It’s not just that America needs more energy to run the nation NOW. But we’ll need much more if we actually want to run the technology of the FUTURE. So, it’s a good thing there’s no knowledge OR physical resource deficits to creating more, low-cost energy in thousands of places around the world, Alex Epstein, author of ‘Fossil Future,’ tells Glenn. Rather, he says, today's energy crisis is due to current political reasons instead. In fact, Epstein lists the four steps Democrats seem to be taking — especially within the Inflation Reduction Act — to ruin American energy. Thankfully, Epstein has the answer to save it. He discusses the 5 steps to his ‘energy freedom platform’ and explains how YOU can become involved to help save American energy too...
Below is a rush transcript that may contain errors
GLENN: So last night, I laid out a kind of bleak look for the future of energy. And I don't think most people understand. We don't need just the energy to run things now. We need more energy to run the technology of the future. And Alex Epstein is with us. He's from the Center of Industrial Progress. Founder and president. And also, the author of a book you must read, it's Fossil Fuel.
And he's come equipped with some real solutions to our energy problem, to be able to stave it off. And, really, all you need is support from the American people. Right?
ALEX: Yeah. The great thing about energy, is there's all the potential to produce low cost reliable energy for billions of people in thousands of places. There's no -- there's no physical resource deficit for doing this, and there's no knowledge deficit.
Human beings know how to produce reliable electricity. Right? We know how to produce energy on a scale of billions of people. We're just being prohibited from doing it politically. Which means that there's a political solution, if we are liberated to be able to do it.
GLENN: So we have -- I mentioned that in Colorado -- I mean, people who have these smart thermostats. I've said for a while. Don't do that.
ALEX: That's a euphemism.
GLENN: Yeah. I know. In Colorado, they had to -- they lost control of their thermostats. And I mentioned that and said, you know, if your right to touch your thermostat is only worth $25 a year to you, good luck. But people are bashing back saying, well, that's because the coal-powered plants went down. And, you know, it was an emergency at the coal-powered plants. Because coal is just not stable.
ALEX: Yeah. We're really in this Orwellian world, right? I mean, the inflation act is called the Inflation Reduction Act. Freedom is slavery. And coal is unreliable. And solar and wind are reliable. Despite the obvious.
GLENN: Right. Right.
ALEX: Yeah. What they always point to, they did this with the Texas blackouts too.
They'll point to some individual failure of some fossil fuel plant. And then say, oh, well, this inherently doesn't work.
But we know that we can produce reliable electricity with fossil fuels, because we've been doing it for generations. And we've done it in all weather conditions. You can do it when it's really cold, when it's really hot. So if you know a fossil fuel plant fails, that's just something about the specific situation. That's not the technology. Solar and wind, they do not produce electricity most of the time, and you can't rely on them, almost any time. That's the basic nature of them. And part of what happens when you see fossil fuel failures is often, they have to account for the intermittency of solar and wind. So they have to cycle up and down, or be shut down and restarted more. Much more than they would be if they were on their own.
And -- or what happens is they'll get defunded, the way the whole subsidies just expanded unfortunately. Is that they defund reliable powerplants, including things like weatherization, say, for natural gas in Texas. So we know that we can -- again, we have all the ability to produce reliable electricity at low costs. We're just not using it because of political factors.
GLENN: Okay. So go over can't five-point plan.
ALEX: So I call this the energy freedom platform. And I encourage politicians of all parties to adopt this opinion unfortunately -- I mean, unfortunately right now, Democrats are not being very good in terms of energy. They almost all supported the inflation act. I think basically all of them did.
GLENN: And, by the way, I played the audio from an activist group, that was a part of this inflation reduction bill.
And they admitted, they were talking to their own supporters. And they were like, look, it's not about inflation.
It's really a green bill. Which we all kind of knew, if you were paying attention.
It's a green bill. It's stuffed with stuff about green energy.
