The Phony Climate Change Catastrophe… And Why Americans Will Foot the Bill
The comments below are an edited and abridged synopsis of an article by David Stockman
When it comes to capital waste, there is nothing more destructive than the campaign to eliminate CO2 emissions in the name of saving the planet from a phony climate change catastrophe.
In the US, a green energy plan is in place, geared to inducing US oil companies to build the equivalent of energy pyramids, likely resulting in corporate suicide down the road.
Trillions worth of capital stock will be dismantled before their useful lives are over and will be replaced with low-efficiency wind and solar power. Schemes like carbon capture from ambient air will be heavily subsidized.
For instance, the carbon-capture scheme to which Occidental Petroleum (Oxy) plans to allocate billions. Huge amounts of energy and materials will be used to build and operate these monstrosities.
This loony idea could be because Oxy recently took a stake in Carbon Engineering, backed by Bill Gates, which developed a system to capture, purify and compress CO2. Warren Buffett is Oxy’s controlling shareholder.
Oxy’s plant will be based in Texas, with giant fields of fans pulling ambient air into huge containers. Massive amounts of energy and chemicals will be used to separate CO2 from the air and create pellets. These will be heated to release pure carbon dioxide, which will be compressed for transportation through pipelines and funneled deep underground.
Oxy is doing this with help from lavish government subsidies. Richard Jackson, an Oxy executive, is clearly drinking the Kool-Aid: “We can turn CO2 into value,” he said.
Well, no, they will be doing just the opposite: Turning valuable CO2, on which plant and animal life depends, into dead material to be buried deep in the earth, and at enormous waste of economic resources.
Oxy estimates its initial cost to remove a tonne of CO2 will be between $400 and $500. It claims that as it manufactures more plants and efficiencies kick in, it will be able to reduce that. But—waste is waste.
This loss to society will be compounded by federal tax credits. Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act rewards companies that capture and store CO2 with a $180 tax credit per tonne, so taxpayers will foot the bill.
There’s more: Washington will mandate energy producers, auto producers, airlines, most other businesses, and eventually households to purchase CO2 credits from schemes like Oxy’s carbon capture boondoggle for the privilege of engaging in daily economic life and commerce.
Oxy will be double-charging Americans for the madness of carbon capture—first in the tax credits and then in the higher cost of everyday goods and services affected by the mandates to purchase carbon credits.
This attack on rationality and economic productivity might make sense if CO2 were a dangerous pollutant, but it is not; it is necessary for plant and animal life.