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DAVID BLACKMON: Biden’s Mad War On Natural Gas Will Not End Well For Americans

While Biden administration regulators are moving to deem the construction of new natural gas power plants too costly to justify, there is a growing consensus in the analyst community that meeting the growing electricity demand from AI will require a significant expansion of natural gas generation to ensure grid stability.

In just 20 days between April and May, Biden administration regulators Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) And that Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) The agency announced new regulations that would add more than 1 million words covering natural gas to the federal register, according to power grid expert Robert Blythe.

On April 25, the EPA New Power Plant Emissions Regulations The bill would effectively force the closure of America’s remaining coal-fired power plants by 2030 because they are too expensive to operate. Most media coverage has focused on this aspect of the expected new regulations.

Reporters paid little attention to the fact that the new rule is also an obvious effort to make it nearly impossible to finance and operate new gas-fired power plants over the same period. The requirement that new gas-fired power plants be accompanied by costly carbon capture and storage (CCS) capabilities would impose millions of dollars in additional costs and consume as much as 30% of the electricity generated at the plant, significantly reducing profitability. The fact that some operators have already tried and failed to add CCS to at least five such plants in the United States almost inevitably leads to the conclusion that the rule is deliberately constructed to shut down the U.S. natural gas power industry.

On May 13, FERC rules added hundreds of thousands of words targeting natural gas in Order 1920. While EPA rules significantly increase the cost of building and operating natural gas power plants, FERC Order 1920 makes it even more costly and difficult to permit the transmission lines needed to get that electricity to market. FERC accomplishes this by distinguishing between generation sources and simplifying and encouraging permitting of transmission lines connected to wind and solar projects.

This is a regulatory pincer move aimed at forcing power generation companies to exclude natural gas generation and invest in wind and solar power, which Brice said “is a big step forward.”I would strangle the AI ​​in its crib.“Our rapidly expanding power load requires a reliable 24/7/365 generation source that can quickly meet the daily spikes in demand. Only natural gas can reliably fill that gap.”

A series of recently published analytical studies supports Bryce’s argument. Goldman Sachs Analysis A report released in mid-May estimated that natural gas will be the best-suited electricity generation technology to meet about 60% of growing demand through 2030. Quote Meeting new demand could require the construction of up to 8.5 billion cubic feet per day of new natural gas-fired generating capacity over that same period.

Blythe Morningstar Report He estimates the additional gas demand at 7 billion cubic feet to 10 billion cubic feet per day, and he also points to an Enverus study that concludes that electricity demand from AI and other data centers will double by 2035, at which point that demand alone will require 4.2 billion cubic feet per day of new natural gas generation.

“Such needs show that an emphasis on renewables as the sole source of electricity is fatally flawed in terms of meeting actual market demand,” said Richard Kinder, executive chairman of the pipeline operator. Kinder MorganHe told analysts during the company’s first-quarter earnings call in April: CNBC reported:.

Rarely has such broad and diverse consensus emerged on any energy topic, but the Biden Administration’s regulators at the EPA, FERC and other agencies seem unfazed by these troubling realities getting in the way of their green energy dreams. They have one goal: to finalize as many new regulations that will negatively impact the coal, oil and gas industries as possible before the end of the Administration’s first term.

In the mad rush to tighten authoritarian control, all inconvenient facts will be ignored. This can’t end well.

David Blackmon is a Texas-based energy writer and consultant who worked in the oil and gas industry for 40 years and specializes in public policy and communications.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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