New TV appearance on Biden’s energy policy

In this issue:

  • New TV appearance on Biden’s energy policy
  • Yaron Brook on the destructive power of ESG
  • New talking points
  • Energy Champions

New TV appearance on Biden’s energy policy

Last week I was interviewed on The Blaze show “Stu Does America” about the Biden administration’s policies. I always enjoy going on this show because the host, Stu Brugeirre, always asks great questions.

In one portion of the interview I used an analogy to try to capture how bad I think the Biden administration’s energy policy is.

Imagine that you’re an investor and somebody says, “Hey, I’ve got this great energy company to pitch to you.”
And you say, “Okay, I’ll listen to it.”
And then they say, “Here’s the CEO.” And then it’s Joe Biden, he walks in the room.
And you think, okay, this doesn’t look very promising.
“Do you have any background in energy?” “No.” “Do you have any background in business?” ”No.” And you’re like, “All right, well, you must have a hell of an idea.”
And he says, “Yeah, I can outcompete fossil fuels. And I’m going to do it by using mostly solar and wind.” And you’re like, “Well, how’s that working out around the world?” And he says, “Well, honestly, not very well.”
“I want to use 90%. And even when they’re trying to use 20 or 30%, they’re having all kinds of problems. Like Germany’s electricity prices are three times ours. They’re talking about cutting off EVs in Germany. In Britain, people are freezing to death more often, they’re burning books to stay warm. People are riding in buses all day and going in libraries all day just to stay warm. I mean, it’s really a problem. Of course, California is having blackouts”
And you’re like, “Wait a second. So you don’t know anything about business or energy and you’re advocating schemes that have failed a lot consistently. And that’s your plan?
And so to me, how much worse is it if that guy is going to control every energy business? Somebody who knows nothing about business is taking the most crackpot idea and then wants to dictatorially impose it on every business in America. That’s how I see what he’s doing.

Yaron Brook on the destructive power of ESG

On this week’s Power Hour, I interviewed finance expert and my former boss Yaron Brook on the destructive power of ESG.

While I know a lot about what’s wrong with the energy and environmental ideas behind today’s ESG movement, Yaron knows more than anyone I know about the wrong financial ideas behind today’s ESG movement.

Here’s the official description.

The Destructive Power of ESG with Yaron Brook

Alex Epstein interviews Yaron Brook about the origins, rise, and unprecedented power of today’s anti-fossil fuel ESG movement in investing.

They cover:

  • Larry Fink’s latest influential letter
  • The shareholder value theory of the purpose of a corporation
  • What’s wrong with the “stakeholder value” theory of the purpose of a corporation
  • How government coercion increases the power of the ESG movement
  • How the culture gives the ESG movement most of its power
  • What companies can do to fight back against the anti-fossil fuel ESG movement?

Yaron Brook is a former finance professor, an investor, Executive Chairman of the Ayn Rand Institute, and host of The Yaron Brook Show.
 
You can watch on YouTube or listen on Apple Podcasts.

New talking points

I’ve been sharing a lot of talking points on Twitter lately.

On the threat to energy security

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On Biden’s oil and gas leasing ban:

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On Biden’s opposition to fossil fuel financing:

Screen Shot 2021-02-03 at 6.56.18 PM

On the praise, recently heaped by actor Matthew Modine, of the potential of solar planes.

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How to evaluate predictions about fossil fuels.

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Energy Champions

I’m always happy to see members of the energy industry stand up for what’s right. Here are four recent examples.

  • Howard Energy “Positive energy” This new, very attractive website by Howard Energy Partners, has lots of valuable content–including links to The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels and to EnergyTalkingPoints.com.
    • “We are more than just an energy company. We are part of the industry that powers every other industry. We are also a team of individuals with shared values working towards a common goal, to deliver positive energy. Every day we encourage our employees to come to work with purpose and excitement about what the future holds. We are helping to provide clean, reliable energy that powers communities and businesses across the US and Mexico and helps improve people’s quality of life. That is a meaningful endeavor.
  • “North Face Disregards the Poor” A video by Chris Wright, CEO of Liberty Oilfield Services and a principled defender of energy freedom. For more of Chris’s insight, check out this debate he and I teamed up on five years ago.
    • “Recently North Face shunned making custom jackets for a company (Innovex) in our industry because they don’t approve of our industry.  Liberty bought 2,000 custom labeled North Face jackets just two years ago.  I have worn mine proudly.  No longer.  North Face either didn’t bother to learn the facts, or they value fashionable virtue signaling to world’s wealthy more than the health and well-being of the world’s poor.”
  • Enterprise Products investor presentation Pages 20-29 of this presentation by Enterprise Products contains some of the best investor relations language I’ve seen on the value of energy in general and fossil fuels in particular.
    • “Over 1/3 of earth’s 7.8 billion population lacks access to clean cooking, primarily relying on biomass. Lack of access to clean cooking contributes to ? 4 million premature deaths each year. 28% and 45% of pneumonia deaths in adults and children under 5 years old, respectively, are attributable to household air pollution. IEA estimates 2.4 Billion will still lack access to clean cooking in 2030.”
  • A second open letter to Governor Newsom This letter by oil and gas industry veteran Rod Guice to Governor Gavin Newsom draws on numerous facts and arguments from The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels.
    • Since my layoff I have found new work!  Although I’m grateful for it, my new salary is 28% less than the former and I’ll be required to leave my family for extended periods because the job is rotational overseas- I was unable to find work in California.  How would you like a 28% salary cut? Would being away from home for extended periods affect your marriage? How would this outcome work for you?  Be advised that thousands others who have lost jobs in California’s Petroleum Industry have not been as lucky and remain unemployed. Initiatives supported by the your office such as SB-4, increasing the number of Government Agencies that oversee Oil & Gas, tightening Oil & Gas regulations, your push toward Renewable Energy, and your declarations that 1) California would phase out its Oil & Gas Production, and that 2) the sale of new gasoline powered cars would be banned in California beginning in 2035, have severely hurt California’s Petroleum Industry and those who try to work in it. 

As many challenges as there are to energy production today, there is a growing movement of energy executives who are willing to stand up publicly.

Related, I have noticed that the Biden Administration’s policies have gotten far more vocal and morally confident opposition from elected officials than Obama’s did.

In both cases I am happy to have played a role, and in both cases I’m committed to seeing these trends increase ten-fold.

To Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Energy,

Alex