Multiple pendulums are swinging. The hyper vigilance or in some minds the hysteria of the impacts of COVID-19 pandemic are receding. For many there is a seeking of some new balance of equilibrium or as it is called the “new normal.” As reported the first 100 days of the Biden era saw dramatic shifts of energy policy from the Trump administration. Solar panels in vogue, gas pipelines out of favor. Wind turbine towers to dot the landscape instead of natural gas drilling rigs. Hydrogen fuel is elevated as the next miracle energy of the future and gas methane is to become passé. State economies and employment based on energy extraction, drilling and producing gas now under the Biden plan are to transition to plugging the now orphaned wells. New energy jobs in solar, wind alternative renewables will supplant the higher paid fossil fuel jobs. Green energy pundits rave about the future ahead, ignoring projected substantially higher costs and at the same time minimizing and possibly distorting the true carbon footprint of the toted green energy.
Here is an anecdotal story. Recently drove to Missouri and back visiting family and friends. Occasionally saw an array of solar panels. Passing numerous manicured farms in the flat plains of southern Indiana and Illinois, had the thought how many of these farms sell their corn for making ethanol and is mixed with the gasoline that powers the cars we drive. Stayed overnight in “cozy” Posey County in Indiana, Picked up a local paper Posey County News and the headlines read, “Solar energy poised to begin progress in Posey County, Three hour meeting turns ugly at times.” Reading on the locals are divided on a large industrial scale solar development project proposed by Tenaska Inc. Concerns about decrease in property values, inadequate Commissioner review, destruction of the pastoral rural view, were countered by the benefits of taxes to the County, supporting renewable energy, and benefit to landowners who leased their land for the solar farm. Going solar is not alone in being contentious. A Wall Street Journal headline today reads “Rural America Gets Bad Vibrations From Big Wind” more next week.