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John Kerry's Policies Have Brought The Economy To Below Zero

Unleash American energy to avoid an economic slowdown.

LBJ Library David Hume Kennerly, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

At the end of our economic segment last night, I asked a former assistant treasury secretary, Michael Faulkender, if there’s one thing he could suggest to keep us out of recession.

Here’s his reply: “I think the most important thing we can do, Larry, is unleash American energy. At the end of the day, low-cost access to energy has broad impact across the economy. And so the most that we can do to help economic ingenuity here in the United States is to bring down energy prices and to end the war on American energy.”

It was a concise, on-target, superb answer by a distinguished economist, and though the clock ran out on the segment, I wanted to remind everyone what a former energy secretary, Rick Perry, told me on the radio last Saturday. He said that “free-market capitalism and abundant fossil fuel reserves were the greatest contributor to American success and prosperity.” He added that “most of the rest of the world would agree.”

Not the Bidens, of course.

The Biden administration on a daily basis has waged war with the American oil and gas industry — the best in the world, it employs more than 11 million people and produces the cleanest fossil fuels anywhere.

The Biden war on fossils has been a disaster. It has contributed to high inflation, killed family budgets, sunk real worker wages, and led to recession. It has damaged our economic security at home and our national security abroad — an unmitigated disaster.

Now, President Biden’s climate tsar, John Kerry, speaking in Egypt today, continued to pound fossil fuels, arguing that “the math and the science unequivocally make clear we just can’t hit net zero” unless we “dramatically” lower investments in fossil fuels.

With respect to Mr. Kerry, I would suggest that this administration’s policies have brought the economy to net zero — indeed, below zero with the record high inflation. Plus, I would add that the math and science make no such unequivocal assertion.

People of good will and common sense have argued for decades that in the event of climate change, all power sources should be working side by side: fossils, renewables, hydro, nuclear. You can’t take out 75 percent of our power without an alternative game plan — which the Bidens have never provided.

After the Green New Deal bill — fraudulently called the Inflation Reduction Act — passed in August, a climate analyst, Bjorn Lomborg, using the UN Climate model, suggested that $400 billion of more climate spending might reduce the temperature by 28-thousandths of one degree Fahrenheit.

Mr. Lomborg and others have repeatedly suggested that after $5 trillion of  spending globally in recent decades, the global climate needle has barely moved. I will add that many in this crowd of climate existentialists don’t know the difference between changes in the temperature, or today’s weather, and long-run climate trends over 50 to 100 years.

Now, back to the sensible positions of Messrs. Faulkender and Perry: I don’t think anybody out there understands how important fossil fuels and resources are to our everyday economy. We all talk about how shutting down the spigots has jacked up inflation and pushed us into recession, but we need to talk about just how essential fossil fuel resources are to everyday products in our lives.

Know what requires fossil fuels? Phones, clothes, toothpaste, asphalt, trash bags, laptops ... hang on, I’m just getting warmed up. Don’t forget diapers, pacifiers, and toys used by parents and babies around the world that are all made with oil or natural gas or both. Hang on another second: In hospital operating rooms that keep us healthy, fossils are used in life-saving products and equipment such as pacemakers, MRIs, IV bags and tubes, surgical instruments, monitors, and stethoscopes.

Also, fossils are critical to prosthetics, hearing aids, glasses, and contact lenses. Wait again: Chemicals derived from petroleum also help make soaps, antiseptics, aspirin, and life-saving pharmaceuticals used by emergency care doctors and physicians.

I know I have to end this list somewhere, but there are about 150 more products based on fossils listed by the energy department. I can’t read all of them, but I see tennis rackets, tents, tires, toothbrushes, backpacks, ball-point pens, beach umbrellas, dog collars, fertilizers, golf bags, golf balls, guitar strings, hair curlers, and insect repellent.

All right, enough already. Basically, everything in everyday life uses fossil fuel-related resources. You get my point. Here’s the problem: John Kerry doesn’t get my point. President Biden doesn't get my point.

Happily, my friend Rick Perry does get my point, and he touted free-market capitalism along with fossil resources.

It is precisely our free enterprise system that will innovate, invent, and create the new technologies that will solve whatever climate problems we have over the next 100 years — not the government central-planners, but free people, using their God-given talents. Isn't that really the single most important key point?

From Mr. Kudlow’s broadcast on Fox Business News.

Larry Kudlow was the Director of the National Economic Council under President Trump from 2018-2021. His Fox Business show "Kudlow" airs at 4 p.m &. and his radio show airs on 770 ABC from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

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