It's a called the magic model. It's an acronym with two CS at the end. The magic model is what they use to justify the Paris accord, which is called for net zero by 2050. If you, if every country appli that, that it complies with the Paris accord, the temperature differential is, is less than 0.1, seven degrees difference by 2100. So they're trying to stop two degrees of warming, which would be mild and manageable. If we continue to warm another two degrees on the planet and people will be able to mitigate with access to affordable, reliable energy, but it's not about that. Speaker 1 00:27:28 It's about controlling everything that we do. And the countries that have embraced net zero are in ruins. Some of them much faster than others. Sri. Lanka's the perfect example. The president ran in 2019 as the first net zero candidate on the face of the earth. And within three years of his presidency, it's a three year term. He didn't even finish his term. He fled to Singapore and resigned because he forced people to stop using fossil fueled base nitrogen based fertilizers and forced them to go organic farming overnight, and food production dropped 40 to 50%. They used to export rice. They used to export tea and they realized that they didn't grow enough. So they had to now import it from other countries, increasing their costs. There are fuel shortages reported throughout Sri Lanka. And just yesterday, I seen reports of one in five families in Sri Lanka, suffering from hunger, energy, poverty is poverty and reducing CO2 from the atmosphere. Doesn't do anything to mitigate a changing climate, but it does do everything to increase the cost of everything that we do. Speaker 0 00:28:35 All right. Uh, lots of questions coming in. So I don't wanna get too far behind. I'm gonna go to Facebook where Candace Montoya is asking, will we be able to get back all the L N G uh, liquid natural gas companies building their terminals in Mexico instead of the United States? So Speaker 1 00:28:57 I, I, I would hope so. And it's probably more likely that they'll get approved in Mexico than they will in the United States. The EPA just yesterday re re refused a permit application for a, a us solidified natural gas producer to increase their emission so that they could produce more liquified, natural gas and help people in Europe that are just devastating being, just being crushed because of the energy crisis there. Uh, and the EPA refused it. And so what will happen is you'll see more export terminals being built, uh, in Mexico. I've actually had the opportunity to visit a former LNG import terminal in Mexico that was being converted to an export terminal because they saw the opportunities for business, uh, in Asia alone. And so the, yes, I see more opportunities for building up LNG facilities in Mexico, uh, than in the United States at this time, which is, which is really unfortunate. We've gotta reduce these hurdles, these barriers across the globe, uh, so that people can be more, uh, ha have access to more affordable, reliable energy. Speaker 0 00:30:01 All right, YouTube, Glen Mitchell is asking back to the, the grid in Texas are Texas energy regulators making these nonsensical decisions for ideological reasons, or are they just stupid? Alternatively, they are being paid to make these decisions possibly what's going on. Speaker 1 00:30:22 I'll say it's influence. And having served in a legislative body, I understand firsthand the influence that people have that are getting paid to advocate for certain policy decisions they're lobbyist, right? Speaker 0 00:30:34 So, I mean, you just said the, uh, Texas representative makes $600 a month. Speaker 1 00:30:39 Yeah. Yes, absolutely. And so, you know, a member of the Texas house of representatives gets $600 a month. And so they have to have other careers. So they don't have all the time to be experts. And so people build relationships. It's just like sales, you build relationships with people, and then you exert your influence over them. And that's, that has to be what is happening at the public utility commission. The, the wind lobby is so strong. The solar lobby is so strong that they don't want to have any cost causation. They don't want to increase their cost whatsoever, even though this is, is much cheaper electricity. So they tell us because the fuel is free, but the construction, the maintenance and operation couldn't be further from the truth, but we need our, our, and not only our elected officials, but these people that are appointed to the public utility commission have really gotta stand up and be strong on the face O of the lobby that is driving these decisions that are ultimately increasing the cost of energy and electricity for everyone. Speaker 1 00:31:39 That's why, when I serve in leg legislative and legislature, it was tough. It, it was tough for me to make a living. As I mentioned, I'm not an attorney, I'm not retired, and I'm certainly not independently