Yellen Is Wrong AGAIN
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2022-06-20 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Energy , 1279 references Ignore this thread
Yellen Is Wrong AGAIN
[Comments enabled]

I'm getting tired of political feelz being paraded around as alleged "facts".

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Sunday that the Biden administration’s policies are not responsible for record-high gas prices, and the only way to fix the energy crisis in the "medium-term" is to move towards "renewables to address climate change."

...

"Actually, consumption of gas and fuels are currently at lower levels than pre-pandemic, and what's happened is the production has gone down. Refinery capacity is declined in the United States and oil production has declined. ...."

Refinery capacity and production declined because Biden said he would ban both and, within days of being inaugurated, took concrete steps to do both.

Refineries and pipelines have a 30, 40, 50 or more year service life.  Nobody in their right mind is going to put forward capital investment with a 30 year payback when you're told that investment will be destroyed and that threat is credible because the people making it then act in accordance with same, thus confirming that its not mere election-year rhetoric (which we all know happens and usually means nothing.)

Yellen argued that the best way to address the energy crisis in the "medium-term" is to transition the country off of fossil fuels.

That's a thermodynamic impossibility within the current realm of knowledge.  In short: You can't.

To make an EV battery you must dig up 500,000 lbs. of earth.  For one battery.  Which has a service life, after which it must be replaced.  Which has no current means of economically recycling the components either, so unless you'd like the price of the pack to wildly exceed the crazy levels it is at now you will throw the old away and buy another one with another half-million pounds of earth dug up.  All of which are dug up, transported and processed using fossil fuels because there is no other rational way to do so.

Renewables in the form of wind and solar require these fossil fuel inputs, as do storage batteries.  Because the energy they produce is uncertain, that is the sun does not always shine and the wind does not always blow, you can never guarantee how much output you will have from them even if you could somehow resolve the fossil fuel requirement for creating the panels, concrete and blades for the windmills, and rare earth materials you must dig out of the ground and refine to make them.  For this reason the energy they produce will always fluctuate wildly in price simply due to fluctuations in supply.

If you build "enough" that you're comfortable you will not be short there will be times there is so much supply the price is zero and the economic incentive to build them will likewise be zero.  At any build-out less than this there will be times when you demand it but can't have it.  Of course the time when you demand it and can't have it will be at the most inconvenient time of all, typically when its freezing-butt cold or broiling hot.

Look at the price of these things and the fossil alternatives over long periods of time.  Natural gas has seen wild spikes in both directions in price.  So has wind power, solar and similar.  There are only two that do not over our history of use: Coal and fission-based nuclear.

It doesn't matter one bit whether you like any of this or not.  These are facts and unless you want a power bill that varies by 400% or more (natural gas has seen price variations of ten times or more in reasonably recent history) you are out of your mind to not build the base demand capacity out of things that do not have that fluctuation and aren't dependent on those that do.

This isn't complicated.  Yellen famously said that inflation was "transitory" not all that long ago -- about a year back -- when she was arguing for, and implementing, the next round of wild money-printing after Trump did it too and I remind you that she has now been proved to be completely full of crap.

Now she's doing it again and if you let her and this Administration get away with it I hope you are ok with the wild price spikes and shortages, up to and including black-outs, that these policies will lead to.

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