ALEX: Yeah. And we can talk about how -- I mean, I consider that a four-step recipe for destroying American energy basically. Because just very quickly.
So it involves increasing dependence on unreliable electricity. If you want to destroy American energy, that's a good step one. Step two is add taxes and restrictions to fossil fuels, during fossil fuel shortages. That's a good -- that's a good step two. What were the other steps? I mean, it's so bad. Oh, yeah. Increase the power of the EPA to shut down fossil fuel projects. We need more of that, obviously. And then increase the power of environmental justice activists to stop all energy development.
GLENN: And you've just done that the lie the DOJ now.
ALEX: Yeah. They have this four-step thing, which if you're trying to destroy American energy, it's hard to think of a better plan. So let's talk about how to improve American energy, with the Energy Freedom Platform. So I'll give the five, and then we can go into depth in any of one of them.
Okay? So number one is liberate responsible development. Number two is end preferences for unreliable electricity. Number three is reform air and water emission standards to incorporate cost-benefit analysis. This is a really important one for EPA stuff. Number four is liberate -- is rather, reduce emissions long-term, through innovation, not through punishing America.
Through liberating innovation, not through punishing America.
And then number five, which I know you will be sympathetic to, is decriminalize nuclear energy. So we can talk about any of those, but they're all crucial.
GLENN: Okay. Let's just take them one by one real quick.
GLENN: First one.
ALEX: So liberate responsible development. Energy inherently involves developing the world around us. And yet we have an anti-development movement that is setting energy policy, and running many of these agencies. So there's opposition to development even in the investment world. But in particular, just all these antidevelopment policies that are restricting fossil fuel development, nuclear development, et cetera.
GLENN: So ESG is a good example. Well, ESG is a kind of quasi political. But if you just look at how difficult it is, if you take nuclear. Like how difficult it is to start a nuclear plant.
You know, you say, four years.
Now it takes 16 years. Part of that is you have these antidevelopment so-called green activists that can stop things on a dime. So you really need policies that are pro development. And they're responsible development, if they try to stop endangerment. So you don't want to endanger local people, or endanger some national treasure. But you can't have the idea that it's wrong to develop nature.
And that terrible anti-human idea is at the root of so many of our laws and policies.
So when I go into the details, if people go to EnergyTalkingPoints.com, you'll see there's a lot of specific policies that need to be reformed, that are antidevelopment right now.
GLENN: Okay. All right. Number two.
ALEX: So is end -- end preferences for unreliable electricity.
And on that website, there's something called electricity emergency, which goes into the details.
But basically, right now, we do three things. We have mandates for unreliable electricity. We prefer them in that way. Many states have those. Like my state of California, unfortunately has those.
We have subsidies, which we just expanded under the Inflation Act.
Right? So we did that. And then the most insidious that people don't know, is that we have very unfair pricing. Because there's no cost penalty for selling unreliable electricity into the grid. Now, you think about that. Imagine you have a car company, and you got to charge the same for a car that works a third of the time. And a car that works all the time. That's how the grid works. You get the same alternate for selling unreliable electricity. Reliable electricity. And actually, you get more. Because all the subsidies, that we just extended. So you actually get paid a premium for selling something that is not nearly as valuable. And sometimes unreliable electricity is of negative value. Sometimes if you have too much electricity, you need to off-load it. So this is -- if you pay a premium for you be reliable electricity. Guess what, you get unreliable electricity.
GLENN: Okay. Number three.
ALEX: So this had to do with the air and water emissions standards. So right now, let's look at what the EPA is doing. We have in that article, electricity emergency.
I talk about, there's slated to be 93 gigawatts of coal shutting down, in terms of already announced things. That's almost one-tenth of a reliable capacity.
One-tenth. This is by 2030.
But there's also the threat of 92 more.
So almost a fifth of our reliable capacity. There's a reliability bloodbath that's scheduling to happen. The lion's share of this comes from EPA policies.