wealthy. We need more people that are like that serving in the legislature, and that are on these positions that understand it's tough to make a mortgage sometimes. And it's up tough to pay a utility bills sometimes, and that we shouldn't be doing anything that increases the cost on those, because ultimately that impacts the least among us more than anyone else. And so we really need some people that are out there fighting for the least among us, because that will benefit all of humanity. And I just don't think that we have that, uh, within our public utility commission right now, for some reason, they're just not doing this cost causation study. And so we are going to continue to advocate for our policy decisions here at the Texas public policy foundation, to make sure that the lawmakers, that we have relationships with that trust us to be principled on our, our policies and to not waiver. And hopefully we'll be able to develop strong enough relationships where we can get some more policy passed that requires a reliability standard for electric generation Speaker 0 00:32:48 Back to Facebook, Raul, uh, no, we, we went to him, we're going back to Twitter or Irene Malco asks. Do you think there is a maliciousness coming from legislators in California and banning gas cars? I mean, that's unbelievable. Speaker 1 00:33:06 It, it really is. It's just a lack of understanding now in California, their legislators are paid when they're at the capital. So there's an incentive to be at the capital all the time. They make more money when they're there. Uh, and as I always warn people, it's not what legislators do for you. It's what they do to you and California is doing to a lot of people is harming them uhfor or I guess fortunate for Texas, unfortunate for California, California is turning blue or the right minded. People are fleeing California. And they're going to states like Texas because of our, our economic Liberty that we still have here. Uh, so, but what they're doing is devastating. That's why there's a group called the 200, which is over 200 civil rights organizations that are suing the state of California. They're suing the California air resources board for violating the civil rights act. Speaker 1 00:33:59 They're saying that there policies that are being put in place from the California air resources board have a, uh, disparate impact on communities of color. And, and so it is it's increasing their cost of electricity, increasing their cost of transportation, forcing their them to live further away from where they work. Uh, and that again, affects the least among us more than anyone else. And ultimately that expensive energy is really, uh, crushing the poor in California. That's why they have the highest poverty rates of any state in the country. And it has to do with the policies that California is pushing. So it it's really UN it's frustrating. I'm sure Nancy Pelosi is not turning off the freezer or all of our high price price, uh, ice cream, uh, would melt. And she's probably not turning her thermostat to 80 degrees or she might melt. Um, but it, it, it's unfortunate. The policies that are being put in place by people in California are just devastating to the, to the least among us. Speaker 0 00:34:54 All right. I don't wanna give short shrift to Irene's question because, um, I mean, we were talking previously about not just the facts and the economics, but the morality. And so she asked about whether there is this level of, of maliciousness. I, she also is linking this to, um, what is happening and what happened to the Dutch farmers. So perhaps you can go into that, but I, I think, uh, she's onto something because it's almost like there is a, it's not just a callousness to, uh, all of the, the lower skilled workers or people that are working in agriculture or, um, having to use cars to, to get around to their jobs housekeepers and the life. Uh, but, but there's just almost a, um, a hatred of man. Speaker 1 00:35:48 Um, no, that's really what it is Speaker 0 00:35:49 For this primitive, uh, pastoral ideal. Speaker 1 00:35:54 Yeah. They're, they're very Malus and they think that man is the problem and, uh, that they need to get rid of us. I mean, Jane Goodall said this at the world economic forum that we need to get back to a population that we had in the 15 hundreds, if this planet is to survive, which sounds a lot like, oh, AOC saying, we've gotta do something or we're, we're not gonna, we're not gonna make it. Um, it it's, it's very frightening. And the population of this country in the 15 hundreds was 95% lower than what it is today. So Jane Goodall, who loves the apes, wants to eliminate man to the tune of over, you know, 7 billion of us and the policies that they're driving this great reset that the world economic forum is pushing that the inter international monetary fund that the United nations, they are very Malthusian. Speaker 1 00:36:40 And, and you look at those