Peter Roff: Joe Biden’s upcoming Chinese solar mess | Opinions

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Pierre Roff

Despite widespread public skepticism, President Joe Biden continues to push for the adoption of renewable energy at the expense of traditional sources, such as oil and natural gas.

Biden’s continued hostility to the conventional energy mix is ​​a major reason why the price we pay at the pump is quickly becoming unaffordable for many American families.

Meanwhile, green energy proponents are cheering, seeing any drop in fossil fuel consumption as leading to a reduction in greenhouse gases.

It’s music to their ears. Yet, while they set the tone, we pay the bell ringer.

Most Americans are all in favor of doing “something” about climate change, but they are not willing to pay a lot to do it. If this is a problem, it is a global problem that the United States cannot solve on its own, let alone afford to solve. Every nation must participate, but many do not have the means to do so.

Some, countries like China, simply refuse. Its use of coal to power its industrial sector is growing so rapidly that it easily wipes out the benefits of any U.S. carbon emissions cuts — but that’s only part of the problem.

Most Americans don’t realize how much the Biden administration‘s plan for future US energy production depends on China.

The renewable energy strategy does not work if, for example, cheap Chinese solar components are not allowed in the United States. That’s why the White House acted quickly to allow them to continue to compete unfairly with American-made products by suspending tariffs on certain products from China.

It was a step in the wrong direction. First, it takes energy resources away from the United States and stifles innovations from producers working to provide Americans with cleaner, more affordable energy.

Former Rep. Harold Ford, D-Tenn., got it right when he urged Biden to ‘stop vilifying America’s energy producers, many of whom are leading the development of technologies to mitigate carbon emissions and effect the transition towards cleaner energy.

Second, Biden signals that his administration is willing to turn a blind eye to human rights abuses in pursuit of the green dream. Nearly 40% of the world’s production of polysilicon important for making solar panels comes from China’s Xinjiang region, where the State Department says genocide and slave labor are widespread.

Nowhere are these two points more in evidence than in the US Virgin Islands, where a prime example of what one watchdog group has dubbed a “Solar Boondoggle” is about to begin. In March 2022, Virgin Islands Governor Albert Bryan announced plans to switch the territory’s power generation completely to solar.

Andrew Smith, who heads the US territory’s energy authority, WAPA, recently said switching to solar would be a boon for the island “because solar is effectively free”. You could call him naive fun, except he might be right, especially if the Biden administration ends up sending the bill for the transition to the American taxpayers.

To have a chance of making this solar pipe dream a reality, moving economics demands that Bryan and the Virgin Islands use cheaper Chinese components, regardless of the impact on American industry or the possibility that they can benefit from slave labor.

Now replicate this model in cities, counties and states across America and think of the mess it will cause.

Whether we like it or not, Democrats are taking action to bring their dream of an America that runs on renewable energy to life. And they do so despite the realities of the market, the scientific barriers to overcome, and the global challenges inherent in such an effort.

In pursuit of its green goals, the Biden administration ignores why it is wise to avoid China, because it needs China to do what it wants.

Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, chairman of the Congressional China Task Force, said suspending tariffs amounted to granting “amnesty to products that the administration has admitted are genocide-related and to slave labor”.

So, in addition to being a colossal waste of taxpayers’ money, the Biden Solar Boondoggle is a stain on America’s human rights record that we will all pay for, one way or another. .

– Peter Roff is senior researcher at Frontiers of Freedom, editor of Newsweek and former editor of US News & World Report. Contact him at [email protected]follow him on Twitter: @PeterRoff or connect with him on Facebook. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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