So it's EPA deliberately trying to do things that will shut down these coal plants, even though as you've talked about, there's no viable replacement in the pipeline. We have almost no nuclear scheduled. Not nearly enough gas.
So how does the EPA justify this? Well, one thing is they don't use real cost-benefit analysis when they're making decisions. So they'll say, hey, wouldn't it be great to have lower emissions? But they don't think about, what is the cost of that, in terms of what is the cost to human life of an unreliable grid. They're almost incalculable. So the EPA is making these decisions, and they're not giving any consideration to the reliability of the great. So that's an example of you need real cost-benefit analysis.
GLENN: These people -- are there any honest people on this side? I mean, I don't understand how an honest person can look at it and not say, yeah, but this will make things more unreliable. And people will either die from heat stroke, or they will either die freezing in the winter. You know, you can't just have an unreliable grid like this? Is there anybody on the other side that is asking these questions that's honest?
ALEX: I think one. I mean, there are some people who are really anti-energy. So essentially, they're honest. They hide it from the public. They want less power. They want to industrialize. That kind of thing. I think one of the challenges is. I talk about this in chapter one, of Fossil Future. We rely on what I call a knowledge system to give us expert knowledge and guidance on all these specialized areas. And what you have is multiple of these specializations are failing, at the same time. But each specialization thinks the other is doing its job. So, for instance, the electricity people have been hiding the electricity emergency.
They're not acknowledging. Many of the companies have not been acknowledging. You talk behind the scenes, yeah. This is a disaster. But publicly, they won't say anything. The regulators are kind of silent. And so the public thinks, oh, there's not that big a threat. And then the EPA people, they'll distort the science about the side effects of coal.
But they'll kind of think, oh, yeah. We don't have to worry about reliability. Because the isn't saying that.
There's dishonesty kind of everywhere.
But one reinforces the other. I mean, we've got a world, that thought legitimately, you could rapidly eliminate fossil fuels by 2050, and it would work well. This was the mainstream view.
And part of it was there were all these false views, that are being combined. And people have this idea. Well, most people -- the experts, so-called.
The people that were told they're experts. They can't be that wrong. But they can be that wrong in part because what we're told the experts think is usually a massive distortion of what actually the researchers in a field think.
GLENN: Yes. That's happening with global warming, all the time.
ALEX: Oh, yeah. Of course. It's the idea that the world is going to end, if it gets one or 2 degrees warmer on a planet where far more people die of cold than of heat.
The researchers don't think that, but that gets distorted by what I call our knowledge system to make it. Oh, it's an apocalypse. And you have to take a crash emergency action and destroy all your energy. And then the planet will be nice to you. And then life will be great.
GLENN: Give me the fourth one.
ALEX: So the fourth one is --
ALEX: Reduce emissions long-term. It's very important. It has to be long-term. Because there's no short-term producing of emissions. That's a pipe dream. So it's reduce CO2 emissions long-term, by liberating innovation, not punishing America.
GLENN: When did we lose that in America?
ALEX: Lose which one?
GLENN: The idea that we innovate our way out of problems? Instead, we're just -- we're just dismantling everything. Instead of saying, you know, hey, we've got -- we've got a food storage problem. And somebody comes up with the refrigerator, you know what I mean? We are already seeing technology, that is -- we have reduced greenhouse gases. Better than anybody else.
And a lot of it is because of new technology.
But we just dismiss that.
ALEX: I just there are a couple of things going on. So one of this is there's this idea that CO2 emissions are an emergency. And when you think of something as an emergency, you need to get rid of it immediately.
And if that's your view. The only thing you can do is just massively destroy human life.
I mean, that's the only way you can do it.
To reduce emissions now, in a world where fossil fuels are 80 percent of the world's energy. In a world that needs vastly more energy, 3 billion people using less electricity per person than one of our refrigerators.