world banks and those world entities, they're driving these policies that are hurting people. The world economic forum said they would come in and buy these Dutch farmers out. Well, the Dutch farmers are some of the most efficient farmers in the face of the earth, utilizing nitrogen based fertilizer to produce food and, and, and, and animals for us, for human consumption, more responsibly than across the globe. And now they're being punished in saying, you have to decarbonize your farming. And so it's crushing them. So what does the world economic farm wanna come in and buy their farmland from them? Well, farmers don't wanna sell their farmland. They wanna farm. They wanna provide for their families. They wanna provide for people around the world and that's exactly what they were doing. And so they're seeing these policies creep in through bodies of people that they have not elected. Speaker 1 00:37:30 Uh, and, and you look at investments in developing countries, the United nations, the world bank, the world trade organization, world economic forum will not allow funds to be used in countries. If they're investing in infrastructure based on fossil fuels. And, and they want to get us to net zero again, that's where Malawi is at net zero. It's not on my list of places. I want to go for a tour. And neither is Ethiopia where people are starving, where, where women walk all day to collect water, but these institutions will not make funds available for Ethiopia. If they're developing infrastructure based on fossil fuels, there's a great YouTube video that UNICEF did. It's called Isha a Y S H a and it's, it's all about a two minute video. And it's a day in the life of this 13 year old girl who spends eight hours by herself walking to collect water, to provide for her family. Speaker 1 00:38:22 Now she'll carry 44 pounds of water. So 22 kilograms of water, 20 kilograms of water for each person in her family. That's why she has a camel and some plastic jugs, but eight hours a day, she's walking to collect water. Now the UN the technology that will make available for Isha and other women in Ethiopia is implantable birth control, because they know they're going to be attacked on their journey, which is just absolutely heartbreaking. It's criminal in my mind that, but they won't allow fossil fuel investments in these country develop their own resources to produce, increase their economic prosperity and their environmental leadership. It it's, it's just absolutely criminal and it hurts women more than anyone else. Women spend 200 million hours a day walking to collect water. And here in Texas, in the United States, really north America, we stand over the key to ending that poverty with our fossil fuels that we have underneath our feet. And we can produce them more responsibly than anywhere else in the world, improving the environment and improving mankind at the same time. But there's this conglomerate of world organizations, this liberal world order that thinks that they know what's best for mankind, and it's really to get rid of us in my opinion. And so we've gotta stop. We've gotta fight back and push our countries to get out of these organizations. We've gotta fight for free markets, individual, Liberty, and personal responsibility. Speaker 0 00:39:48 So, uh, we talked before about trying to understand, uh, the motives of those who are pushing some of these very destructive policies, um, that are restricting affordable and reliable energy. Um, I have to also scratch my head at the motives of some, even within, uh, the, the oil community. Uh, there was a story that was not too long ago about the American petroleum Institute, which represents Exxon Chevron, British Propole, uh, British, uh, petroleum and other major oil companies that endorsed attacks on oil and gas production. What could possibly be the motive for that? Speaker 1 00:40:38 Well, unfortunately you look at those companies and who makes up a majority of their ownership and it's companies like BlackRock state street and Vanguard. These are the largest financial institutions in the world that take pension dollars from firefighters, from teachers, from police officers. They take municipal bond debt, and they take 401k investments and they invest in these companies. They buy shares of Exxon and then they vote their shares. And so that's why they've been successful at getting shareholder resolutions passed because they collude, they're like a cartel colluding together, likely in, in violation of antitrust laws. And it's nice to see some attorneys general across the country that are starting to stick their heads up on this, uh, and investigate these companies for likely antitrust violations, but they're voting these shares and forcing the boards to adopt shareholder resolutions, to comply with Paris. And I think in Paris is not law of the land in the United States. Speaker 1 00:41:36 And I think forcing a company to comply with the