It's no secret at this point that President Biden and his administration are bad at managing America's energy industry, but record-high gas prices soaring beyond a national average of $5 per gallon might not be the worst effect of his failed "Build Back Better" agenda.
It turns out another Biden crisis is already brewing, and it's set to hit the U.S. this summer in the form of rolling blackouts, the kind of thing that's more usual in Venezuela or supposedly "green" California. According to a spring report from the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), vast swaths of the heartland are in danger of losing power due to summer heat waves.
Across America, millions of citizens facing forecasts of "above-average season temperatures" are at elevated risk of "forced outages for generation and some bulk power system equipment." That means, as the NERC assessment explains, "elevated or high risk of energy shortfalls this summer." Those grim findings on the crisis that looks set to plunge Americans into darkness during the hottest summer months have already been confirmed by power officials in Texas and California, another mismanaged jurisdiction where Golden State residents have been told they'll face "blackouts every summer for another four years."
Californians, plus millions more Americans who find themselves in the elevated risk zone — nearly everyone living west of the Mississippi River — face energy emergencies during what NERC calls "extreme conditions" such as droughts, heatwaves, and wildfires. Americans in the high risk zone — including Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and portions of Michigan, Illinois, Arkansas, and Louisiana — face power disruptions during both extreme conditions as well as normal summer conditions. That is, pretty much any time that summer temperatures put a strain on the power grids on which millions of Americans rely.
By the numbers, consumers in the high risk zone stretching from the midwest to the Gulf of Mexico are heading for a summer in which peak demand will be up 1.7 percent since last summer, but generation capacity is down 3,200 MW — hence the concerns for rolling blackouts there even in normal conditions.
Already, state leaders most at risk for rolling blackouts have been working to find ways to limit interruptions for their residents. Arkansas is gearing up to take action to conserve energy, Arizona utility companies are warning that next year could be even worse, and New Mexico's attorney general — according to WaPo — "is preparing for 'worst case scenarios.'"
Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee wrote to Biden Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm this week that "more than half the nation will be at elevated risk of power outages this summer," and the looming grid blackout crisis will be "even worse for customers living in a large region in the middle of the nation, extending from Wisconsin to Louisiana."
But, as with other crises that developed on Biden's watch, many have seen and warned of the threat. Still, the Biden administration has done basically nothing to address the threat of blackouts across the country. Like California's failed Democratic leaders, the Biden administration continues to allow risks to go unmitigated and warnings remain unheeded.
Biden's apparent solution, as seen in his executive orders and dubious use of the Defense Production Act, is to continue down his leftist-inspired "transition" away from reliable fossil fuels to falsely named "green" energy. But NERC's report also contains warnings that such policies and energy sources have already jeopardized America's electrical grid and led to the foreboding predictions for this summer.
Another Biden failure, the broken supply chain, is "a concern in areas where completion [of new projects] is needed for reliability during summer peak periods." What's more, "coal-fired generator owners are facing challenges obtaining fuels as supply chains are stressed," and solar panels are proving — "during grid disturbances" — to continue driving "reliability concern."
So, the power supply for more than half the country is at risk of collapsing under surge demand brought on by heat waves this summer and Joe Biden is…waiving tariffs on imports of Chinese-made solar panels in a move that's punishing U.S. manufacturers and American workers. Even when it comes to the so-called alternative energy the Biden administration favors over fossil fuels, Biden is still putting Americans last.
This summer's looming power grid crisis comes, as Americans know well, amid multiple other Biden-enabled energy crises. As the NERC assessment mentioned, the broken supply chain has caused issues with coal, as well as other critical components needed to keep the power grid up and running in a way that's able to handle increased demand during the summer. Then there are the gas prices that have surged upward since Biden took office with a flurry of executive orders that strangled American energy independence. Since Biden took office, the national average cost of fuel has more than doubled and sets new record-highs almost every day. Biden and the Democrats' anti-fossil fuel agenda has also led to the premature retirement of power generation with fossil fuel that's only quickened the unreliability of the grid.
Biden's failed response to rising gas prices — plans he's repeatedly said would drive prices down (they haven't) — has included pushing Americans toward $50K+ electric cars and drawing an unprecedented amount of oil from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve that has left the country with the lowest stockpile levels in decades, and therefore, vulnerable in the event of a crisis that's not of Biden's creation.
If his handling of the supply chain, inflation, and fuel crises are any indication, even if Biden or his administration were to talk about the power grid and the predictions of electricity shortages through the summer, his words would likely be more empty promises. Stay tuned to see if, as she did when asked in an interview what the Biden administration would do to lower gas prices, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm ends up throwing her head back in laughter as Americans sit in the dark amid summer blackouts.