This commentary was originally published in Daily Caller.
With another major train derailment in West Virginia just weeks after the toxic wreck in East Palestine, Ohio — two of a dozen such accidents in 2023 — many are wondering if train wrecks are on the rise. While many factors have led to the increase in train derailments since President Biden took office, one surprising contributor is the administration’s energy policy.
Biden’s energy policies are, you might say, a literal train wreck.
Gas prices are a full dollar higher under President Biden than under the pro-energy, pro-business policies of the Trump administration. But diesel prices have spiked even more dramatically, leaping from $2.55 a gallon in 2020 to a painful $4.99 in 2022. It makes sense that this would drive an additional increase in the cost of goods, but it also means companies are rethinking the way they ship their products.
For bulk cargo like lumber, coal, steel, chemicals, and even cars, trucking has long been the natural choice because of its speed and flexibility. It’s much simpler and quicker to get a truckload of goods out the door than it is to coordinate a freight delivery with a third-party railway. But trucking is considerably more expensive, especially with diesel prices through the roof.
So, many companies are making the switch to rail, sacrificing nimbleness for cost — a decision so many of us facing tightening grocery budgets understand.
Combined with data suggesting rail safety may be waning and increased demand creating longer trains, this is yet another reason to question the Biden administration’s anti-fossil fuel policies.
Because painful gas and diesel price hikes are a direct result of President Biden’s publicly avowed crusade to end fossil fuels. He told us as much: “I guarantee you we’re going to end fossil fuels.”
Since his inauguration, President Biden has demanded oil companies increase production all while keeping their hands tied. He’s begged Saudi Arabia for more oil instead of empowering American energy producers, instead slamming them with crippling regulatory costs. He’s let the Strategic Petroleum Reserve dip to precarious levels and engaged in egregious executive overreach to promote the climate agenda without the hassle of the legislative process. He’s even pledged to circumvent the legislative process entirely and veto a bill to prevent climate politics from Americans’ retirement investments following the path of the now failed Silicon Valley Bank.
And don’t be fooled by Biden’s recent approval of Willow, an $8 billion ConocoPhillips oil project in Alaska; he lost in court and was forced to approve it. The project will drag on for years in legal battles, and his crony eco-predators are already lining up to kill the project by a thousand regulatory cuts.
Politicians are notorious for letting lofty campaign promises slip through the cracks, blaming bureaucracy for their overcommitment and underperformance. Unfortunately for the American people, Biden is making excellent progress on his promise to destroy the affordable, reliable energy sources we rely on.
Despite all this, even if Biden managed to fulfill his pipe dream of slashing American greenhouse gas emissions in half, his agenda would fail utterly at stopping climate change. The same climate models used by the left to proclaim Chicken Little climate prophecies show that even banning fossil fuels entirely wouldn’t work. Going all in on the Green New Deal would, according to the “science” we’re all supposed to follow blindly, result in less than two-tenths of a degree difference.
In fact, it might actually increase greenhouse gas emissions, because eliminating fossil fuels doesn’t mean we won’t need energy anymore. Nothing about modern life would be possible without affordable, reliable energy (including manufacturing and shipping wind turbines and solar panels) so taking down the American fossil fuel industry would simply deindustrialize our country to the benefit of others, namely China. It would also destroy huge swaths of wildlife across the country to make room for the literal millions of acres of panels, turbines, and transmission lines — 6 million acres on the conservative side for Texas alone.
If the environment is your goal, buying oil from unstable nations with lax pollution and human rights standards is the worst possible option.
And it’s certainly not a good option if you want to keep the trains running on time — or running at all.
For so many reasons, not the least of which is safety on our railways and surrounding communities, America must reject President Biden’s anti-energy agenda and proudly embrace our most affordable, reliable sources of energy: fossil fuels.