treaty that's meant for countries and not for companies that's not been adopted. The United States should be illegal, and we're gonna work on policy to reflect that in states across the United States, but forcing them to comply with Paris to decarbonize. And if you don't, we're gonna replace your board members. And that's exactly what happened at Exxon BlackRock and others led the initiative to replace three board members with activist board members that want to decarbonize a business that produces hydrocarbons, that I, I use the, the metaphor it's like de fooding a restaurant. Uh, it just doesn't make sense. And they're forcing this energy transition on us when really the fossil fuels and nuclear energy that we have at our disposal today is really our third millennium energy. It's not 20th century energy. It's not 14th century energy like windmills, but we have this third millennium energy, a thousand year supply of natural gas, 400 year supply of coal, four, 300 year supply of oil. Speaker 1 00:42:39 And that's just known reserves. And someone says, well, what are you gonna do when you run out? I say, well, I'll find another Texan. And he, or she will find more. That's what we've proven here in Texas, that we know how to go out and find, and it's, it's almost like in our, our genetics, we can go out and find oil around the world, proven very successful at it, which has been incredible capitalism and fossil fuels. In my opinion, have been the two greatest thing for mankind on the face of the earth ever. And that'll continue to be the case unless we have governments and, and like the EU and the world economic forum forcing this great reset on us. We've gotta stop and push back Speaker 0 00:43:17 Recently, the Biden administration's, uh, climate czar, John Kerry told PBS that solar and wind are less expensive than coal or oil or gas. They are just less expensive. And is that in, in what way is that statement possibly true? Um, and if they are less expensive, why do they need a hundred billion dollars to subsidize them? Speaker 1 00:43:49 Yeah, that's, that's the answer to the question right there, then why do they need all the billions of dollars and continued subsidies, the production tax credit that's been going on for decades? And I talk a little bit about this in my pre U video that I think it's 40 years, they've had this opportunity for not only the investment tax credit, but the production tax credit. And then the left will scream that fossil fuels gets billions of dollars in subsidies too, which is usually referred to as their investment tax credit that they get as well, that any business gets for making new investments. They get to write off those investments. Uh, but when you look at on the amount of energy that's produced, solar gets over $80. A megawatt hour of electricity. A megawatt is about how much the average family uses in the United States over a course of a month. Speaker 1 00:44:37 So solar electricity gets at $80. A megawatt hour wind is, is $25 a megawatt hour, just in the, the federal production tax credit and oil and natural gas. If you look at their subsidies and believe me, we had some people in the oil and gas industry that just tore us up for this saying, I don't get any subsidies from the federal government. Well, yes, we're including tax credits in here, cuz we want to compare apples to apples. It's 39 cents for an equivalent amount of electricity produced. So 39 cents for natural gas, for $80 for solar, why do they need those subsidies to survive? And, and when you look at the fuel, yes, the fuel is cheaper. But when you look at the construction maintenance, ongoing operation, the life expectancy, uh, they are certainly not cheaper. They're a lot less dense. Wind takes up 75 times. The amount of acreage. Speaker 1 00:45:28 This always gets me because the climate cult talks about loss of, uh, endangered species and the greatest threat that they claim. The loss of endangered species is loss of habitat. Well, the equivalent of, for natural gas for wind production is 75 acres compared to what would be required for a, a little three or I'm sorry, 75 miles to compared for three square miles for natural gas or one mile for, for nuclear. You need 27 times the amount of land for solar. So 27 square miles of solar panels to produce what one nuclear power plant can produce, what a devastating loss of habitat. It's interesting because you have leftist like Michael Moore, who I never recommend to see any of his movies, but he came out with planet of the humans. A couple of years ago, he was immediately canceled. It was deleted from YouTube, even though he put it up for free it's back, but he talked about the loss of habitat and how they used to have to protest mountaintop removal for coal in Vermont to now they're having to protest mountaintops from being removed for unreliable variable wind. That is just not good dense energy. Speaker 0 00:46:39 And is his complaint