- - Tuesday, August 30, 2022

President Joe Biden has touted his massive, partisan spending law as “the most significant legislation in history to tackle the climate crisis.” This claim is grossly exaggerated. In reality, this law is the most significant maneuver in his administration’s full-scale war on American energy.

While promoted as a panacea for climate change, the eye-roll-inducing “Inflation Reduction Act” will have a negligible impact on global temperatures and sea levels. Bjorn Lomborg of the Copenhagen Consensus determined that the law would trim temperatures by 0.0009 degrees Fahrenheit and lower sea levels by 0.006 inches. Hardly the groundbreaking moment supporters are claiming.

Where the law will pack a real punch is straight to the gut of America’s consumers and energy workers. The legislation spends $80 billion hiring 87,000 new IRS agents. While the Biden administration has been adamant that there will be no new audits on Americans who make less than $400,000 annually, every Senate Democrat voted down an amendment that would have put that protection in statute. It’s a safe bet that scores of new tax agents will come hard after consumers and businesses alike. We know the full weight of Biden’s Bureaucratic army will push his radical agenda because that’s what they’ve done since day one.

Early in 2021, Mr. Biden called on Congress to establish a civilian climate corps. The White House requested $10 billion for this undefined group to be “the next generation of conservation and resilience workers.” What purpose they would serve was very unclear, but it wouldn’t take a huge leap of imagination to see these activists performing climate audits of American citizens. Thankfully, this idea was left on the cutting room floor by the time negotiations on the bill were finalized, but 87,000 IRS agents certainly could perform those same duties.

Along with tens of thousands of new IRS agents, the legislation establishes a green bank. The law spends $27 billion on a National Climate Bank that is designed to spur investment in clean technologies. We have seen this idea before. In 2011, the solar panel maker Solyndra went belly up after receiving a $535 million loan from the Department of Energy. The announcement that Solyndra would be receiving that loan came from none other than Vice President Joe Biden.

Now, a National Climate Bank could do more damage than just waste tremendous amounts of taxpayer funds. If the Biden administration uses the same playbook they have with other federal agencies, it could be a tool to kill important energy projects in the name of climate change.

This tactic has been in full effect at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). This federal commission that most Americans have never heard of attempted to hamstring American natural gas earlier this year.

In February, Richard Glick, the chairman of FERC, and his fellow Democrat commissioners tried to jam through a regulation that would have made building new natural gas infrastructure almost impossible. The rule would have forced companies looking to build pipelines or natural gas facilities to account for all greenhouse gas emissions from when the gas is extracted to when it is used.

Thankfully, senior members of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee caught wind of Mr. Glick’s effort and called an immediate hearing to blast the idea. He pulled back the rule, but it could easily make a comeback in the future.

Mr. Biden’s unelected bureaucrats have enormous power. These 87,000 new IRS Agents, employees at a new National Climate Bank, or activist commissioners at FERC all have the power to kill, block, or slow American energy projects. The American people didn’t vote for these individuals but when their next energy bill arrives in the mail, they’ll be the ones paying the price.

• Larry Behrens is the Communications Director for Power The Future, a non-profit that advocates for America’s energy workers. You can find him on Twitter @larrybehrens or you can email him: larry@powerthefuture.com.

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