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FIRST ON FOX: A group of energy and environment experts are sounding the alarm on U.S. climate policy and pointing to Europe's crisis as an example of "blindly" abandoning energy security.
In a letter Tuesday, the coalition of six experts urged congressional Republican leaders — Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. — to consider how green policies have contributed to the energy crisis in Europe. They added that the crisis proves the U.S. lawmakers need to bolster, not "compromise," energy security.
"The actual environmental benefits of 'green' energy are few and far between, if there are any at all. Yet its economic and national security impact is immeasurably negative," the experts wrote in the letter. "Compromising American energy security for the sake of climate alarmism is more than a misstep, it is a catastrophic error – just look at Europe."
"Defending our nation’s energy economy and independence must be a priority," they continued. "Europe’s energy crisis sits as a clear and present warning of what may lie ahead if we continue down this road, let us not follow them blindly into the same disaster."
EXPERTS BLAME GREEN ENERGY POLICIES FOR EUROPE'S FULL-SCALE ENERGY CRISIS: 'A WARNING TO THE US' The six energy experts penned the letter to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., on Tuesday. (Reuters)
In recent months, European consumers and businesses have been hit with massive energy bills due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which upended global oil and gas markets due to Russian producers' dominance, and an aggressive transition to green energy sources like wind and solar pushed by several major European nations.
Amid the crisis, Europeans have been forced to take drastic measures to conserve energy and keep bills low while governments have imposed rationing rules and introduced relief programs. The letter noted that the crisis has forced manufacturing plants to close and will likely lead to major blackouts throughout the winter in Germany.
EUROPEANS INCREASINGLY BURNING TREES FOR ENERGY AFTER GREEN POLICIES, RUSSIAN WAR, LEAVE COUNTRIES HOBBLED
"For political reasons, Europe chose to rely on renewable energy and also oil from hostile sources — in this case being Russia," James Taylor, the president of think tank Heartland Institute, told FOX Business in an interview. "Here we have in the United States, we're being told by the environmental left, by the administration, that we should choose the same path, that we should be focusing on renewable energy. That's just a terrible path."
"In Europe, you see electricity prices that are approximately double what they are here in the United States," he continued. "That, again, is because of the choices that they have made for renewable energy and relying on a hostile nation. We're setting ourselves up for the same thing, which would definitely be a bad idea."
President Biden meets with fellow G7 leaders in Germany on June 27. (Tobias Schwarz/Pool Photo via AP)
Taylor was among the experts who signed the letter to McConnell and McCarthy on Tuesday.
He was joined by Craig Rucker, the president of the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow; Kent Lassman, the president of the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI); Myron Ebell, the director of CEI's Center for Energy and Environment; Gregory Wrightstone, the executive director of the CO2 Coalition; and Steve Milloy, a senior legal fellow at the Energy & Environment Legal Institute.
THE NETHERLANDS JOINS GERMANY, AUSTRIA, ITALY IN REVERTING TO COAL AMID RUSSIA'S INVASION OF UKRAINE
"What I'm hearing from the eco left is that the solution to our energy problems is more wind and solar — we just haven't done enough of it," Wrightstone told FOX Business in an interview. "The fact of the matter is: for every megawatt or terawatt of unreliable energy, you need to build the same amount of reliable backup source."
"For one, that's when the wind stops blowing and the sun stops shining. So, what we're doing is probably doubling the cost of electricity generation and then all those facilities that you built, will sit idle until they're needed."
While energy analysts have warned that Europe may be turning to green sources of energy too quickly, European Union leaders have doubled down on the transition. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in August that the traditional model for an electricity market is "no longer fit for purpose."
Windmills and solar panels are pictured at a renewable energy facility in Lexington, Oregon, on May 24. (Sarah Hamaker/Portland General Electric via AP / AP Images)
Last year, the EU unveiled a framework for a massive overhaul of energy policies including a plan to massively reduce carbon emissions by investing more in renewables and limiting gas-powered vehicle purchases. The Biden administration has taken a similar approach, limiting fossil fuel production and pushing solar, wind and electric vehicles.
"All this stuff puts us on the path to becoming Europe and climate foolishness has caused all the problems that are going on in Europe right now," Milloy told FOX Business.
"They started getting rid of their coal plants, replacing them with wind and solar," Milloy added. "In the case of Germany, Germany spent more than $500 billion doing that. You get to 2021 and then all of a sudden, the wind stops blowing in Europe or declines a little bit. And that started the energy crisis because if there's no wind, then you have to burn more natural gas."
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An analysis from Reuters published in December concluded that lower-than-expected wind power generation caused EU energy prices to increase and forced a return to natural gas and, in many cases, coal. Between 2019 and 2021, wind power alone accounted for the largest share of electricity production in Germany, the EU's largest economy.
Milloy said when EU nations turned back to natural gas, they were forced to boost Russian imports, encouraging Russian President Vladimir Putin proceed with his invasion of Ukraine.
"The whole thing has just been a disaster for Europe," he said.
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