and objection more about, Hey, this has bad environmental impacts or it's going to have, uh, you know, dangers to wildlife or is he also taking into account? Uh, the fact that people's property is being, um, destroyed or, you know, unserved. Speaker 1 00:47:00 Yeah. Uh, really all, all the above that you mentioned there, it is about the loss of habitat, the environmental concern. He starts to go in and look at some of the companies that are con getting some of these subsidies. That's one of the reasons why you see the majors at API that are coming out in support of this carbon tax, uh, because they're, they're now being forced by their, these lead investment companies, BlackRock state street, Vanguard, uh, they're being forced to invest in renewable energy so they can decarbonize their business. They can decarbonize their portfolio. And that's another reason why many of them advocated for in support of creating or increasing this 45 Q tax credit, $85 per ton of CO2. There's really a benefit to increase CO2 emissions for mankind in the face of the earth. But the fact that they wanna put a cost of carbon is absolutely incredible and is really detrimental to mankind. Speaker 0 00:47:57 Okay. Uh, let's see, going back to Instagram, my modern GAT asks, why do these green groups ignore the environmental damage done to mine, lithium for batteries or the dangers of cadium leaking in solar panels? Speaker 1 00:48:18 Oh, it's such such a good question. I, I wish I knew the answer to that because for every ton of rare earth elements mine to, to go into computers, phones, electric cars, solar panels, their mind in, in China for every ton of earth elements, mind you create a ton of radioactive waste. You create 3,800 tons of toxic waste. And there's a reason why it's mind in China using slave labor because they could care less about the environment. They could care less about human rights. We could, we have those minerals in the ground here in the United States, but you can't do it as, and compete cost wise with China because they'll do it with slave labor and they'll do it without the environmental control. There are cancer communities in China now where people are just have been so devastatingly poorly affected by the mining that's happening in their communities. Speaker 1 00:49:14 UNICEF reports, there's 40,000 kids between the ages of four and 13 that are mining cobalt in Africa with Chinese owned minds. Why is the climate cult not talking about this? And the reason they're not is because it doesn't fit their narrative. They're not concerned with humanity. And, and quite honestly, I, I think that's why we've had some people that have flipped like Michael Shellenberger in the last few years who has really become the one of the leading left voices on climate realism and how it it's, we're not in apocalyptic times where anything, but, and it shouldn't be one of our top concerns pushing for affordable, reliable energy should be one of our top concerns for the benefit of mankind. People like Bjorn, Lomborg, uh, people like Steve Coonan. These are typically leftists that are now coming in my opinion to, to the right side on energy production, because they recognize, uh, the devastation that's being done, uh, to, to habitat to man, uh, in the name of going green. But there's really not a whole lot green. The only green there is about it is you're fattening the pocket books of, of the climate cold people like John Kerry and Al gore, Speaker 0 00:50:24 Uh, absolutely could not agree more on Coon and Shellenberger, those were two of the best interviews that, uh, of course RD now by yours, that we've done here on the ATLA society asks. So we're going to put those, uh, links in as well so that people can check out those, um, as well. All right, well, we're rounding up on less than 10 minutes here. Uh, so I'm gonna just grab a couple of more, I thought this is an interesting one bill Faulkner on Facebook asks, what do you think are the risks of tapping into the strategic oil reserve? Is there a need for the government to do more of that? Speaker 1 00:51:06 It's actually a threatening. So you're distorting the markets even further by trapping into the strategic petroleum reserve take. Typically, I think it's taking a million gallons which will run out of a avail, what they, what they said, they're gonna do a drawdown of, but that's competing with American businesses at a time when prices are high. So you're further devastating American energy production by again, distorting the market. We really don't need a strategic petroleum reserve. It was put in place in a time of war. Uh, but it, now that they're releasing it, we're going to draw that down significantly. And so what you'll see is you'll see a price spike when they stop doing the drawdowns of that, but it it's just more market manipulation that the government shouldn't be doing. Speaker 0 00:51:52 Okay. Slim Tim on Twitter asks is America's energy