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Commentary: Interior leadership and Biden on Climate Change security


With the Department of Interior under the leadership of Interior secretary nominee Deb Haaland, the Biden Administration would open the way towards energy and climate. No longer would federal land and its uses be separate from social and cultural considerations of climate and its change.

Change is not narrowly defined as “global warming.” It is set in such policy terms as “security.” 

What have the California forest fires in common with the Texas polar freeze? 

A pandemic-surviving population sees and fears “security” or systemic change in climate. It was also distressed that the price of San Juan natural gas increased from $2.00 to $100.00 overnight in reaction to the Texas grid power failure and ban on its natural gas production export to Mexico and other states.

So far, President Biden is pursuing a strategy to remove carbon from oil and gas by limiting its production. This could remove 40% in transportation by cars and trucks

Not so easy as Bill Gates says. Yet the electric and hydrogen displacement of the combustion engine is folded into a minimum 1.6 trillion dollar infrastructure investment which changes all the spread sheets in business capital spending. 

As this Administration puts values before transactions (Trump) to restore American leadership of globalization among European powers, it must recognize Europe on energy and climate: all renewable as opposed to petroleum in transportation technology in five or six years. By rules and laws from EU Government?  Yes.

This is the treaty of Paris for the “developed” that has replaced its earlier transfer of wealth for the “underdeveloped.” With 60% of New Mexico hydrocarbon production in federal land which continues the permitting phase but not the complementary right-of-way phase. 

Nominee Haaland stated that the “pause is not a permanent ban” in her nomination hearing in the Senate this week. 

The price of oil in the very short term is not affected because it reflects the recovery of demand (consumption) as COVID-19 wanes.

The last 5% decline in world oil consumption will be restored in late June.

Before then OPEC-Russia must offer a “quota” to Iran as the Trump Administration withdrawal from the Iranian Treaty against weapons-grade uranium production is reversed. The price for President Biden is ending sanctions against Iran’s export of oil at a scale which includes reparations for the financial loss from sanctions.

This writer’s analysis is that Iran will insist on 700,000 barrels of oil for export per day. Coupled with pressures from Russia and OPEC members, another 2,500,000 barrels increase, in keeping with supply reduction amid higher price signals, in the Second Quarter is anticipated.

If Federal Land access policy beyond the current “Pause” fails to obtain a clear, recognized time-frame, and with three million additional barrels of oil per day from OPEC-Russia, cheap “puts” and selling in the futures market should return the price of oil into the low 40 dollar range.

Lower prices of oil prices and gasoline at the pump would partly arrest consumer interest in renewable or alternative vehicle purchases as a market response.   

The Biden Administration, however, would still have trillions on climate security to possibly create a new kind of Treasury (Government) Stimulus check to lower a dealer’s price upon presentation of a sales document.

This would be only logical and policy-consistent to meet Climate Security Change objectives. It is also a rejection of remaining  oil advocates who short-change the character of American technology history: with money America went to the Moon and now collects rocks from Mars.  

Dr. Daniel Fine is an independent energy analyst with New Mexico Tech. The opinions expressed here are his own.