- - Friday, December 18, 2020

With the support of the Trump administration, the United States of America supercharged an energy revolution powered by clean, affordable, abundant and domestic natural gas.

We lead the world in lowered carbon emissions and have now reached a 30-year low in carbon dioxide emissions in large part due to the increased use of natural gas. We have also reduced our energy trade deficit by 87%, which has helped us greatly reduce our dependence on foreign sources of energy, including Russia. This has also helped American consumers, whose energy prices are significantly lower; in fact, a 2019 study concluded that the drop in the price of natural gas has resulted in 11,000 fewer winter deaths per year.

But the election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, the latter of which fully supports the Green New Deal, puts America’s energy gains at risk. Through executive action at the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Energy, the Department of the Interior and the Department of Justice, the Biden administration will have a cornucopia of tools to slow our natural gas industry, thereby increasing consumer costs as well as our dependence on foreign rivals for energy sources.

We have seen the dangers during COVID-19 of being too reliant on China for our supply chains, and we are likely to be exposed to the same risks with our energy supply chains going forward.

Fortunately, executive actions by the Biden administration can only roll back our progress so much. In order to truly enact the energy killing policies the radical left demands, the Biden administration must be able to pass sweeping legislation that mirrors the Green New Deal. Without control of the Senate, it will be impossible to do so.

That is why the Georgia Senate runoff elections in January are so crucial to our country’s future. If Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock are elected, it would give Minority Leader Chuck Schumer the votes to end the legislative filibuster. Even if Sen. Joe Manchin were to stick to his word about not voting for the end of the legislative filibuster, Mr. Ossoff has said he would end the filibuster while the far-left Mr. Warnock refuses to answer the question, which could reasonably be viewed as a yes. 

The end of the filibuster would mean that legislation passed by the House — such as the Green New Deal — would need only 50 Democrats plus Vice President Harris in order to pass and reach President Biden’s desk for signature. 

The economic impact of signing the Green New Deal into law would be devastating. It would cost $71 trillion in GDP due to the impact of its ban on natural gas extraction alone, and the U.S. would lose 7.5 million jobs in 2022 (4.5% of the American workforce) and average a loss of 3.8 million jobs per year through 2030.

The average American household would lose approximately $5,040 in income per year; a hit that would hurt low income families the most. Americans could also expect to spend $618 more per year on energy, residential natural gas prices would be 58% higher, gasoline prices would be 15% higher, and electricity prices would be 20% higher per family, per year.

Moreover, the United States would shift from a net energy exporter, to having to import 30% of its natural gas needs by 2030. As House Minority Whip Steve Scalise pointed out on the Empowering America Podcast, America will still use natural gas — but after the Green New Deal that natural gas would not be extracted and processed in America, but by our geopolitical rival Russia.

In addition to providing a glide path for the passage of the Green New Deal, ending the legislative filibuster would enable a Biden administration to pack the U.S. Supreme Court, thereby erasing the 6-3 constitutionalist majority by adding four or more new Supreme Court justices. With this new, left-wing and activist majority, the Supreme Court would likely reject valid constitutional arguments against the Biden administration’s wrongheaded energy policies, and they would likely rule for every billionaire-funded radical group that seeks to roll back our energy gains with lawsuit after lawsuit against domestic energy producers.

All the while Vladimir Putin and his Russian oligarchs can sit back, laugh and roll in the money they are making by our dependence on natural gas.

It is therefore not an understatement to say that the future of America depends on what happens in Georgia’s two Senate runoffs. If the radical left controls the Senate, the Biden administration will have all the power to roll back our energy revolution. Millions of Americans will suffer with higher energy prices at the same time as they are recovering from a global pandemic. This will assuredly not hurt the country’s millionaires and billionaires, but rather the hard-working Americans living paycheck-to-paycheck while trying to save for their children’s education and their own retirement.

Meanwhile, our foreign adversaries will gain control over our energy supply, leaving us at the mercy of dictators, oceans away, who will gladly use their newfound position of economic power to harm America.

The next four years of a Biden administration will be difficult for American consumers and its energy independence, but the result of the Georgia runoffs will determine whether that difficulty is a temporary setback for America or one that will set our country back permanently.

• Ian Prior is the national spokesman for The Empowerment Alliance.

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