industry outdated due to regulations stopping new facilities. Speaker 1 00:52:05 I, I would say so when it comes to like electric generations. So yes, because there's just not the capital to invest, especially our nuclear energy. Uh, there has, hasn't been the construction of new nuclear plants. So we've essentially lost a generation of scientists and, and really construction workers that know how to build these and make these the most efficient they possibly can. It's our in independence, it's the small, independent oil and gas companies that are really driving the innovation right now, but so much emphasis it's like electric car. So much emphasis is put on increasing the fuel economy, uh, lengthening the batteries, keep in mind electric vehicles weigh thousands of pounds more than traditional internal combustion engine. So they're creating more wear and tear on the roads that are gonna have a hired cost, uh, than a standard Indus internal combustion engine. But we haven't focused on increasing the efficiency of internal combustion engines because the government is saying we have to go all electric. Speaker 1 00:53:02 The first transition we should have made is to this hybrid electric. That's what the market would've dictated, but unfortunately the government manipulate, manipulated the market and has, has forced that innovation into other areas. And so I, yeah, I would say that there are some cases with electric generation where we're not seeing the innovation that we should have seen because of big government, uh, really forcing this energy transition on us when it's not needed. Uh, again, we've this, we're, we're sitting on our third millennium of energy, uh, right now under our feet. And we should be utilizing that increasing the efficiency of the technology that utilizes that. Speaker 0 00:53:40 Okay. Uh, Ben Benji, Cordy on Instagram says, I'm not sure if I missed this, his answer, but was curious about hydro electric power seems to work in some places I've been in Europe. Speaker 1 00:53:54 A absolutely it does work in certain places in, in Europe, uh, especially when you have a shifting electric rates. So you, you there's places in Europe that will have hydro dams up on the top of mountains. And that will release that water to generate electricity during peak times. And then as the electric rates drop, they actually pump that water back up the mountain to store, uh, in those lakes and it, but it's, it's all based on price volatility, and really leveling out the cost of the market. So there are certain places where geographically, where it makes sense, uh, and there are others where it just doesn't make sense. And it's the same thing with coal and natural gas. There are certain places like Wyoming, 86% of their electric generation is from coal. And if you've never been to Wyoming, it's one of the most beautiful places on the face of the earth. Speaker 1 00:54:40 Uh, in my opinion, I love it. Love the mountaintops love, um, love to go there, but 86% of their electric generation comes from coal. You think it'd be one of the dirtiest places on the face of the earth though. It's not because of pollution control technology. And as I testified in front of the Senate environment, public works committee a few weeks ago, I joked, I said, of all the technology that Chinese steal from us, it'd be nice if they would utilize our pollution control technology and they don't. Um, and that actually impacts our air quality here in the United States. Asian air pollution makes its way across the Pacific and impacts the us with increased mercury deposits. And that's what this committee hearing was about reducing mercury emissions. And, and I said the best way to do that is to get China, to maybe meet safe air standards. But instead they're trying to get them to focus on carbon dioxide emissions, which they're not gonna let up on that either. Uh, so it it's interesting, but there are certain places where hydro makes sense certain places where coal makes sense, natural gas, uh, and that's why we should have various forms of electric generation preferably all without subsidies. Speaker 0 00:55:42 I could not agree with that more. I'm gonna apologize to, uh, the people out there that have also submitted some really terrific questions we are just about out of time. So we're not gonna be able to get to all of them. And I also wanted to give our guest, uh, maybe an opportunity. You know, we've talked about some of the head scratching, strange, uh, policies, uh, California, where I live, um, telling people that they have to have electric cars and then telling them they can't charge their electric cars, things like that. But, uh, when you also look maybe across the horizon, um, what are some reasons for optimism or where are you you finding that, uh, there may be some ways of hope. Speaker 1 00:56:33 Well, I think what's happening in Texas and other states is, is we recognized that not only were people