E&E News recently published an article highlighting President Biden’s $6T budget plan’s impact on the American energy sector. This fiscal budget request for 2022 would push federal spending to the highest sustained levels since World War II. Ambitious in the largest sense, the plan includes a wide set of clean energy and climate investments― increasing the DOE’s budget by nearly $5 billion for such matters. While it is of value to invest in innovative, renewable energy sources, oil and natural gas is the cornerstone of US energy. It cannot and should not be overlooked.
As shown by EIA data, renewable energy sources made up less than 12% of the United States’ primary energy intake in 2020. Whereas, petroleum and natural gas sustained 69% of the total US energy needs. Biden’s proposed budget does not mirror such data. If a blind eye is turned to the heaping majority of America’s power, we will feel the repercussions of investing in the small 12% slice that cannot withstand the pressure. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said the budget dollars “would just disappear into a million mediocre socialist daydreams, from electric car subsidies to work-discouraging welfare programs.”
Along with the budget proposal, dozens of tax breaks were unveiled last week that are aimed at boosting clean energy. Jennifer Granholm, current Energy Secretary under the Biden Administration, alongside other Democrats in office, will be tasked with the mission of getting as much of this plan passed as possible. Where the Trump Administration sought to slash needless energy spending as frequently as possible (i.e. DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy), Biden’s Admin has become fixated on doing just the opposite. More money to R&D for renewables. Less attention to traditional, prominent sources of energy that have consistently served as the backbone of American energy. All in all, there are both fair and injurious elements of Biden’s proposed budget. From the clear numbers, we know that fiscal resources must continue to bolster the oil & gas sector so that, in turn, our nation can keep turning. R&D funneling into cleaner, greener technologies will prove beneficial in the long run, but they cannot sustain us solely in the short-term.