Like, the world is going to be using more fossil fuels for a while. So if you think of it as an emergency, the world is going to end, then you are going to do these crash problems and accept these terrible consequences. Which we're just beginning to see. Because we've only reduced fossil fuels a little bit, compared to what has been asked for, in World Economic Forum, and all these other people. So one is this emergency mindset is really bad.
And it's not justified. We're safer than ever from climate. CO2 emissions have a warming impact and a greening impact. It's not a catastrophic impact. If you want to lower emissions. You have to think of it as a long-term thing. That's the only moral way, and it's the only practical way. China and India will not lower their emissions until there's a cost-effective alternative. Now, the greens say they want cost-effective alternatives. They say they want solar and wind. But notice that their approach is to first restrict fossil fuels. I know you've talked about, and then promise a replacement. That's not how markets work. That's not how freedom works.
GLENN: Right. That's not how anything of common sense works. You don't say, I know all the machines in the hospital are keeping your husband alive, but we're going to try something that's never been done before. So we'll turn off all of those machines. And then hope that something works. That's -- that's insane.
ALEX: But that has been the policy. Part of it has been disguised. They said, to take your analogy. They've said the equivalent of, hey, we have this amazing new machine. We're developing green machines. Right?
But what they didn't say, is their main policy is shutting down the machines that worked. Like, what did Biden do first? Shuts down the Keystone XL Pipeline. Bans leasing on federal lands. He didn't come up with some new energy innovation and prove it.
He shut down, what was -- what was working. And that's the huge prison. And so the approach has to be, you liberate innovation, so you get things like cost-effective nuclear.
But you don't dictate inferior alternatives, and call that innovation. Unfortunately, that's what passes for innovation today. That's what the whole inflation act is about. It's about mandating or coercing us to do these things that don't work.
GLENN: All right. Back in just a second. Now, this is five-step platform. However, we need your help on this.
And it's a -- it's a real thing, that could make the -- a significant difference, and turn things around for us. We'll give it to you, in just a few minutes.
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GLENN: So you are working with like 100 different legislative offices, correct?
ALEX: Yeah. To various degrees. So two years ago, I was very frustrated by -- I was having success with the public. And I was success with the corporate world. But the political world was just totally ignorant of the kind of pro-human, pro-freedom energy, thinking I had been developing.
And I figured out, like the thing I could do, was I needed to figure out how to give them messaging and policy, in a way that was useful for them.
So I started this website, EnergyTalkingPoints.com. Like, everything on that, can be fit in a tweet. So it's really efficient ways of explaining pro-freedom views.
So if you go there, there's probably thousands of individual talking points, all really well referenced.
And then I found that I got demand for people to get custom help.
So I created something called Energy Talking Points on Demand, where I would have biweekly briefings. And it's just with high-level offices. So it's congressional offices, U.S. Senate offices, and governor's offices.
And so we have about 300 staffers, that are part of it, over 100 offices, and increasing the meetings with the elected officials themselves. I spoke to a group of 20 last time I was in DC. I'm going to DC next week. And what I found there was a real appetite for this. Because many of these offices want to be pro-energy and pro-freedom. But they didn't have the messaging to explain -- to refute all the myths. And also clarity on what to do, going forward.
And that's why I developed the energy freedom platform. Was the clarity on what to do going forward. So what I've been encouraging them to do is, hey, this is a blueprint. You can win on these issues. And you can do something really good. So say Republicans.
Not politically -- not political, really. But let's say Republicans right now, are much more pro-energy. If you guys take over Congress, you need to advocate something positive.
You can't just -- once you take over, you can't just react to negatives.
There's a lot of reacting to negatives, and not a clear having positives. So I would ask your listeners, if they like this, it's really, really simple. Just call your office. Call your office -- oh, are you going to say something?
GLENN: I have got about 20 seconds before we break.
ALEX: Oh, sorry. Just say. Talk to Alex Epstein. Give them my email. Alex@AlexEpstein.com. Just tell the office to email me, and I will set up a call with them, and I'll tell them all about how to use the energy freedom platform.