being indoctrinated in our public schools. And so we were successful at changing some of our curriculum standards to kids to learn about all forms of energy produced and the actual benefits to human flourishing and, and prosperity, which is a great change that we put in our students, uh, education curriculum last year, but also to the financial institutions. And we passed a bill, I wrote the first draft of the bill that says, if you're gonna boycott fossil fuels, then you can't do business with this state of Texas. And this really has the, and I've had several meetings with the world's largest financial institution since we passed that bill BlackRock, and this has put them back on their heels. They didn't, they did not see this coming. They thought that they were living in their woke world and that all these ideologies that they were pushing on, other people unde undemocratically mind you with other people's money. Speaker 1 00:57:26 They thought that that was great. That was leading to this green panacea. Well, we kind of woke 'em up to clients and let 'em know that decarbonizing the planet doesn't do anything to improve the planet. It just increases the cost of energy and hurts humans the most. Uh, and so it's been kind of fun with that. Bill's now passed in a total of five states. You have, uh, over 20 state treasures that are part of the state financial officers foundation that are pushing back. You have groups like heritage, heritage action for America, America. First policy Institute, America first works, um, Heartland Institute. I know I'm probably gonna leave some out, but we are working diligently across the country to educate policy makers on the benefits of affordable, reliable energy and how detrimental it is to have financial institutions that are discriminating against American energy producers. Speaker 1 00:58:13 While they're dumping billions into Chinese companies, they're taking money out of the us. That doesn't make sense, and they shouldn't be rewarded with our tax or pension dollars, uh, here in certain states, if not all states. So, uh, I'm optimistic for the future that people are really gonna wake up and start to question the science of, wait, what is this whole net zero thing? What does decarbonization do for me? And they're, they're, they're finding out that it costs them a lot more money and all the polling shows that people are concerned by and large with a changing climate, but they're not willing to pay more. And you get into over half of the population says they're not willing to pay even $10 more per month to stop the climate from changing. Well, you could pay all of your money and the climate's not gonna stop changing. Speaker 1 00:58:56 Uh, that's just the way that this world spends. Um, but even even spending $10 a month, which, which American families already are with the inflation reduction act that just passed with other policies that are put in place, the renewable portfolio standards, the corporate average fuel economy standards, Americans are already paying and they're paying through the nose. And I think people are starting to wake up and they're starting to look at Atlas for leadership and guidance on what to do and how to do it and do it effectively so that we can actually push back and promote economic prosperity in environmental leadership once again, in this country and beyond. Speaker 0 00:59:32 Wow, well that talk about ending on a high note. Um, I will go with that. Thank you, Jason. We can follow you up probably best on Twitter, Speaker 1 00:59:42 Life, life powered on Twitter, life powered on Instagram. Uh, and, and, uh, gosh, we're on other social media as well, but we will get back. And so we'll look at the comments afterwards and see if we can go through and answer some of the questions on the various networks that you're on. Ja. It's great to be. Speaker 0 00:59:56 Wow. Wow. I really appreciate that. Yeah. So nobody's gonna feel, um, feel left out. So I appreciate that. Thank you, Jason. Thanks to all of you who joined us today. The, the many who submitted so many great questions, appreciate it. And if you appreciate the kind of programming that we provide at the Atlas society, uh, we don't do it for, you know, making a profit. We're doing it to try and help raise people's philosophical IQ in America and across, uh, the world. So please consider making a tax deductible donation to support our work. Um, go ahead, take a quick break. I will be back on clubhouse in a half an hour, talking to our senior scholar, uh, Steven Hicks and asking anything on philosophy. And then next week I'll be back with my interview with the great Zubi. Um, he's a rapper fitness expert. I'm sure he, you all know him, so, uh, that'll be a lot of fun. So Speaker 1 01:00:59 I'm excited to see Zubi. That's awesome. Speaker 0 01:01:01 Yeah. Terrific. All right. Well thanks Ben. And, uh, we'll see you soon.

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