At a May 3 hearing of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy took Deputy Secretary of Energy David Turk to the woodshed for his refusal to directly answer some pointed, relevant questions about the enormous cost of the Biden energy and climate policies.
During a 5-minute exchange, the video of which went viral across social media, Kennedy repeatedly asks Mr. Turk a pair of key questions, the first of which had to do with the Department of Energy’s estimate of the total price tag to the American taxpayers needed to achieve the Biden goal of U.S. carbon neutrality by 2050. It was a question that Kennedy posed multiple times, and which Turk steadfastly refused to answer. (RELATED: DAVID BLACKMON: China Is Exploiting Biden’s Naivety On Critical Minerals)
Finally, having had enough of the obfuscation, Sen. Kennedy noted some of the “experts” to which Turk had referred earlier in his testimony had estimated an all-in cost of $50 trillion. Nodding his head and making no attempt to dispute the number, Turk replied, “It’s gonna cost trillions of dollars, there’s no doubt about it.”
The somewhat stunning $50 trillion estimate thus tacitly confirmed, Kennedy then moved onto his next question: “If we spend $50 trillion to become carbon neutral by 2050 in the United States of America, how much is that going to reduce world temperatures?”
Here is how the exchange went from there:
Turk: “So, every country around the world needs to get its act together. Our emissions are about 13% of global emissions right now…”
Kennedy: “Yeah, but if you could answer my question. If we spend $50 trillion to become carbon neutral in the U.S. by 2050, you’re the Deputy Secretary of Energy, give me your estimate of how much that is going to reduce world temperatures.”
Turk: “So, first of all, it’s a net cost. It’s what, um, benefits we’re having from getting our act together and reducing all of those costs and climate benefits…”
Kennedy: “Let me ask you. Maybe I’m not being clear. If we spend $50 trillion to become carbon neutral by 2050 in the United States of America, how much is that going to reduce world temperatures?”
Turk: “This is a global problem, so we need to reduce our emissions and we need to do everything to, uh…”
Kennedy: “How much of we do our part is it going to reduce global temperatures?”
Turk: “So, we’re 13% of global emissions…”
Kennedy: “You don’t know, do you? You don’t know, do you?”
Finally, his point avoidance and obfuscations having apparently been exhausted, Turk resorted to saying, “In my heart of hearts, there is no way the world gets its act together on climate change unless the U.S. leads.”
And there we have it. Americans are being asked to accept the force-feeding of an incredibly radical set of policies with a price tag that is unprecedented in global history to achieve a “carbon neutrality” goal, whose benefits are so nebulous, negligible and wholly reliant on the cooperative actions of other countries beyond U.S. control that they cannot be measured in any reliable way.
Instead, we are being told by senior political appointees forcing those policies into being that we should simply trust them because they think it is the right thing to do in their “heart of hearts.”
This is madness. For some context, $50 trillion is an amount that exceeds the gross domestic product of the U.S., China, India, Germany and Japan, combined. It is a number that drastically exceeds total U.S. national debt. It is more than 135 times the $369 billion in green energy subsidies contained in last year’s Orwellian-named Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).
That is five new IRAs each year for the next 27 years. Madness.
Yet, the Biden administration proposes that the U.S. spend that amount of money over that time frame on a bet that if we “lead” down this road to certain economic ruin, China, India and other nations whose interests do not align with our own will just willingly follow along.
It strains credibility to the breaking point that Mr. Turk, his boss — Secretary Jennifer Granholm — or any other official in the Biden administration really believes this sophistry. This is third grader logic, built on a foundation of naivete’ and, frankly, silliness.
Good for Sen. Kennedy for exposing it during that hearing. If only a single one of his Democratic colleagues could summon the personal integrity to do the same, our country might be spared the coming calamity.
David Blackmon is an energy writer and consultant based in Texas. He spent 40 years in the oil and gas business, where he specialized in public policy and communications.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.
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